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An exciting, state-of-the-art master of supply chain management programme has been launched by AUT.  For students and professionals, a programme focused on how supply chains work could not have come at a better time.

The importance of fully understanding supply chains and identifying their weaknesses has become very apparent in the current global supply chain crisis.

For almost two years the world has experienced one of its most significant disruptions ever, thanks to Covid-19. Worldwide lockdowns mean global economies and supply chains have been left exposed and fragmented, while businesses and companies have been challenged to adjust to new market conditions, moving constraints, policy changes, and constant uncertainty.

In New Zealand we have our own unique challenges. Our geographic location means we rely heavily on effective and efficient supply chains. The pandemic has had a trickle down effect, creating shortages in raw materials, components, products, and other commodities; price increases; and longer lead times.

Understandably, customers and suppliers are frustrated. It’s predicted that it will take some time before supply chainscan absorb these variations in supply and variabilities in demand and return to pre-pandemic levels of performance. Even when that happens, the pandemic has underscored the vulnerability and value of global supply chains to our economic fabric.
Within this context, there is expectation that our global supply chain executives and business professionals will work to improvefuture supply chains, considering their social, environmental, and economic impacts and contributions.

UNDERSTANDING CONNECTED ECONOMIES
This challenge is the focus of AUT’s new Master of Supply Chain Management programme (MSCM). The Business School has traditionally offered SCM as part of its MBA degree; however, the recent demand and interest for SCM means that AUT is now offering a dedicated postgraduate programme.

So how can our supply chains be made more sustainable and resilient going forward?

“Local firms need to develop contingency plans and supply strategies, for instance by integrating and working closer with their suppliers and considering the suppliers of their suppliers in sourcing and design decisions,” explains Dr Benjamin Dehe, Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management and the head of AUT’s MSCM programme.

“Here at AUT an ambitious team of academics has developed a state-of-the-art supply chain management programme, connected with local and international businesses.”

AUT’s new professional master’s programme features a range of key courses: Supply Chain Design, Digital Business, Supply Chain Analytics, complemented by additional strategy, finance, innovation and entrepreneurship courses.

“This programme will equip students with advanced knowledge, competencies and skills to enter and flourish in the supply chain profession,” says Dr Dehe. He says supply chains are now increasingly integrated into wider strategies by firms.

“It is exciting to work in a function where we can make a difference and have real impact. Also, depending on the industry, the problematics are different and varied, which makes for a satisfying career.

“We are at the dawn of this so-called 4th industrial revolution, fuelled by technologies such as AI, blockchain, Internet of Things, Big Data, augmented reality, and robotics. These technologies are rapidly transforming our operations and supply chains and the pandemic has only acted as a catalyst. It is essential that we understand these innovations so we can maximise the power and potential of supply chain management.”

MEETING THE DEMAND
The MSCM refl ects the Business School’s commitment to realworld experience and social impact.

“In developing the programme, we have worked closely with industry leaders to build a comprehensive and contemporary postgraduate course,” says Dr Dehe. “One of its key features is the chance for students to apply what they’re learning. Students can work on a specifi c SCM challenge initiated by a business or an industry. This will enable them to consolidate what they have learnt, and bridge theory and practice.”

Dr Dehe says the programme has a particular focus on sustainability, an area of strong and growing interest to potential applicants to the MSCM.

“Many are interested in the sustainability aspect. The supply chain function is used as a key, strategic lever to support a company’s sustainability agenda, for example, it can support the circular economy by minimising the environmental impact, reducing emissions and net-zero commitments – all of which have gained momentum recently in the media post-COP26, and will be a recurring topic in our program.”

EXCELLENT CREDENTIALS
AUT’s academics are research active and have extended networks worldwide – invaluable for creating connections and synergies.

In addition, the AUT’s Business School is in the process of securing the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) accreditation. Once accredited, students who successfully complete the MSCM and meet the specifi ed criteria may apply to become a Member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (MCIPS).

“We hope to recruit motivated professionals who are enthusiastic about starting a career in SCM and/or reskilling or upskilling to further their career in supply chain,” says Dr Dehe.

The main entry requirement for the MSCM programme is a completed bachelor’s degree with minimum B-grade average. However, as long as one is motivated, the bachelor discipline and background has little importance, says Dehe.

“The skills, knowledge, and experiences our MSCM students will acquire will ensure they are industry ready, innovative supply chain executives.”

Find out more about AUT Business School’s Master of Supply Chain Management (starting February, 2022) at
aut.ac.nz/mscm

 

Dr Benjamin Dehe

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