Global Supply Chain Management Is Focus of New Katz Center

Issue Date: 
April 7, 2014

The logistical challenges of manufacturing and transporting goods will be the focus of the new Center for Supply Chain Management established at the University of Pittsburgh’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration with support from Pittsburgh-based logistics provider GENCO.

The new center will be dedicated to the study of critical issues relating to global supply chain management, an increasingly important field that adopts an end-to-end view of the product life cycle: from design and procurement through processing and distribution to recycling and reuse. The cross-disciplinary center will draw on complementary topics from across the school and the university.

“The new center will support the school’s strategic initiatives and will provide a forum for exchanging cutting-edge ideas between Pitt faculty and industry professionals. Students will benefit from an expanded set of programs and greater opportunities for developing networks with the industry. I am excited by the launch of the new center at Pitt and for the potential it holds,” said interim director Prakash Mirchandani, a Katz professor of business administration in the business analytics and operations faculty area.

Dean John T. Delaney selected Mirchandani, who has decades of experience as both a scholar and industry consultant in supply chain management, to serve as the center’s interim director. A search for a permanent director will begin later this year.

The new center will provide student and faculty interaction with industry representatives, oversee student experience-based learning activities in supply chain management courses, and generate intellectual leadership in this area at Katz. Designed as an interdisciplinary unit, the center will bring together faculty in fields such as operations, information technology, strategy, accounting, and engineering. The center’s interdisciplinary nature is designed to leverage the synergistic role that these fields play in modern supply chains.

In the global marketplace, the planning, execution, and monitoring of supply chains requires cooperation between a range of areas such as sourcing, procurement and distribution, information technology, sustainability, risk management, and strategic supplier and customer management.

“GENCO is very pleased to support the formation of the Center for Supply Chain Management at the University of Pittsburgh. The center will be a strong resource for the region’s economic development, as supply chain is a critical business component for many companies. Additionally, the center will be a significant resource for companies, students, and academics for many years to come,” said Herb Shear, executive chairman of GENCO and a University of Pittsburgh trustee.

To support the activities of the center, the school will create a Supply Chain Management Industry Council composed of member companies with strong interests in supply chain management and a genuine concern for the future enhancement of the field. Members of the council will have the first option to review supply chain management research and studies facilitated by the center and have enhanced opportunities to engage with Pitt students studying supply chain management in experience-based learning projects, internships, employment options, and cooperative education programs.

Katz plans to hire a tenure-stream faculty member to produce high-quality research in the field of supply chain management and to cultivate connections with industry aimed at supporting the center, facilitating new research, and generating opportunities for students, faculty, and others at Pitt.

The center builds upon existing supply chain management resources at the Katz Graduate School of Business and undergraduate College of Business Administration. Katz offers a certificate program in Global Supply Chain Management as part of its Master of Business Administration degree program, while the College of Business Administration offers a supply chain management major and supply chain management certificate within its Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree program. Supply chain management also forms an integral component of Executive Education programs at Katz.

In addition to the Center for Supply Chain Management, the Katz School and CBA are home to five centers for specialized knowledge: the David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership, Center for Executive Education, Center for Health and Care Work, International Business Center, and Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence.

GENCO is the leader in product life cycle and reverse logistics solutions designed to maximize value and reduce costs. GENCO operates 140 warehouse locations comprising 38 million square feet and manages $1.5 billion in freight annually throughout North America. The company’s customers include many Fortune 500 companies in the technology, consumer, and industrial, retail, and health care markets and the federal government.