Every organization, whether public or private, produces goods and/or delivers services to customers and clients. Effective management of these production and service operations is critical to the success of an organization. Operations professionals manage and coordinate activities to balance the needs of the consumer with the resources of the firm. For many firms, these efforts increasingly extend beyond a single physical location and require coordination within a global pipeline of suppliers and contractors. This requires an effective and efficient flow of both materials and information among all parts of the supply chain, with the overall goal of satisfying the ultimate consumer.
Once considered a strictly behind-the-scenes activity, operations management is now being recognized as an important strategic tool for creating customer value and loyalty. Companies such as Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, and Nike attribute much of their success to the efficient management of their global supply chains.
Supply chain management majors study concepts and strategies that enable organizations to be competitive in the world economy. They also study management tools and analytical techniques, such as forecasting, purchasing and logistics, inventory management, production scheduling, and quality manufacturing practices needed to achieve the goal of customer service.
Broadly speaking, the curriculum has three primary areas: (1) the study of basic problem solving and data analysis tools to assist the supply chain manager in making good decisions; (2) the study of the major concepts and strategies for managing people, materials, and production resources needed to deliver value to the customer; (3) the integration of the supply chain function into overall corporate strategy.
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