Supply Chain Management and Technologies
- 1.5 credits
- Prerequisite: MBA Core
This course focuses on supply chain design and management, especially as it relates to inter-firm, coordination efforts in a global setting. The objectives of this course are to build a basic understanding of supply chain issues and learn to model some of the problems encountered in supply chain management. The course is comprised of a number of case studies which provide a rich context for discussions. Additionally, a series of modeling classes connected to these cases are designed to help future managers back their improvement alternatives with some quantitative analysis. The focus of the modeling is not on optimality, but on finding good solutions by using sound reasoning and numbers. We also use a simulation and quest speakers to round out the classroom material.
- How to look at a supply chain configuration to understand its strengths and weaknesses: Why does Dell's direct distribution work so well and what characteristics lead to it success. What are the implications of the distribution channels of its competitors?
- How to look at inventory and leadtime in a supply chain context, two of the most critical performance metrics for a supply chain: How do firms set safety stock and order policies in a complicated supply network.
- How to evaluate a firm's supply base: Why have firms worked so hard to reduce the number of suppliers in their supply base?
- How the product design affects supply chain choice: Why do a firm's product design procedures have such a major effect on its production and supply chain costs.
- How ERP systems (like that of SAP) and ERP "bolt ons" (like those of i2 Technologies) help increase the efficiency and the effectiveness of the supply chain.
- The power of information exchange in the supply chain: What impact does "Efficient Consumer Response" (ECR) have on the customer? on retailers like Wal-Mart? on suppliers like P&G
- How do forecasting methods tie to inventory levels and customer service.
- How do firms locate plants for effective and efficient supply chains.
- What are the factors that lead to global networks?
- How should sourcing decisions be made. Which suppliers are best, not just in terms of costs, but in terms of lead time advantages or "quick response" capability?
- What is the role of a supplier in helping decrease costs and improve design. Does a supplier have the obligation to cut costs?
- How do business-to-business e-commerce initiatives affect a business: Does this put the power in the hands of the buyer? What will this do to the sales-purchasing transaction.
- What are the different performance characteristics between centralized and decentralized distribution networks?