College of Business gets approval to offer degree in sustainable supply chain management

Sep 16, 2009 | General News

Louisiana Tech University College of Business has announced the addition of an interdisciplinary bachelor of science degree in sustainable supply chain management.

The degree will begin to be offered in this upcoming fall semester.

SCM is a program that prepares students to manage and coordinate all logistical functions in an enterprise, ranging from acquisitions to receiving and handling, through internal allocations of resources to operations units, to the handling and delivery of output.

The program includes instruction in acquisitions and purchasing, inventory control, storage and handling, just-in-time manufacturing, logistics planning, shipping and delivery management, transportation, quality control, resource estimation and allocation, and budgeting.

There are 102 bachelor degree programs in SCM in the country, including one at Southeastern Louisiana University; however, the new program at Louisiana Tech is the only sustainable supply chain management program in the country.

The SCM degree will be administered by the department of management and information systems in the College of Business and will be both inter-departmental and interdisciplinary, involving biological sciences, accounting, finance, economics, computer information systems and entrepreneurship.

The focus on sustainability is the key distinction of this program. While sustainability is often confused with purely “Green Initiatives,” it is much broader in scope with the ultimate challenge of helping organizations achieve a sustainable competitive advantage through the development of a sustainable supply chain including suppliers, operations and logistics management, product and process innovation and customer service. A sustainable supply chain has the capability of meeting current and future customer demand through the cultivation, reuse and repurposing of resources, which are the lifeblood of any organization.

According to recent research by the Aberdeen Group, the majority of CEO’s view sustainability as a “must have,” not a “nice to have,” to remain competitive. Sustainability is therefore, not a fad, but a core piece in the future of strategic planning—it is sustainable.

There is so much interest in this program; Dr. Tony Inman, the Ruston Building and Loan Endowed Professor of Management, and Dr. Laura Birou, an associate professor of management, have been able to assemble a 32 member, world-class Board of Advisers, to guide the development of the program.

The organizations represented on the board represent diverse industries, the military and government agencies including Honeywell, GE, IBM, The Boston Consulting Group and The Institute for Supply Chain Management. They range in operations from local businesses to international in scope.

Graduates from the program would benefit from the projected growth in demand for Sustainable Supply Chain Management professionals. According to recent data from the Michigan State University Placement Office, the average starting salary was $52,000 a year with an 85 percent placement rate at the time of graduation.

Written by Brian Miller