Mike Ilitch School of Business joins forces with industry group to fast-track talent into automotive industry careers

December 5, 2016

Detroit is the birthplace of the auto industry. And while the city is undergoing an unprecedented transformation, the region remains a global leader in manufacturing and automotive production thanks to the Big Three and more than 10,000 manufacturing facilities located in Southeast Michigan. In Midtown, Wayne State’s position as a major urban research university is driving innovation in these areas.

Through an array of programmatic pathways, interdisciplinary research experiences and industry partnerships, WSU students have direct access to employers and are at the forefront of everything from automotive safety and autonomous vehicles to sustainable manufacturing global supply chain management and advanced materials manufacturing.

Over the coming months, look for stories that feature some of the many Wayne State initiatives and pioneering individuals committed to automotive and manufacturing innovation. This content is part of WSU's Warriors in Action campaign highlighting how Wayne State is making a difference.

The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) and Wayne State University’s Mike Ilitch School of Business are collaborating on an innovative new initiative to develop talent in global automotive purchasing and supply chain management. Called the Global Automotive Purchasing Supply Chain Network (GAPSCN or “Gap-Scan”), the program helps provide community college, undergraduate, graduate and adult continuing education curricula with real-world lecture material, automotive case studies, best practices, knowledge assessments and standards.

“It is imperative that we accelerate the development of our next generation of global purchasing and supply chain professionals by providing them with a skill set and lexicon honed to manage the industry’s increasingly complex business challenges,” said J. Scot Sharland, executive director of AIAG, an organization providing industry-developed standards; allied tools; emerging best practices; and training in quality, supply chain and corporate responsibility.

“We have witnessed a strategic transformation of the automotive supply chain over the past 25 years,” said Associate Professor John C. Taylor, chair of the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the Ilitch School. “The rate of innovation in vehicle design, advanced manufacturing and engineered materials has been truly remarkable and necessitated the creation of an unprecedented collaboration between industry and academia. We are fast-tracking future purchasing and supply chain leaders into industry assignments, saving time and expense often required to retrain entry-level professionals, and positively impacting employee retention rates.”

AIAG will provide the program with guidelines, training and educational opportunities in areas such as global materials management, customs and supply chain security, export compliance, packaging, quality management, finished vehicle logistics, corporate responsibility, and environmental compliance. WSU will give participants access to undergraduate and graduate courses and programs; executive education; thought leadership; basic and applied research; internships; and international studies programs currently offered in China, Italy, Brazil and Poland. Degree programs available include undergraduate majors and M.B.A. concentrations in purchasing and supply chain management.

WSU and AIAG are also offering two supply chain management non-degree courses: an annual certificate program providing an in-depth understanding of global supply chain topics and issues, and a one-week, automotive-focused global purchasing and supply chain management seminar that provides purchasing and supply chain executives, senior managers and other professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to significantly improve company purchasing and supply chain management contributions to cost and overall performance.

The next purchasing and supply chain management certificate program will be held Feb. 16 through June 8, 2017.

For more information, contact John Taylor at 517-719-0275 or AIAG Customer Service.