Essentials of Supply Chain Management

Smeal College of Business

Smeal College of Business


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Who should attend

This course is ideal for mid- to senior-level managers and directors who are new to supply chain processes and searching for best practices. Those who work as functional counterparts in finance, information systems, manufacturing, or marketing will also benefit.

  • Director, Distribution and Transportation
  • Plant Manager
  • Senior Manager - Supply Services
  • Logistics Management Specialist
  • Supply Chain/Customer Service

About the course

Learn the critical foundational concepts required to lead an integrated supply chain operation. Develop common performance metrics, improve customer satisfaction, maximize capital turnover and enhance alliances and partnerships. An industry case study and team-based simulation will provide a hands-on learning opportunity.

Program Benefits

Improve your ability to:

  • Manage your supply chain to avoid functional pitfalls
  • Minimize supply chain costs while maintaining or improving customer service
  • Improve pooling, postponement, and other inventory deployment strategies
  • Manage customer service
  • Integrate all functions along the chain through shared objectives
  • Develop common performance metrics
  • Improve customer satisfaction through shorter cycle times, maximizing capital turnover
  • Use information technology to enhance performance
  • Work effectively with alliances and partnerships in the extended supply chain

Program Content

Supply Chain Management

  • Defining the Supply Chain
  • Scope of Supply Chain Activities
  • Systems Perspective of the Supply Chain
  • Market Demands and Corporate Expectations

Supply Chain Strategies

  • Link Between Business Strategy and Logistics
  • Motivational and Leadership Technologies
  • Value Chain Analysis
  • Competing on Speed, Flexibility, Responsiveness, Quality, and Value-Added Services
  • Competing Through Alliances

Supply Chain Partnerships

  • Strategic Alliances and Partnerships
  • Characteristics of Partnerships
  • Current Research and "Best Practices"
  • Shared Use of Technologies
  • Factors Leading to Partnership Satisfaction

Information Technology and the Supply Chain

  • The Role of Information Technology (IT) in the Supply Chain
  • Innovative Technologies and Their Uses
  • IT and Supply Chain Integration

Supply Chain Components and Tools

  • Inventory Management Throughout the Chain
  • Enterprise Resource Planning Systems
  • Manufacturing/Distribution Resource Planning

Creating and Measuring Logistics Value

  • Relationship Between Logistics and Customer Satisfaction
  • Methodologies for Measuring Effectiveness
  • Integrated Logistics Simulation

Value For You and Your Organization

A valuable supply chain simulation exercise called LINKS will provide hands-on learning in all major supply chain elements: suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and end-users. You’ll apply newly-learned concepts and make high-level decisions as you lead a “firm” in competition with your team by selling a “product” in three regional markets. You will return to your organization having learned best practices for managing the entirety of your supply chain.


Steve Tracey

Steve Tracey is the current executive director for both the Center for Supply Chain Research (CSCR) and Penn State Executive Programs, and a Professor of Practice for the Supply Chain and Information Systems Department within the Smeal College of Business. For almost three decades CSCR has succ...

Christopher Norek

Senior Partner, Chain Connectors, Inc. Dr. Christopher D. Norek is Senior Partner and founding member of Chain Connectors, Inc., a supply chain consulting and software implementation firm. He has over 20 years of supply chain experience with a unique combination of consulting, industry and acade...

Andrew Helveston

Customer Care & Logistics Director MARS Chocolate North America Andy is currently the Customer Care & Logistics Director at MARS Chocolate North America. His organization is responsible for all aspects of the deliver function within MARS Chocolate, including the movement of product fro...

Larry McGeehin

Faculty Affiliate, Executive Education, Smeal College of Business and Manager, Business Insights & Solutions Mondelēz International. Larry currently leads a team of analysts in partnering with key stakeholders in North America to provide one approach to delivering key data, analytics and insi...

Marc Feeser

Faculty Affiliate, Executive Education, Smeal College of Business, Director, Global Transportation & Logistics, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. Marc's career spans more than 18 years devoted aspects of transportation operations across multiple Fortune 500 organizations. Prior to this role at ...

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Essentials of Supply Chain Management at Smeal College of Business

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