When it comes to serving as an ideal supply chain hub, Alabama won the lottery, situated as a natural link to the rest of the nation and world, connected by land, sea, and air.
This type of infrastructure is gold for any company with supply chain operations. There’s a reason why so many global companies have relocated production facilities to Alabama.
There’s also a reason why the state’s leading companies look for the best educated and most experienced people in the field to head up their supply chain operations. A smooth supply chain means profits and growth, and it takes the most qualified and talented professionals to pull it off.
Marketable skills, in-depth knowledge, and a comprehensive big-picture understanding. Those are the things you get with a degree in SCM, whether pursuing entry-level management positions with a bachelor’s or moving up the ladder with a master’s or MBA in supply chain management.
How Alabama Could Become a Critical Link in NASA’s Eventual Inter-Planetary Supply Chain
If you’re in charge of inventory at a fast-food restaurant it’s big news if there’s a potato shortage and you run out of fries for a few days. If you handle inventory at NASA issues with the supply chain can have international ramifications.
Until recently Russia was the only nation ferrying American astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS). In 2014 America retired its shuttle fleet and because of supply chain issues –there was a next generation of rockets planned to take astronauts to the ISS, but this was axed with no replacement due to budget overruns– there was no other option but to rely of Russia’s Soyuz system.
Finally in 2020 the private sector stepped up and the USA could once again resume flying astronauts. Its reliance on Russia for an ISS mission critical element was seen by some as causing America’s global prestige to suffer.
Spacecraft and satellites have one of the most complicated global supply chains out there, from the most advanced computer chips to specialized solar panels and an array of sensitive scientific instruments.
Ensuring everything operates smoothly and on-time is a huge task, entrusted to NASA’s Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, and notably its Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) program.
The SCRM program does things like assess NASA’s supply chain health, stay up to date on Federal Acquisition Regulations, and conduct supplier audits. It also works closely with the federal Government Contract Quality Assurance.
With effective SCM, places like the Marshall Space Flight Center near Huntsville can keep running like a Swiss watch. Employing nearly 7,000 with an annual budget of $4 billion, NASA’s Alabama facility specializes in assembly and the development of propulsion systems, machine hardware, engineering, and flagship launch vehicles.
A global supply chain almost seems too small for NASA; in the future it could be the world’s first organization to introduce the concept of an interplanetary supply chain.
What Does a Supply Chain Manager Do in Alabama?
No matter where your career in SCM leads you the concepts in this field apply across the board. That’s why it’s so helpful to start with a foundational introduction to topics like these as part of an undergraduate program:
At the graduate level your courses go beyond the basics to expose you to knowledge you’ll come back to reference throughout your career, including:
The skills you’ll develop through a degree in supply chain management translate to exactly the kind of work Alabama’s supply chain managers do every day.
The Rail Logistics Specialist position with Birmingham-headquartered Vulcan Materials Company, the nation’s largest producer of construction aggregates, specifies that it’s highly desirable to have a BS or BA in logistics, business administration, or a closely related field. Duties for this position include:
Northrop Grumman is one of the nation’s leading defense aerospace companies, with over 2,000 employees in Alabama working with the Department of Defense and NASA. When filling high-level SCM positions (Supply Chain Program Direct 1), Northrop Grumman prefers candidates who have an MS or MBA in supply chain management. The duties involved with this position include:
Airbus employs 1,200 people at its aircraft manufacturing facility in Mobile. It prefers that candidates for SCM leadership roles (Supply Chain Performance Leader) have at least a master’s degree in supply chain management or a similar field. This position is responsible for duties like:
SCM principles are universal and apply across all sectors with Alabama’s most significant employers including:
Supply Chain Management Schools – Universities in Alabama Offering Degrees in SCM Online and On-Campus
Competitive companies are looking for the most qualified professionals to fill tomorrow’s leadership roles. Your ticket to launching a career in supply chain management that reaches its full potential starts with a degree in SCM. We’ve identified every accredited university in Alabama that offers supply chain management programs online and on-campus, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
University of Alabama in Huntsville
College of Business
Spring Hill College
Division of Business
Raymond J. Harbert College of Business
Athens State University
College of Business