For those of us who work in supply chain management and its related industries, it can be a real challenge to easily describe to others what we do. Despite the fact that supply chain management touches each of our lives on a daily basis, it can often be difficult for outsiders to grasp—and for the experts to explain in a way that is easily understood.
Demystifying the industry, the Department of Supply Chain Management at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business created a great series of videos to explain exactly what supply chain management is. The concepts are delivered in a way that is easily digestible (and humorous). The supply chain manager is repeatedly positioned as a superhero with a cape, someone that children aspire to become.
This type of message is exactly what the industry needs to attract more people to the field of supply chain management, a challenge that only looms larger as we enter 2011. A December 27, 2010 Fortune magazine article calls supply chain management “2011’s hottest job you never thought of,” in addition to stating that the industry currently has a shortage of qualified managers and “a decidedly unglamorous image.”
While the article also states that supply chain management is “the complicated, behind-the-scenes work of getting goods from one place to another, on time and on budget,” the video series from ASU proves that, while the work itself may be complicated, explaining the industry doesn’t have to be. And, in my opinion, the videos also demonstrate that the industry’s “unglamorous” tag is an unfair one.
Whether you’re a typical consumer, a student contemplating a career in supply chain management, or a 30-year veteran of the industry, there’s something to learn from these ASU videos —even it’s just how to explain to your mother what you do for a living.
Check out the entire series on YouTube:
- Module 1: What is Supply Chain Management?
- Module 2: Buy It: Managing Supply
- Module 3: Make It: Manufacturing and Operations
- Module 4: Move It: Transportation and Logistics
- Module 5: Sell it & Service It: Retail Considerations
- Module 6: Supply Chain Integration
- Module 7: Global Supply Chain Management
- Module 8: Socially Responsible Supply Chain Management
- Module 9: Business Processes
- Module 10: Measuring Performance
- Module 11: Quality Management
- Module 12: Supply Chains and Information Technology