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MSU Supply Chain Class Merges Online Learning with Hands-on Experience


By Bisk

Watch this video series where MS SCM students share their experiences while immersed in the MSU capstone course.

Michigan State University is ranked #1 in the country for supply chain management graduate and undergraduate programs by U.S. News & World Report. One of the components that makes MSU’s Master of Science in Supply Chain Management so unique is the capstone simulation course, which blends online and hands-on, face-to-face learning.

Like the rest of the program, the capstone simulation course takes a strategic view of the supply chain.  During the first four weeks, students learn about the fundamentals of routing and facility location modelling. This includes techniques like the shortest path, spanning trees, the Postman Problem, and the Traveling Salesman Problem. In addition to everything they’ve learned so far, this prepares them to travel to campus to participate in the hands-on 3-day supply chain simulation. Students work in groups and compete against each other for market share and logistics variance. 

While in the simulation, students are asked to maximize performance by measuring two key performance indicators: profitability of the supply chain and percent of market share obtained by the team. Its primary emphasis is timely and integrated decision implementation. The software used in the simulation was developed by MSU, and is constantly updated for the best hands-on learning experience. 

Decisions in the simulation are made under demand constraints that come about based on each team’s marketing decisions. The teams are required to create a logistics system structure, acquire materials, schedule production and deliver final products.

Dr. Stanley Griffis, professor of logistics, teaches this final course. Before joining the world of academia, he worked with logistics system design programs for the U.S. Air Force. He has published research papers in several supply chain and logistics journals, and speaks at professional and academic assemblies. 

MSU’s supply chain management program is tailored toward those in supply chain management positions, as well as mid- and top-level executives looking to advance their career and streamline daily routines into an efficient process focused on controlling the flow of information, materials and services. The curriculum considers the supply chain from beginning to end, allowing students to comprehend the intricacies of the entire process. 

Watch each video to learn more about strategic supply chain management, and see how the simulation works and enhances the student learning experience.

Category: Supply Chain Management