The world’s economy is growing more globalized for companies of all sizes and all industries. This globalization has ramifications for every aspect of business management, including research and design, materials and parts sourcing, and manufacturing and the eventual distribution of products.
To be effective in this globalized economy, businesses must become adept at the many facets of large-scale business logistics, an essential part of which is the complex concept of supply chain management. To address this important side of the modern business world, the University of West Florida (UWF) has developed an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in Supply Chain Logistics Management program.
What Is Supply Chain Management?
From creation to manufacturing and development to distribution and actual delivery, supply chain managers need to make decisions that ensure quality and efficiency in timeliness, financials and, increasingly, environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals offers this definition of the concept:
“Supply chain management encompasses the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing and procurement, conversion, and all logistics management activities. Importantly, it also includes coordination and collaboration with channel partners, which can be suppliers, intermediaries, third party service providers, and customers. In essence, supply chain management integrates supply and demand management within and across companies.”
Although the logistics involved in supply chain management, especially in the global context, are immensely complex, the concept is quite straightforward. Broadly, it consists of every step from producing to delivering a product, from design and supply origin through the end consumer.
What Are the Benefits of an MBA in Supply Chain Logistics Management?
Increasingly, business professionals interested in earning an MBA are looking toward specialized programs that offer a generalized understanding of business management and an in-depth focus on one specialization. Completing such programs gives those professionals a unique edge in the competitive business administration job market.
Because the logistics of supply chain management is an essential part of growing a business and securing a business’s competitive advantage in its market, this MBA specialization can be particularly alluring to those who wish to ascend to higher levels of logistical management within their current company or pursue positions at others.
In addition, more and more companies are creating executive-level supply chain leadership positions for experienced professionals with the skills and education needed to make important decisions, plan strategically, lead others, innovate and pivot supply chain systems to be more agile and responsive. These positions may include the chief supply chain officer (CSCO) and/or the chief sustainability officer (CSO) — an executive who oversees ESG matters, encompassing supply chain processes. Attaining an executive position such as one of these is a logical career goal for the supply chain management MBA graduate.
Why Study Supply Chain Management Through an Online Degree Program?
Clearly, focusing on the complex study of supply chain management can give aspiring professionals a competitive edge in the business world, but why study it through an online program? One of the many positive aspects of online programs such as UWF’s MBA with an emphasis in Supply Chain Logistics Management is that they allow candidates the convenience and flexibility to study remotely and maintain their current jobs.
In addition, UWF’s supply chain program has a unique focus on combining theory, logistics and systems study and incorporates specific case studies with practical application. While immersing themselves in the pragmatic study of supply chain management, candidates already working in business management can apply what they learn immediately, furthering their depth of understanding in the real-world setting.
UWF’s supply chain program is fully accredited by AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. As of the release of AACSB’s 2022 State of Accreditation Report, less than 6% of the world’s business schools hold this impressive distinction.
Courses Included in UWF’s Online MBA With an Emphasis in Supply Chain Management Program
UWF offers a rigorous and thorough education as part of this program. Coursework covers both generalized topics inherent to effective business administration and management as well as the many nuanced aspects of logistics and supply chain management in the modern, globalized and digitized business world. The following are a few areas of study within the program.
Generalized Business Administration Coursework
Given that UWF’s supply chain program aims to provide candidates with a full range of theory, knowledge and skills pertaining to all levels of business administration, many courses cover topics necessary for any leadership role within a business. Therefore, the first step in an MBA degree candidate’s education at UWF is to study the process of integrating practical skills, concepts and theory into real-life applications in business problem-solving and decision-making.
Learning to Lead
An essential quality of effective managers and administrators is leadership, so organizational behavior is a fundamental part of the program. This focus includes the study of individual and group behavior within the organization, personal motivation, conflict resolution and many other aspects of successfully managing group dynamics, productivity and collaboration across departments. Furthering the concept of company-wide administration, UWF’s curriculum also includes coursework focused on integrating strategy and policy for organizational management at the higher levels, such as in the role of CEO, CSCO or CSO.
Finance and Marketing
Of course, economics, finances, budgeting and marketing are all necessary aspects of effective business management. Each of these subjects is covered at length, giving degree candidates a foundation of how to effectively manage organizational finances, maximize profit potential and capitalize on existing and emerging markets.
Business Analytics and Information Systems
With the wealth of market and industry information available in the digital age, understanding information systems and the application of business analytics to solve business problems is another necessary aspect of effective management. Both internal organizational data and big data on industry trends can be integral to competitive advantage-seeking, decision-making and strategy development.
Supply Chain Logistics Management Coursework
Supply chain management is involved in nearly every aspect of organizational logistics and management. Effective supply chain management requires a complete understanding of market analysis, the organization’s industry and the myriad of external industries the organization may depend on, such as marketing, materials sourcing, manufacturing, labor outsourcing, shipping, distribution and direct sales. The study of supply chain management is therefore integrated into the many areas of generalized business administration study described above.
In addition to including supply chain management in UWF’s generalized MBA coursework, the program also employs the in-depth study of topics specific to supply chain management. Much of this coursework integrates the study of strategic logistical planning, transportation models and other issues of domestic and global supply chains with real-world, case-based active learning opportunities.
Further, specialized coursework focuses on the study of logistics systems, using the analysis of supply chain networks, inventory, equipment, resources and other facets of the broader system to make informed logistics decisions. Logistics systems also encompass the supply chain and logistics information management systems that drive and optimize processes and practices in the modern field. Facility with the integration of analytics, information systems and traditional supply chain management processes is key to the skills and knowledge that today’s supply chain leaders need.
The candidate’s understanding of and facility with logistics management is expanded on further through studying logistics in the global context, concerning topics like import and export laws, transportation and other such logistics operations. Expertise in all aspects of global supply chain management is crucial to growth and efficiency, fostering supply chain agility and mitigating disruptions like the COVID-19 pandemic.
UWF’s online MBA with an emphasis in Supply Chain Logistics Management program offers candidates a convenient way to earn a degree in a current, specialized and necessary field within the globalized business economy. Through this comprehensive study, degree candidates gain the knowledge and real-world experience to pursue or advance their desired career, whether aspiring to build competitive advantages for their own businesses, get hired as a supply chain logistics manager or executive for a corporation or work for a specialized supply chain logistics company.
Learn more about the UWF online MBA with an emphasis in Supply Chain Logistics Management program.