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What Is a Supply Chain MBA?

The supply chain is a $26 trillion, rapidly growing global industry that attracts professionals with high logic and reasoning aptitudes combined with a passion for business. If this sounds like a career that could maximize your potential, then consider the University of West Florida’s online MBA with an emphasis in Supply Chain Logistics Management.

What Does This Work Involve?

One of the most important functions in global business is the complex process of coordinating and transporting resources to facilities and goods to market. This work includes sourcing raw materials from far-flung cities; manufacturing in the most cost-efficient factories; and managing labor, distribution and shipping. Supply chain managers minimize the resources required in each step in the process, reducing shortages in materials and labor and keeping costs down. They work with multiple players in manufacturing, delivery and logistics in order to maximize the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their supply chains.

There are five basic parts or functions:

  1. Plan/Strategy.
  2. Source of Materials or Services.
  3. Delivery and Logistics.
  4. Returns System.

Each of these areas is explored in depth in the curriculum for this specialized MBA program. The Global Logistics Management course explores logistics and supply chain operations from a global perspective, with a focus on import and export processes, port and logistics facilities operations, raw material and finished goods movement, and equipment and technology for global logistics. In the Logistics Systems & Analytics course, students learn to make business logistics and supply chain management decisions through the practical application of multiple analytical techniques. This course emphasizes network analysis and design, inventory analysis and decision-making, and information management systems.

In this highly competitive industry with product parity and multinationals competing to maximize ROI for every dollar spent, corporate expertise in supply chain management is crucial for success. Much responsibility rests on the shoulders of supply chain professionals, and for this reason, a specialized degree in supply chain is sought after by Fortune 500 companies.

A Talent Shortage Equates to Great Opportunity

According to a recent University of Tennessee study, there is a severe talent shortage in this industry. Ninety percent of CEOs believe their organizations must do more to attract supply chain talent. A Deloitte study confirmed this shortage, finding that just 38 percent of executives believed their companies had the necessary supply chain professionals on staff.

Top universities have collaborated with corporate partners to develop specialized MBA programs that can bring more qualified professionals into the field. These programs prepare students for a broad range of challenging and lucrative roles in the supply chain. These roles, with median salaries as of July 2018 from, include the following:

Supply Chain Manager, $107,422: Oversees and manages overall supply chain and logistics operations to maximize efficiency and minimize cost for an organization.

Supply Chain Director, $145,573: Directs an organization’s supply chain operations, including purchasing of raw materials, selecting vendors, and distributing finished goods.

Top Supply Chain Management Executive, $233,776: Plans and directs all aspects of an organization’s supply chain policies, objectives and initiatives.

Supply Chain Analyst, $75,230: Gathers data and conducts analysis with the goal of improving supply chain operations.

Systems Consultant/Engineering Manager, $132,213: Manages the daily activities of the department responsible for supporting the sales representatives by providing technical knowledge to clients and potential clients.

Gas Supply Manager, $139,200: Obtains the necessary supplies of gas to meet company needs, including contract negotiation and assurance that stipulations are met.

Network Operations Manager, $113,332: Responsible for the daily performance and availability of the organization’s network, including recommending changes and assessing future needs.

Customer Information Center Manager, $102,350: Manages the customer information center staff, activity and goals.

If you have an aptitude for logic, mathematics, organization and communication, along with a desire for a challenging and lucrative career, earning a specialized MBA in supply chain management may be the right career move for you.

Learn more about UWF’s online MBA with an emphasis in Supply Chain Logistics Management program.

Sources: Supply Chain Manager Supply Chain Director Top Supply Chain Management Executive Supply Chain Analyst Systems Consultant/Engineering Manager Gas Supply Manager Network Operations Manager Customer Information Center Manager

SDC Executive: Four Reasons for the Supply Chain Talent Shortage

Investopedia: Supply Chain Management

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