New K-State major looks to ease supply chain crisis

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 8:58 AM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - A new major at Kansas State University is looking to ease the supply chain crisis.

Kansas State University says in keeping with its mission to create value for students, business and society through programs leading to successful careers and advanced knowledge, its College of Business will now offer a major in operations and supply chain management.

K-State noted that the major focuses on the movement of goods and services through the global supply chain network from point of origin to consumption. It said grads will be able to help companies and organizations more efficiently manage operations by overseeing the sourcing of raw materials, the manufacture of goods, the storage of transportation and distribution of products.

The University said the program has been offered as one of three academic tracks in its management major for more than a decade, with increased student demand each year. It said the need for operations and supply chain management talent is now at an all-time high as the nation copes with product shortages and skyrocketing costs of parts and materials following the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of supply chain professionals is projected to grow by 30% from 2020 to 2030. Nationally, it said an entry-level salary for those who enter 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 indicated that the new major offers classes like Supply Chain Analytics, Project Management, Supply Chain Planning and Control, Quality Management, Procurement, Logistics and Supply Chain Design, and Transportation and Warehouse Management. It said the classes provide insight into how global supply chains operate and how to efficiently, effectively and ethically manage them.

“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.”

Even before it became a major, K-State noted that its supply chain management program had gained national recognition. It said it is one of 20 supply chain management programs around the world that has been chosen to compete in General Motors’ Global Supply Chain Case Competition for the fourth year 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 in the region, K-State said its program has attracted major companies to the campus for recruitment and received donations and student scholarships from 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.”

K-State indicated that recent graduates of the track in the management major have been recruited to work for companies across the nation - including Amazon, BNSF Railway, Cargill, Cerner, DHL, General Electric, John Deere, Koch Industries, Lockheed Martin, PepsiCo, Southwest Airlines, Target, Union Pacific and UPS.

For more information about the new major, click HERE.