Designing and Managing Supply Chains for the Future

The Wharton School

The Wharton School


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Who should attend

This program is for mid-level managers to senior-level executives on both the supply side and demand side of the supply chain. Included are individuals who run a supply chain for their organization either domestically or globally, or for whom the supply chain is part of their reporting structure.

Participants could be from any industry, but professionals working in retail, manufacturing, logistics or any business that provides finished parts and components or raw materials to other manufacturers will benefit. Also, professionals who work in an advisory capacity to companies with extensive supply chain networks, such as bankers and lawyers, will also find the content of this program beneficial to understanding and meeting the current needs of their clientele.

Job functions and roles include:

  • General managers, mid-level and senior-level
  • Executives responsible for a business unit
  • Strategic sourcing managers
  • Purchasing managers

Please note that this program is not suitable for IT professionals, IT consultants, software sales people or executives seeking guidance on which supply chain software to use. This program will not discuss the technical aspects of supply chain software or software implementation.

About the course

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic slowdown have wreaked havoc on supply chains worldwide. As businesses cautiously reopen or ramp up operations, there remain countless unknowns about the economy, and the potential for a second wave of the virus to further disrupt the global supply chain. In the midst of such unprecedented volatility and uncertainty, how can businesses address emergent issues caused by the crisis and prepare their supply chains to absorb future shocks?

Designing and Managing Supply Chains for the Future, a new Wharton LIVE program, is for executives who want to get out of a defensive, reactive position and be assertively ahead of the curve by building supply chains that are strong, nimble, and resilient. This program will enable you to take a critical look at your existing supply chain, and give you strategies to either fix or overcome any vulnerabilities in the future.

Program Experience

Highlights and Benefits

By attending Designing and Managing Supply Chains for the Future, you will:

  • Assess your existing supply chain from end-to-end and identify potential gaps and vulnerabilities that must be addressed to withstand future shocks
  • Understand the complexities of managing multilayered global supply chains reliant on disparate local networks
  • Discover how to align your supply chain with your company’s overall strategy for long-term viability and future sustainability
  • Engage in strategic risk planning via supply chain mapping, strategic sourcing, and supplier diversification that can strengthen your company’s competitive advantage
  • Appreciate the power of emerging technologies in the realm of AI, blockchain and data analytics to generate greater sales forecasting power, create more nimble product design, and provide more accurate business insights that can better inform overall supply chain strategy

Experience and Impact

Timely and relevant, Designing and Managing Supply Chains for the Future provides a comprehensive approach on how to build, position, and execute a secure, profitable supply chain for these challenging economic times.

In this program, we take an expansive look at all the components of a supply chain — from the flow of product, the flow of money, as well as the flow of information. By attending this program, you will align your supply chain strategy with your business structure, including financial and marketing strategies, and learn how to help your firm become more proactively aware, agile, and strategic when dealing with your supplier network. Furthermore, this program will provoke a series of surprising questions you may have never contemplated before as you learn how to manage both short- and long-term risk.

For example, should your firm provide a line of credit or short-term cash flow to suppliers who could go bankrupt without an interim financial lifeline? Could your company redesign an existing product in anticipation of labor shortages, increased manufacturing restrictions, expanded government regulation, or future difficulties in securing the right parts or raw materials? How soon could you build resiliency and agility into your supplier network so that you could quickly move manufacturing or logistical capacity to meet fluctuating demand and mitigate future supply shocks?

To explore some of the key issues, we will use the Maturity Model, a structured framework created by the Supply Chain Risk Leadership Council, which can help you view your firm’s current business operations from multiple perspectives. Doing this assessment will bring to the surface challenges and obstacles, as well as identify areas that need improvement or present opportunities for growth. You will also do scenario planning to account for numerous complexities and transitions such as moving your supply chain to a different country or locale.

Also, you will discover the potential value of the customer data your company may already be collecting, and understand how to deploy cutting-edge analytics, AI, and blockchain technology to further enhance and strengthen your supply chain.

Session topics include:

  • Building Your Network
  • Supply Chain Strategy and Management
  • Financing Supply Chains
  • Managing Supply Chain Risk
  • Network Design and Operational Hedging
  • Supply Chain Analytics
  • Pulse of the Marketplace Networking
  • Strategic Sourcing: Mapping Your Value Chain
  • The Dynamics of Global Networks
  • Digitizing Supply Chains Through Advanced AI and Analytics

The Supply Chain Simulation

A highlight of this weeklong virtual program will be a highly engaging and interactive business simulation. Individuals will meet virtually in small groups and work through real-world business scenarios to determine how to allocate production between multiple countries. Teams will showcase their work as faculty guides the simulation to reveal the most effective strategies and resulting best practices.

Through this simulation, as well as several case studies, the faculty will help you develop a model of analyzing and building current and future supply chains with frameworks that are immediately applicable to your own firm’s current and future situation. By the end of this program, you’ll be armed with the tools, techniques, and scenario planning you need to sustain your business through any eventuality.

Wharton LIVE Programming

Real-time, synchronous peer learning

Designing and Managing Supply Chains for the Future will be delivered live, virtually for five days. It will be taught by the same Wharton faculty who teach in our on-campus classes. This program offers, and requires, a high level of participant engagement through class discussion, case studies, and an interactive business simulation.

Participants will have direct access to Wharton faculty throughout the program, and engage in dynamic group work that helps reinforce the learning and enable networking among the peer community.

With this unique, up-to-the-minute program, which spans both broad strategy and detailed execution, you will be vastly better equipped to face the challenges to your supply chain today and into the future.

Building Your Network

In addition to the group case work and simulation, this program will also include opportunities for you to get to know the other participants and build your professional network. These sessions include:

Wharton After Hours Discussion Board

Wharton faculty will weigh in on a participant led online discussion board that moves beyond the day’s content into global current events. Think of it as faculty office hours but online.

Faculty Q&A Forum

In small groups, we plan to discuss the issues that are top of mind to you; issues that may or may not be covered directly in the course material. Faculty will spend time with each of the groups to sharing insights, while also providing a chance to deepen connections and enhance the learning experience across the cohort.


Gad Allon

Gad Allon is the Jeffrey A. Keswin Professor and Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions, and the director of the Management and Technology Program at the university of Pennsylvania. He received his PhD in Management Science from Columbia Business School in New York and holds a Bachel...

Santiago Gallino

Bio Santiago Gallino is an Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Tuck School of Business. He is interested in operations management challenges in the retail industry. Santiago studies both omni-channel integration and store execution issues in retail. In his research, he uses fiel...

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Designing and Managing Supply Chains for the Future at The Wharton School

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