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Dr. Scott Keller

Dr. Scott Keller, Professor

"Working hard, late, and long, while having a healthy home life. A serious focus on your profession is a requirement to becoming a leader and to attain the greatest passion for what you do."

Degrees Held:

  • PhD in Marketing and Logistics – University of Arkansas, 1998
  • MBA – Arkansas State University, 1990
  • BSBA – Troy University, 1985

Career Highlights:

  • Has been on the logistics faculty at Penn State University and Michigan State University.
  • Helped to design and launch UWF’s standalone BSBA in Supply Chain Logistics Management.
  • Has worked in the Port of Long Beach, CA as a merchant marine terminal and ship superintendent loading and unloading container and break-bulk cargo ships.
  • Has been the director of transportation and customer service for a 3 million square foot distribution center complex in Memphis, TN, distributing goods for major package goods manufacturers.
  • Co-authored a book with his brother, Brian Keller, The Definitive Guide to Warehousing.
  • Is Associate Editor for the Journal of Business Logistics, and former Editor of the International Journal of Logistics Management.

In which online program do you teach?

MBA Supply Chain

Which classes do you teach online?

Seminar in Supply Chain Logistics Strategy

What do you want students to learn in your classes? What is the expected outcome?

Students will learn about the practical business side of managing logistics operations within complex supply chains. You will be exposed to the fundamentals of supply chain management and logistics, and will understand how they are applied in real-world logistics operations.

Why did you start teaching?

My background in transportation and logistics was varied, and I truly enjoyed being in the field every day managing people and big materials handling equipment. The environments I worked in were union and nonunion, and both were enlightening. As my industry career emerged, I found that I crossed paths with university professors. We were on speaker panels together and began to collaborate on research projects. I found that I wanted to study business logistics issues in greater detail than I could while working as a manager in industry. I also liked the idea of sharing my industry experiences with students and teaching students about this cool area of business called logistics.

What's the best advice that you have ever received?

Some of the best business advice has been to follow your passion, and while doing so make the commitment to become highly knowledgeable about your chosen profession. I've always heard people say, "knowledge is power." When you truly have expert knowledge, then you have an advantage in all situations pertaining to that knowledge.

What's the best advice you could give to online students?

Read everything that you can get your hands on pertaining to your subject. Such exposure will bring to life the subject, and you will have a valid opinion to share that is backed-up with facts that you have read. Show that you can take the material beyond the required readings and exercises and it will pay-off.

What is the one book you think everyone should read?

It is difficult to select only one. However, a book that I believe can be applied to business and personal lives is Blue Ocean Strategy by Kim and Mauborgne.

What qualities make someone particularly successful in supply chain?

  • Knowing the technical side of your business with expert precision.
  • Become the leader that understands the very best way to treat people so that those you lead succeed as well as you succeed.
  • Don't be timid of working hard, late, and long. It is a requirement to becoming a leader and to attain the greatest passion for what you do.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that people in supply chain face today?

Working hard, late, and long, while having a healthy home life. A serious focus on your profession is a requirement to becoming a leader and to attain the greatest passion for what you do. However, do not allow yourself to forget about the importance of family and your own health. I run early in the morning, daily; 4:45 a.m. to be exact. Before every high pressure situation that I know I'm going to face, I run an extra 3 miles so that I have the physical and emotional spirit, strength, and self-control that good exercise gives to the mind and body. And, yes, I go to sleep early.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students may not know about you.

Remember when I mentioned above to follow your passion? Well, my passion was to be a professional musician, but I never worked hard enough to become an expert. Quite frankly, I think about how hard I worked in industry and in school to get my academic education. Going back 30 years, if I had worked that hard to become the very best professional musician, then I'm certain I would have been successful in music. But along the journey I learned that I truly could become an expert at the things to which I gave my greatest effort. That's what gave me the confidence that I could learn to surf at age 48. I remember when my brother and I tried surfing on vacation in Huntington Beach, CA 30 years ago. We listened to enough Beach Boys tunes growing up that we were certain that we could get up on a board. We had no clue about what to do, and we chose a rough water day to try it without lessons. After two hours we washed ashore all battered and bruised, and caught NO waves. Although I lived in California, I never got back on a surfboard, until a lifetime later when I moved to Pensacola. Now every year my brother and I touch base with each other on Cinco de Mayo, because that's the day we first tried to surf. Now, you can catch me at the beach a few times each week on the board. While I'm about a skill level 4 on a 10-point scale and we don't have many good surfing days on the Gulf, the days we do are the best!

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