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Student Supply Chain Analysis

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

New Program/Course Success Stories

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1163.1 - 10.1163.8



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Paper Authors

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Bruce Thompson

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

Student Supply Chain Analysis

Bruce R. Thompson Rader School of Business, Milwaukee School of Engineering

Abstract: Several years ago, an elective in supply chains was added to the Master of Science in Engineering Management program at Milwaukee School of Engineering. A major requirement of this course is student analysis of an actual supply chain. This project consists of three papers over the course of the term: (1) describe a supply chain, (2) identify problems and issues in the chain, and (3) make recommendations for improvement. Since most students are working full-time and attending class part-time, they typically analyze their employer’s supply chain. This paper describes the projects and some of the solutions proposed. It also includes the results of a survey of past students and the extent to which their proposed solutions were implemented.

I. Introduction

Many of the courses offered in engineering management programs reflect well- established disciplines. Others, while clearly important, lack a consensus as to what they should include.

Supply chain management is an example of the latter group. There is widespread agreement as to its importance for the future success of organizations. In fact, for many companies being part of a winning supply chain may mean more for success than anything the company can do on its own. Yet teaching about supply chains can be a challenge both because of the lack of agreement as to what should go into such a course and the rapid rate of change in what is considered best practices.

The lack of a core discipline is underlined by a review of supply chain texts:

1. One group stresses logistics, delving into the details of transportation, materials handling, packaging, and purchasing. The elevation of supply chains can be regarded as a chance to raise the profile of these necessary functions that were often pushed to the periphery of organizational decision-making. For our students, except for the few working in logistics, a focus on the details of logistics would likely prove of little interest.

2. Another group treats supply chains as a model building challenge. How can such models as linear programming, forecasting, those designed to

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Thompson, B. (2005, June), Student Supply Chain Analysis Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15089

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