Business program to focus on supply chain management, analytics

Business program to focus on supply chain management, analytics

Demet Batur (left), with supply chain management major Ashley Dyer
Demet Batur (left), with supply chain management major Ashley Dyer

The Department of Supply Chain Management and Analytics became the newest department in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Business Administration with the beginning of the 2016 fall semester. The University of Nebraska Board of Regents approved the new department earlier this year to meet the educational demands students face in both supply chain management and business analytics.

In addition to offering the supply chain management major, the department also offers a business analytics minor, and graduate certificates in both supply chain management and business analytics. Jennifer Ryan, Ron and Carol Cope Professor of Supply Chain Management and Analytics, is the first department chair. She said she is excited about what the new department can offer business students and the state of Nebraska.

"We've been offering the supply chain management major for a few years now and our enrollments are growing," Ryan said. "Being an official department helps us recruit students and gives them a better understanding of who we are. Supply chain management is critical to the state of Nebraska in terms of workforce development, and the major provides students with critical skills they need in today's workplace."

Ryan said the connections supply chain management and analytics students are making with Nebraska businesses lay the groundwork for future success. She sees the ability to function as a stand-alone department growing those connections.

"It helps local businesses understand our college is leading the way in supply chain management and business analytics instruction," she said. "Supply chain is fundamental to the movement of goods and critical to companies today in an environment where they must keep costs low while providing maximum level of service. Students are learning the skills here that will help them become successful managers."

Nearly 120 students are enrolled in the supply chain management undergraduate program. The business analytics minor was added this year and allows students from any business major to enhance their skill set to meet the growing use of big data in modern business decision making.

"We provide students with coursework and instruction designed to develop their quantitative skills, data analysis capabilities and decision-making skills," Ryan said. "Students enrolled in many different majors across CBA can use this minor to make them more effective in their specific field and more marketable, regardless of where they choose to work."

The certificate programs in supply chain management and business analytics have gained traction each year as graduate students seek to enhance career goals and advancement. The certificates consist of four online courses designed to allow working professionals, MBA students or other UNL graduate students the opportunity to tailor their curriculum to meet their professional goals.

"Our business partners helped us design the supply chain and analytics curriculum to meet modern business expectations," said Donde Plowman, dean of the College of Business Administration. "They work closely with our Career Services at CBA to provide internships and jobs that benefit both students and the employers. This new department is key as we transition to our new CBA building in 2017."

Jennifer Ryan chairs the new Department of Supply Chain Management and Analytics.
Jennifer Ryan chairs the new Department of Supply Chain Management and Analytics.