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Development And Trend Of Curriculum In Industrial Distribution

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Industrial Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.454.1 - 11.454.11



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Paper Authors

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Sorraya Khiewnavawongsa Purdue University

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Edie Schmidt Purdue University

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Kathryne Newton Purdue University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Industrial Distribution has been introduced to the academic field of study for decades. The opportunity for graduates in industrial distribution is growing. There are a wide variety of curricula among the industrial distribution programs across the country. This paper describes an evaluation of the industrial distribution program to determine the basic components of a “typical” industrial distribution curriculum. The result focuses on the similarities and differences of the industrial distribution program offered by each university to be a guideline to define the appropriate curriculum for industrial distribution program.

Industrial distribution curriculum at Purdue University has been changed due to industry and market need. The number of credit hours in each core of study in the current year was compared to curriculum in 1994. There are several changes occurred, especially in the distribution and technology areas. Adjustments in curriculum indicate the change and trend of industry.

Current industrial distribution business

Distribution is the important area in the U.S. industry. Industrial distribution is one of the largest and fastest growing industrial segments in the U.S. According to Eastern Michigan University website, more than $200 billion of industrial supplies are sold to end-users through distributors each year. It is estimated that there are more than 250,000 industrial distribution outlets in the United States employing more than five million people. Currently, industrial distribution is accounted for 4 trillion dollars, which is more than 10 percent of the gross national product. There is the higher need for new graduates each year and the percentage of placement is high as well. With the power of computer and the Internet, the industrial distribution has been changed a lot during the last 10 years and it has the potential to be more

Frada (1996) concluded that the growth of industrial distribution in the last few years has created more jobs and the need for more highly educated employees. Industry experts contend that many college graduates could have successful careers in industrial distribution if they were only more familiar with it.

Industrial distribution has changed from time to time. Anonymous (1998) suggested that distribution is in the process of redefining itself. The Internet may be the largest single contributor to change in the industry and may manage to eliminate costs from the supply chain. Distribution today and in the future was also stated.

What is industrial distribution?

According to the industrial distribution program description from Envick and Envick (1996), industrial distribution program “…combines the study of engineering technology with business administration, and is designed to meet the demands for technically skilled men and women who are equally adept with personal communications and business skills…”

Industrial distribution is a field of study about moving raw materials and products from the supplier along the supply chain to end customer. It involves several activities in supply chain

Khiewnavawongsa, S., & Schmidt, E., & Newton, K. (2006, June), Development And Trend Of Curriculum In Industrial Distribution Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1060

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