This piece was contributed by Dr. Drew Rosen, Duke Energy/Gordon Hulbert Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management and Director of MS in Supply Chain Management, within CSB.
Supply Chain Management (SCM) is a field of study that involves coordinating and managing the entire process of moving goods and services from the supplier to the end consumer. SCM covers a range of activities, including procurement, transportation, inventory management, and warehousing. It is a critical aspect of business operations that can significantly impact a company's profitability and customer satisfaction.
The new imperative in 2023 is Supply Chain transformation! We are currently seeing enormous stress in all areas of the supply chain. The pandemic, shipping delays, port crises, severe weather events, supply and labor shortages, a sharp rise in costs, and other developments have converged over the past three years exposing supply chain weaknesses that global leaders are struggling to deal with (KPMG). In conjunction with the exponential growth of the worldwide marketplace, demand for jobs in supply chain management also continues to increase. Global supply chain management and all its facets account for approximately 14% of the world's GDP. According to the Journal of Commerce, it is projected that there will be an astonishing 200,000 unfilled jobs in Global Supply Chain Management within the United States alone. It is becoming evident to global entities that the supply chain and its functions encompass everything, including marketing, sourcing, manufacturing, logistics, inventory management, information technology, and customer relations. Global corporations are only now realizing that understanding how to operate effectively within the global supply chain is not simply a tactical function but an intrinsic business function.
As an academic major at UNCW in the Congdon School of Supply Chain, Business Analytics, and Information Systems within the Cameron School of Business, both our undergraduate degree in SCM and our new Master of Science in SCM provide students with a deep understanding of the complex logistics and operational challenges involved in managing a global supply chain. Students learn about the various components of the supply chain and how to optimize them to improve efficiency and reduce costs. They also learn about the latest technologies and best practices in SCM, including data analytics, artificial intelligence, and blockchain.
SCM is an interdisciplinary field that draws on business, engineering, and logistics concepts. Students majoring in SCM can pursue various career paths, including procurement specialist, logistics analyst, inventory manager, and supply chain consultant. These roles are in high demand, with many companies needing help finding qualified candidates with the necessary skills and expertise.
The importance of SCM is particularly significant for Wilmington as a port city that serves as a critical hub for global trade. The Port of Wilmington is a crucial point in the supply chain, where goods are loaded and unloaded from ships and transported to their final destinations. Effective SCM ensures that goods are moved efficiently through the port, reducing congestion and delays.
Port cities such as Wilmington also face unique challenges related to SCM, including managing customs and regulatory compliance, security risks, and environmental concerns. Students who major in SCM can gain a deep understanding of these challenges and develop the skills and expertise needed to address them effectively.
In addition to providing a pipeline of qualified graduates for local businesses, an emphasis on SCM can also attract new companies to port cities. Companies looking to establish a presence in a new market must ensure they can efficiently and cost-effectively move goods to and from their customers. By highlighting the strength of our SCM programs, Wilmington can position itself as an attractive location for businesses looking to expand their global reach.
In conclusion, SCM is a critical field of study with significant importance to businesses and port cities. By equipping students with the knowledge and skills needed to manage complex supply chains, UNCW's SCM programs can prepare graduates for various in-demand career paths. In addition, an emphasis on SCM can help port cities attract new businesses and improve their overall economic competitiveness.
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