Supply Chain Management Summa Cum Laude

This afternoon, I'd like to welcome Tim Fairchild to Spend Matters. Tim is currently an executive at SAS in the spend analytics and risk management area, and has previous experience on the customs and trade side of global sourcing and supply chain management as a practitioner.

Quick -- name the top supply chain schools in the US. Michigan State...Tennessee...Arizona State...Penn State...MIT...Stanford...NC State. NC State? That's right, NC State. Sure, the Old North State has always been top of mind when it comes to college basketball. With the reigning NCAA champion Tarheels, the Blue Devils, and the Wolfpack within a stone’s throw of each other, the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area is second to none in quality and quantity of roundball. We do football down here, too. The Appalachian State Mountaineers just claimed their second consecutive Division I-AA national football championship by rolling over the U Mass Minutemen. Oh, and the Stanley Cup has taken up residence on Tobacco Road courtesy of the Carolina Hurricanes. All this, and supply chain, too!

Over the last 10 years, NC State has quietly put together a supply chain program worthy of national attention and recognition. One of the unique and noteworthy aspects of this program is the Supply Chain Resource Consortium (SCRC)…soon to be known as the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative. The SCRC was formed in 1999 under the leadership of Dr. Rob Handfield and was designed to create an educational partnership between supply chain management professionals, and students and faculty at NC State.

I had the pleasure of attending the 14th semiannual meeting of the SCRC at NC State on December 7-8 and I tip my hat to Rob and his SCRC team, which includes Steve Edwards, Sandy Newville, and Susan Clark. It was not just your typical gathering of Procurement and Supply professionals coming together to network, share best practices and learn from each other. There's plenty of that but what makes the SCRC meetings so compelling is the role played by NC State students.

Teams of students who have completed projects at SCRC corporate sponsors during the semester give summary reports to the assembled audience, which in this case included the likes of Tim Carroll (VP of Integrated Supply Chain for IBM), Mike Harrington (GM of S&D Contracting and Procurement for Shell), Dan Pleshko (VP of Supply Management for Goodrich), and John Rau (Managing Director of Purchasing for American Airlines). I was several years into my career before I had the opportunity to pitch to executives of the level represented in the SCRC audience. All of the presentations were quite good and a few were superb. The teams do real work and in the process they learn the skills they’ll need when they get out of school.

Another sign of the ascendancy of the NC State supply chain management program is the fact that one of their students – Simon Huleatt – was among the group of six Richter Scholars honored at the Richter Dinner at ISM back in May. Congratulations to Simon for joining this elite group.

One final reason to keep your eye on NC State is The Initiative for Advanced Analytics. Rob Handfield is part of a group working on the content of the proposed Master of Science degree in Analytics and this is nothing but good news for anyone who supports the elevation of the supply management profession.

So if you’re looking for top notch supply chain talent, put NC State - and the SCRC - on your radar screen.

Spend Matters would like to thank Tim for sharing his thoughts on NC State and SCRC on Spend Matters!

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