What is Supply Chain Management?

Competition in the 21st century is increasingly less about competing firms and more about competing supply chains. Companies who can have the right product, in the right place and the right time, enjoy a higher profitability than other firms who struggle with this concept. Firms work together within their supply chains to create a higher service level for both their end customers and the members of the supply chain while at the same time controlling costs. To do this, they must work together to coordinate the distribution of resources and synchronization of the flows of materials, cash and information throughout the chain from the supplier to the end user and back again.

Import managers, inventory managers, buyers, commodity managers, and export managers can expect high five-figure to low six-figure salaries with five to eight years of work experience.

Typical jobs in supply chain management include demand planning and inventory management, logistics management, procurement management, materials management, and supplier selection and management.

If you are interested in obtaining a deeper understanding of how supply chains work in a variety of industries, consider minoring in supply chain management or majoring in supply chain management. Taught through a marketing lens, the Supply Chain Management curriculum teaches the balance of managing both the demand for goods and services and the supply of goods and services.

The Elon Supply Chain Management Major

Elon’s curriculum enables students to be good stewards of ethical and sustainable business practices when sourcing and delivering goods and services. Courses include Operations and Supply Chain Management, Marketing Channels, Logistics and Distribution, and Supply Chain Management Performance. The focus reflects an integrated business approach aligned with marketing and finance objectives.

Elon students focusing in supply chain management will:

  • Gain a base knowledge of terminology and application of supply chain management.
  • Learn how to integrate decision making tools like Excel or SAS JMP software to supplement decision making.
  • Apply knowledge of terminology, concepts and decision making tools to common supply chain management cases.
  • Understand ethical and sustainable practices for sourcing product and services.

Supply Chain Management Resources

For more information about the Supply Chain Management Focus, contact Coleman Rich, chair of the Department of Marketing and International Business, at richcole@elon.edu.