New Supply Chain Inspired Degree

In keeping with its mission to create value for students, business and society through programs that lead to career success and the advancement of knowledge, the Kansas State University College of Business is now offering a major in operations and supply chain management.

According to the school, this new major focuses on the movement of goods and services through the global supply chain network from point of origin to point of consumption. Graduates of this program will be able to help companies and organizations more efficiently manage their operations by overseeing the sourcing of raw materials, the manufacture of goods and the storage, transportation and distribution of products to consumers.

The operations and supply chain management program has been offered as one of three academic tracks in K-State’s management major for more than 10 years, with student demand increasing each year. The need for operations and supply chain management talent is at an all-time high as the nation and world cope with product shortages and skyrocketing costs of parts and materials.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of supply chain professionals is projected to grow 30% from 2020 to 2030. Nationally, an entry-level salary for individuals entering the operations and supply chain management field is about $60,000.

“Our management faculty are experts in all areas of supply chain management and our advisory board was unanimous in voicing its support for the development of this major,” said Bill Turnley, professor and head of the K-State management department and Sam and Karen Forrer chair in business ethics.

K-State’s operations and supply chain management major offers classes such as Supply Chain Analytics, Project Management, Supply Chain Planning and Control, Quality Management, Procurement, Logistics and Supply Chain Design, and Transportation and Warehouse Management that provide insight into how global supply chains operate and how to manage them efficiently, effectively and ethically. The objective of the major is to prepare students for careers in procurement management, manufacturing operations, warehousing, logistics, and transportation management in organizations that produce, sell and distribute goods and services to end customers.

“We know there is growing demand for individuals with these skills in the workplace, and we have developed excellent relationships with our corporate partners in this area,” Turnley said. “The time is right for this launch, and we are confident that this major will meet the needs of both our students and our corporate partners.”

“Operations and supply chain management is the fastest-growing business sector in the heartland region,” said M.K. Kim, associate professor of management at K-State. “In fact, Kansas City is now seen as a center of choice for warehousing, manufacturing and distribution. Regional third-party logistics/trucking companies and some of the most prominent companies in the world like Amazon, DHL, Panasonic and Walmart are establishing or expanding their facilities due to the region’s abundant, multi-modal transportation network.”

Even before becoming a major, K-State’s operations and supply chain management program had gained national recognition. K-State is one of 20 supply chain management programs around the world that has been selected to compete in General Motors’ Global Supply Chain Case Competition for four years in a row. As a key partner of the Kansas City Roundtable of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, one of the largest associations of supply chain professionals in the region, the K-State operations and supply chain management program has attracted major companies to campus for recruitment and received donations and student scholarships from corporate partners.

Recent graduates of the operations and supply chain management track in the management major have been recruited to work for companies across the country, including Amazon, BNSF Railway, Cargill, Cerner, DHL, General Electric, John Deere, Koch Industries, Lockheed Martin, PepsiCo, Southwest Airlines, Target, Union Pacific and UPS.