The supply chain of a firm is critical to its performance. Supply chains are networks of organizations that supply and transform materials and distribute final products to consumers. If designed and managed properly, these networks can be a crucial source of competitive advantage for both manufacturing and service enterprises.
Students will learn how to examine and improve the flow of materials and information through this network of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in order to match supply with demand (i.e., to get the right products to the right customers in the right amount and at the right time). Key topics include inter- and intra-firm coordination, incentive design, the impact of uncertainty, and the role of information technology. Special emphasis is given to understanding how the business context shapes managerial decisions regarding the strategic design and management of the supply chain.