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Successfully Teaching Supply Chain Management Content In A Technical Curriculum

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Industrial Technology/Industrial Engineering Technology Forum

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1118.1 - 13.1118.22



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Paper Authors

author page

Kenneth Stier Illinois State University

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

Successfully Teaching Supply Chain Management Content in a Technical Curriculum


This paper explains how supply chain management is being taught at the graduate and undergraduate levels in engineering and technology programs. It overviews the objectives, content areas, teaching methodologies and evaluation methods that were developed for a course. For the purposes of this paper the author’s university will be referred to as university A and the department will be referred to as Department E.


The accepted practice of accumulating extensive inventories can be traced back to the industrial revolution1. Even as recently as in the 1990s the timeframe to deliver merchandise to the customer from inventory in a warehouse could be as long as 15 to 30 days2. This timeframe and approach to delivering product to the customer drove the need to stockpile inventory. Today the rules of business have changed and that type of inventory strategy is no longer acceptable3. Companies face intense global competition with new products being launched at a much faster pace. This has driven companies to outsource functions like design, manufacturing, and distribution to places like China, India and countries in Eastern Europe4. These changes have brought what some term as a new era5 or supply chain revolution6. This has also caused some companies to integrate supply chain management into every facet of their business. In many cases supply chain logistics design has become the means for companies to be more competitive and advance themselves in the global marketplace. Consequently, supply chain management has been a topic of intense interest for approximately two decades and has been widely examined in both the trade and academic press.

In spite of the attention it has received the field of supply chain is in a state of rapid change and development. Thompson7 notes that many of the courses in engineering management programs are often reflective of well-established disciplines, but others are not. Quite often courses that are not reflective of well-established disciplines are considered essential for the engineering management programs. Thompson8 argues that supply chain management falls into that category of courses.

There is widespread agreement on the part of universities and schools that supply chain management coursework is needed in engineering and technology programs. It is also needed in organizations to help insure their success. What is not clear is what a supply chain course, or program, should include. In the meantime universities are responding to business needs and student interest in what is thought to be a field of growing importance and student numbers.

Today several Masters Degrees in Engineering Management exist which include supply chain management related content9-12. The very first of these programs began to be offered in the early 1990s and in some cases have been revised since then. Some Engineering Management

Stier, K. (2008, June), Successfully Teaching Supply Chain Management Content In A Technical Curriculum Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3184

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