Supply Chain Management

Information about the supply chain management concentration within the Penn State Smeal MBA program.

The Penn State Smeal supply chain management concentration features a set of courses designed to build expertise in areas such as sourcing, procurement, conversion and logistics management, and collaboration with channel partners.

Supply Chain Management Course Highlights

  • Strategic Procurement: Explores leveraging the contributions of a supply strategy, e-procurement, supply segmentation, collaboration and relationship management, and global procurement for developing and executing sourcing strategies. The course places special emphasis on strategic planning and use of information technology.
  • Manufacturing Strategy: Focuses on understanding the connections between manufacturing, inventory, and location decisions on customer-focused, multi-stage supply chains. Explores how strategic choices such as information technology, facility location, and mass customization relate to planning decisions such as forecasting and aggregate planning to support synchronized supply chains.
  • Demand Fulfillment: Develops an understanding of the strategic framework, the managerial issues, and the best practices related to the planning and execution of the demand-fulfillment process. Special attention is given to the e-enabled capabilities, relationships, and levers needed for responsive, flexible, and efficient demand fulfillment. 

Supply Chain Management Faculty Highlights

Faculty who teach courses in the supply chain management concentration are part of the Smeal College of Business’ No. 1 ranked Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems. They include:

  • Terry Harrison: A prestigious fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), Harrison has expertise in supply chain modeling, large-scale production and distribution production and distribution systems, and the management of natural resources. He spearheads Smeal’s sustainability initiatives.
  • Robert Novack: The co-author of two books—Transportation and Creating Logistics Value: Themes for the Future—Novack has teaching and research interests in the quantification of logistics value and supply chain performance measurement. 
  • Steve Tracey: The executive director of the Center for Supply Chain Research at Smeal, Tracey has nearly 30 years of industry experience. Before joining the Smeal faculty, he was senior vice president of global supply chain at Standard Textile Company, the world’s largest manufacturer of institutional textiles.

Penn State offers the No. 1 undergraduate and graduate programs in supply chain management in the nation according to a report from Gartner, Inc. The technology research firm asked more than 400 supply chain practitioners and academics to rate U.S. supply chain education providers based on industry value, program size, and program scope.

Alumni Outcomes

Smeal MBA graduates who concentrate in supply chain management are highly sought after by top companies. For example, in the fall and spring semesters at Penn State, hundreds of recruiters participate in Smeal Supply Chain Career Fair. Companies that have recently hired Smeal MBA graduates for supply chain roles include:

  • Amazon 
  • Apple
  • DuPont
  • ExxonMobil
  • Facebook
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Nike
  • Procter & Gamble

“Our collaborations with the supply chain industry confirm that firms prefer to have a quantitative approach for making decisions that involve considerable risk and uncertainty. Modeling and analytics help managers make the best decision with the information at hand. While numbers will never replace experience, they do provide a great starting point for discussion.”
- Saurabh Bansal, Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management