When we order an item from an online retailer, we take for granted that a box will show up on our doorstep within 48 hours. But we may not stop to consider how it got there. We don’t think of all the machines, people and processes that made it possible for that package to arrive at the right place at the right time.
That also happens to be one of Auburn University’s specialties.
According to a recently released report, the supply chain management program in Auburn’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business stands out as one of the world’s best. SCM World rated Auburn 10th in its World University 100 ranking of the top supply chain programs. Michigan State University earned top honors, while Auburn placed just behind Harvard Business School in the top 10. The World 100 also includes universities from Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
“Rankings such as these represent a type of external validation that the strategic decisions we have made are good decisions,” said David Paradice, Harbert Eminent Scholar in Business Analytics and Chair of the Department of Aviation and Supply Chain Management. “To be highly ranked on many dimensions also speaks to the comprehensive nature of our program. Our students should recognize from these rankings that they are competitive with graduates of other highly regarded educational institutions.”
SCM World also ranked the Harbert College supply chain program among the world’s best in the following categories:
- 3 in logistics and distribution industry category
- 4 in logistics and distribution function category
- 7 in consumer packaged goods and retail industry category
- 9 in Executive VP/Senior VP/C-Level job level category
- 9 program in Americans region category
- 10 in supply chain function category
- 11 in industrial industry category
- 11 in Manager/Head job level category
- 11 in production and operations function category
- 12 in “other” function category
- 15 in VP/Director job level category
- 16 in purchasing/procurement function category
"Our chief interest at SCM World is to raise awareness of the tremendous breadth of young supply chain talent currently in the pipeline and, in doing so, expand the global community’s sense of cohesion and purpose,” said Kevin O’Marah, chief content officer at SCM World. “The list contains a mix of deep, formal supply chain degree programs, classical broad-based MBAs and engineering schools across several specialties. It comprises the old, the new, the technical, the philosophical, the established and the upstarts."
The Harbert College is one of two supply chain management programs nationally to require internships for its students before graduation. The college has also adjusted its curriculum to ensure that students are well-versed in business analytics. That’s especially important given the fact that Big Data has become as essential to success in a $26 trillion global industry as tractor trailers, container ships, and forklifts in warehouses. Companies are certainly in need of talent capable of helping them excel in a changing environment. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Statistics, job opportunities for logisticians will grow 22 percent through 2022. A 2014 Material Handling Industry report projected that the logistics industry will fill 1.4 million jobs – about 270,000 per year – by 2018.
“Supply chain graduates who are comfortable accessing data in a corporate database and manipulating that data in some type of analytical model will have a clear advantage over supply chain graduates who do not have these skills,” Paradice said.