On Sept. 30, supply chain education will take a major step into the digital age with the start of SCx, an online educational program developed by the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (MIT CTL) for thousands of professionals across the globe.
The SCx curriculum is part of the MITx initiative, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s selection of massive open online courses (MOOCs). SCx is one of the first “XSeries” offerings that award certificates for successful completion of an entire sequence of courses.
MIT says more than 9,000 individuals have already signed up for the first course of the three-course program — CTL.SC1x Supply Chain and Logistics Fundamentals.
The SCx materials will be available online at no cost to students or working professionals. Additionally, the same material will be used to complement the in-residence teaching at MIT as well as at MIT’s three Global SCALE Network sister centers in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
“For some 15 years we have been teaching the hard and soft skills that supply chain professionals need to succeed, and more than 800 professionals have graduated from our SCALE courses during that time. SCx will teach the same concepts but to thousands — not dozens — of students at a time worldwide,” says Dr. Chris Caplice, executive director of MIT CTL.
The three courses in the new program, currently referred to as CTL.SC1x, CTL.SC2x, and CTL.SC3x, will each be between 10 to 12 weeks in length, and designed to be taken in sequence, as follows.
CTL.SC1x — Supply Chain and Logistics Fundamentals (Fall 2014)
This first course is a survey of the fundamental analytic tools, approaches, and techniques used in the design and operation of logistics systems and integrated supply chains. The material is taught from a managerial perspective, with an emphasis on where and how specific tools can be used to improve overall performance and reduce the total cost of a supply chain. There is a strong emphasis on the development and use of fundamental models to illustrate the underlying concepts involved in both intra- and inter-company logistics operations. The course makes heavy use of examples.
The main topic areas are:
- Demand forecasting, planning, and management
- Inventory planning, management, and control
- Transportation planning, management, and execution
CTL.SC2x — Supply Chain Design (Spring 2014)
This course will build off of the concepts taught in the SC1x course and apply them to supply chain design. There is a greater focus on more complex and in-depth problems.
The main topic areas are:
- Network design and transportation planning
- Advanced inventory management
- Procurement and purchasing
- Risk and resilience
- Supply chain contracts
- Materials management
CTL.SC3x — Supply Chain Strategy (Summer 2015)
The final course in the series extends the supply chain concepts previously covered and demonstrates how they impact and influence business strategy. The objective is to show how supply chain strategy needs to align with overall business strategy and can be an enabler. Peripheral functions that interact with supply chain operations are also touched upon. The students learn how to translate supply chain operational aspects into boardroom-level financial objectives.
The main topics are:
- Strategy formulation and development
- Change management
- Supply chain complexity
- Supply chain finance and costing
Most of the material is taught through videos intermingled with small practice problems to reinforce the teachings. The problems are automated, and provide instant feedback to the students. There are additional practice problems at the basic, intermediate, and advanced levels each week as well. The week is capped off with graded assignments that push the student’s understanding further. Discussion rooms are also provided for interaction between students and faculty.
“We have designed each of the three courses to cover the breadth of supply chain management rather than focus on just one function at a time. This is a more integrated approach, and stresses the connections and interactions between the players and functions within a supply chain,” explains Caplice.
Moreover, the SCx program will help to overcome the critical shortage in supply chain talent that the industry faces, believes Caplice, by providing a global platform for teaching future professionals.
Registration for CTL.SC1x is open until Sept. 30, 2014, although it is possible for individuals to enroll after the course has started.
Access the CTL.SC1x registration site for more information.