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Supply chain courses are focused on teaching students to better understand the supply chain process whereby companies turn raw materials into a finished product that is sold to consumers in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. For instance, supply chain courses address stages such as the planning stage, developing stage, making stage, and the return stage. Also, supply chain courses address topics such as global operations, supply chain logistics, Internet supply chains, and supply chain optimization.
Coursework pertaining to the planning stage has to do with how companies decide to meet the needs of customers. Supply chain courses pertaining to the developing stage focus on when companies build relationships with suppliers of raw materials needed to make the products. Coursework which emphasizes the making stage is focused on how the company makes, tests, packages, and delivers the product to the consumer. Supply chain courses that emphasize the return stage emphasize the phase when customers can ask questions and return the product if they do not like it.
Global operations courses include emphasis on how companies can identify and utilize local strengths and local weaknesses. The purpose of this is so students can learn to analyze local strengths and weaknesses and integrate that information into their management efforts. This will enable them to learn how to manage operations in such a way that they can succeed in running a company effectively despite cultural, geographical, and organizational obstacles.
Supply chain logistics courses help students work in groups, practice their economics analysis skills, and learn how to design manufacturing or distribution systems. There is typically emphasis on topics such as the transport system, inventory policy, and the national distribution systems. Also, there is emphasis on work flow and the layout of the workspace or plant where the product is designed.
Internet-enabled supply chain-related courses focus on the way the Internet has changed supply chain interaction and business relationships. For instance, there is emphasis on topics such as e-auctions, e-exchanges, and dynamic pricing. Also, there is emphasis on topics such as compatibility choices, bundling, virtual value chains, and the issue of how information technology advances supply chain integration.
Supply chain optimization coursework involves advanced exposure to optimization theory and probability. It also involves learning how to make computations pertaining to supply chain using lattice, dynamic, network, concave, and convex programming. There is also emphasis on learning about network flow models and doing stochastic comparison.
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