Mike Ilitch School of Business launches executive master’s degree in automotive supply chain
June 1, 2017
The Wayne State University Board of Governors has approved a new executive master of science in automotive supply chain management to be offered through the Mike Ilitch School of Business. The program is slated to begin in fall 2017. The degree is focused on the automotive industry and other industries with complex manufacturing. This unique program is offered in the heart of the auto industry and will be attractive to both international and North American students.
This 31-credit program is designed for working professionals with a bachelor’s degree who want to progress in the dynamic field of supply chain management in the automotive industry, as well as new graduates who want to immediately pursue advanced studies. It can be completed in three semesters of full-time study, or approximately two years of part-time study. Courses will be taught by both academic and industry experts.
“The Ilitch School’s established leadership in supply chain education uniquely positions us to deliver a successful master’s program in this field,” said Professor Sachin Modi, who led development of the program. “At the Ilitch School, the undergraduate global supply chain management program has grown from 50 students seven years ago to some 450 majors today, primarily because of our ability to place these students in well-paid professional positions.” In addition, the M.B.A. concentration in global supply chain management has grown to roughly 200 students.
The discipline of supply chain management has grown significantly in recent years, both nationally and locally, reflecting the strong demand for supply chain professionals. Michigan is home to three major automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), 12 OEM assembly plants and 35 OEM component plants. Additionally, 61 of the top 100 automotive suppliers in the world are headquartered in Michigan. Including suppliers, there are nearly 1,300 automotive-related manufacturing establishments in Michigan. This results in Southeast Michigan having one of the largest concentrations of supply chain professionals in the world.
The executive master of science in automotive supply chain management will provide students in automotive and related industries with the theoretical understanding and applied practical knowledge and skills to be well-informed, creative professionals who have leading edge knowledge in managing complex manufacturing supply chains. The curriculum is designed to address the specific needs of auto industry, covering finance, information systems, purchasing, production control, lean management, constraints management, sustainability, risk management, logistics, and quality control.
“Most existing graduate supply chain programs are oriented to the consumer packaged goods and retail industries. The auto industry requires very different training because the vehicle industry is one of the most high tech, high value, and global industries in the world where a combination of purchasing, production planning, logistics and quality functions must work together to achieve success in a very ‘lean’ environment,” said John C. Taylor, chair of the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management.
In addition to formal classroom education, students are also expected to benefit from the Ilitch School’s strong connections to Detroit automotive companies and with the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), whose members include leading companies throughout he vehicle industry. The WSU/AIAG partnership has been formalized in a network called the Global Automotive Purchasing and Supply Chain Network, and includes joint efforts in executive education and research. These company and industry relationships will provide students with the benefit of cutting edge research, specialized training modules, realistic industry case studies, and access to real world professionals inside and outside the classroom.
“This new program leverages the leading edge research faculty in the Mike Ilitch School of Business as well as its network of industry experts to deliver a student-centric learning experience that is in line with the needs of the vehicular industry,” Modi said. “The program will help us continue to build relationships across the auto industry both locally and globally, while making us the go-to school for automotive related research and education.”
To apply for the executive master of science in automotive supply chain management, visit the Wayne State University Graduate Admissions website.
Contact: John Taylor