Elizabeth Petner ‘22, Madison Buchter ‘22, and Keith Connolly, adjunct faculty in the Department of Supply Chain and Information Management, all recently joined the Supply Chain Now podcast to discuss their experiences with supply chain management and notable trends of supply chain management that have become more important in the past couple of years.
Here are the three main takeaways from the podcast:
1. Supply chain management has not always been important to business structure, but it has become so in recent years.
When Professor Connolly was in college, supply chain management as a field of study did not exist. According to him, “Supply chain has not always been a crucial part of a business or a career that had a high level of importance.”
However, over his two-decade-long career at AT&T in both network sourcing and consumer supply chain management, he has noticed that his company’s competition was based on who could get their product to consumers the fastest and in the best condition.
2. The COVID-19 Pandemic changed the way the world views supply chains.
Both Petner and Buchter both came into college with different paths of study in mind. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, eureka moments struck for both of them that led them to choose to study supply chain management.
“Learning that in the past two years, the world has technologically advanced 10-15 years worth because of the stress brought on supply chains by the pandemic really connected the dots for me,” says Petner. For Buchter, it was seeing the shortage in essential goods, which challenged her to think of new potential processes to accommodate new demands. Seeing what the future would look like inspired Buchter to study supply chains in order to help improve current systems that have trouble keeping up with demand.
3. Real-world experience is important for supply chain management students and professors alike.
One area that all three participants honed in on was the importance of students gaining real-world experience working with supply chains. Petner and Buchter both stressed how much they each benefited from working hands-on in different intern programs and just by witnessing and interacting with supply chain professors.
Connolly’s real-world experience also plays a huge part in his teaching. His focus now has shifted to, as he puts it, “Tracking the way people perceive supply chains.” Connolly looks forward to teaching supply chain students with a mix of knowledge of his own experience and trends he has seen over the past few years as a professor.
Listen to the full podcast episode below or visit the episode page: