About Us

Supply Chain Management Center

Total asset visibility, collaborative planning and forecasting, capacity planning and utilization, synchronized transportation, inventory optimization, customer relationship management, connected in real-time through portal technology, have transformed the supply chain from stage-hand to star on e-commerce's global stage.

 Indeed, netcentric, E-powered supply chains can help companies shorten response times and optimize manufacturing processes and distribution systems, while simultaneously minimizing inventory and maximizing customer service. With a real-time supply chain management system in place, companies can achieve a competitive advantage and superior bottom line profitability. Increasingly, the great divide separating companies within a market is between those that are up shifting to real-time supply chains and those that are not.

Current Initiatives

New Inventory Study

Philip Evers, associate professor of logistics management, will be studying the ways inventory crossovers affect inventory levels.

Most inventory research assumes that orders placed on suppliers arrive in the same sequence in which they were placed (i.e., order 1 is received before order 2 is received). An order crossover occurs when orders do not arrive in their intended sequence (i.e., order 2 is received before order 1 is received). Analytical findings suggest that the occurrence of crossovers may actually result in the need for less safety stock. As recent research has implied that this phenomenon is a form of statistical economies of scale, the intent of this project is to investigate how crossovers relate to and compare with other methods used to pool uncertainty. From a research perspective, this work will add to the body of literature pertaining to inventory management; from a managerial perspective, it will help to identify the impact of order crossovers on inventory levels.

This research is funded by the Supply Chain Management Center and a Smith School summer research grant.

The Supply Chain Management Center’s (SCMC) current initiatives involve research on emerging areas in the field. SCMC has completed a prototype on the communications-enabled supply chain with Avaya. This area is a promising one as it takes supply chain data available through the portal and makes it available to authorized users anywhere at any time in a variety of wireless, hand-held devices. SCMC is sponsoring a doctoral student’s research on management’s responses to supply chain disruptions in order to better understand how managers respond and to differentiate between effective and ineffective responses. Going hand in hand with this research is the field of overall supply chain risk and its implications for supply chain network design and supply chain costs. The recent surge in fuel prices has created the need for a fundamental re-assessment of supply chain risks, network design, and overall assessment of supply chain costs.

SCMC has identified the implications of skyrocketing energy costs on the premise imbedded in the “flat world concept.” Clearly, the fuel crisis and its impact on supply chain costs has peaked interest in the financial supply chain. Indeed, supply chain operations decisions are intertwined with financial decisions. Increasingly, financial considerations are driving supply chain decisions. SCMC is focusing on understanding this link and developing financial models to understand the underlying processes and decisions. Finally, there is a definite link between concepts and principles of the physical supply chain with the service supply chain. Many service oriented organizations are faced with issues that are similar to the issues faced by supply chain executives of manufacturing firms. SCMC has developed a model of the service supply chain emphasizing the similarities to the production supply chain.

Mission

The Supply Chain Management Center sees as its mission the continued integration of the leading edge business practices and technologies of the real-time supply chain into the undergraduate and graduate programs in Supply Chain Management at the Smith School. Furthermore, SCMC is committed to a research agenda in the newly emerging areas in the field. This leading edge research will provide a continuous flow of new information that will be introduced in the curriculum in order to ensure that the Supply Chain Management graduates have the latest information in the field as they transition into the workforce. SCMC has emphasized the dissemination of its research work in a series of published books and academic research articles. These dissemination activities are an integral component of the center’s mission. Finally, SCMC has a major goal of providing executive education in this field through a variety of credit and non-credit learning sessions. SCMC has the capability of delivering content all the way from a series of short-courses to full-fledged academic programs in the field of supply chain management. These content units emphasize hands-on learning experiences with production-level software applications in addition to business simulations.