The hub of technology, the nucleus of innovation— Maryland and its supply chain are firmly focused on the future, creating superb opportunities for supply chain management professionals at every level and at every point along the supply chain. A highly skilled workforce, a connected infrastructure, and key sectors like advanced manufacturing, aerospace and aviation, quantum computing, and life sciences (largely influenced by the federal resources of Washington D.C.) have driven Maryland’s economy and allowed enterprises from emerging startups to global players to thrive.
But Maryland has never been one to accept the status quo, and both public and private leaders are always focused on the next big thing. They also know that business and industry can’t drive the economy without a strong supply chain, which is why Governor Hogan announced the Maryland Supply Chain Resiliency initiative. With the goal of achieving a stronger supply chain for Maryland manufacturers, the Maryland manufacturing Extension Partnership launched the Maryland Supply Chain Resiliency program in December 2021.
The program’s purpose was clear: help the state’s manufacturers address supply chain problems to create an even stronger, more resilient supply chain to take the state into the next era in innovation and produce a supply base that delivers. The Supply Chain Resiliency program is where the state’s manufacturers can collaborate and share best practices for creating and improving supply chains, improving outcomes, and reducing risk. It also allows manufacturers to more easily connect with local suppliers, customers, and partners.
This successful initiative not only helped Maryland’s manufacturers recover from the hit they took during COVID, but it also prepared them for a stronger future by helping them identify new markets, strengthen their export activities, implement the newest technologies, and more.
But that’s not all. In June 2023, the Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership announced the debut of CONNEX Maryland/DC – a new program designed to help strengthen supply chains, both locally and domestically.
This program consists of an online platform where Maryland manufacturers can connect with one another, locate suppliers, manage their supply chains, and find new opportunities. The platform’s Business to Business Exchange Center allows suppliers to connect with manufacturers and outline their capabilities and availability, thereby allowing manufacturers to meet production goals while tightening their supply chains.
Maryland’s focused initiatives and programs are producing stronger, more dynamic, and certainly more resilient supply chains than ever. This creates ample opportunities for professionals in the field to make their mark.
Whether you’re an aspiring supply chain management professional with an interest in earning a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management, or you’re a practicing professional or career changer with a master’s degree, MBA, or graduate certificate in SCM in your sights, credentials in the field is a must.
Maryland’s supply chain management sector is full of opportunities. Now is the time to earn the degree you need to access them.
The Port of Baltimore: A Model of Success
The Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore was a beacon in the midst of the COVID pandemic and resulting supply chain shortages. While other American ports were experiencing massive backlogs and delays due to increasing consumer demand, the Port of Baltimore was welcoming the ships they couldn’t service. In fact, the Port of Baltimore solved overflow issues for ports all across the country during this time.
So, why was the Port of Baltimore able to handle a surge in cargo traffic that other ports couldn’t? Thanks to its outstanding infrastructure, the state was already functioning as a major logistics and ecommerce hub. The state was able to quickly move this influx of goods and allow them to make their way to local distribution and fulfillment centers or onto trucks and rail and to customers all over the country.
In 2021, the Port of Baltimore handled a near-record 43.6 million tons of cargo with a record value of $61.3 billion. The Port of Baltimore is one of Maryland’s major economic drivers, accounting for about 15,000 direct jobs and more than 140,000 indirect jobs. It’s also the top port in the nation when it comes to handling roll-on/roll-off cargo like cars, trucks, and farm equipment.
The Port of Baltimore is also undergoing major improvements that will set the stage for growth well into the future – both for business here in Maryland and the supply chains that move their products and the materials and components they need to produce them. Plans to construct a second deep-water berth, which will allow the port to service a number of supersized cargo ships simultaneously, are underway, while four Neo-Panamax container cranes arrived in late 2021 and began operations in 2022.
What Does a Supply Chain Manager Do in Maryland?
Maryland delivers a trifecta for business and industry. It enjoys:
From manufacturers to distributors to retailers, Maryland business and industry thrive in an environment where strong supply chains exist. Whether your role in supply chain management is focused on analyzing inventory, procuring raw materials, exporting goods, or distributing finished products to retailers, you’ll find a plethora of exciting opportunities awaiting you in Maryland.
Not surprisingly, manufacturing companies are a major employer of supply chain management professionals. In Maryland, which is home to 4,300 manufacturing companies that employ about 109,000 people, this holds particularly true. The largest manufacturing employer is the computer and electronics product industry, followed by food manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, and fabricated metal products. Manufacturing in Maryland contributed $27.6 billion to the state’s GDP in 2021 – an increase from $25 billion in 2020.
Big names in manufacturing in Maryland include:
Growth and expansion in a state’s manufacturing sector serve as clear indicators of opportunities in supply chain management. Fortunately, there’s plenty of good news to come out of Maryland’s manufacturing sector. In 2022 alone:
Supply Chain Management Schools – Universities in Maryland Offering Degrees in SCM Online and On-Campus
Opportunities are plentiful in Maryland for a career in supply chain management. A growing economy, a strong infrastructure, and an environment where innovation and technology naturally thrive, Maryland provides the ideal spot in which to begin or grow a supply chain management career. But before you can make your mark here, you’ll need a solid education as your foundation.
Bachelor’s degrees in supply chain management are the ideal precursor to entry- or mid-level management jobs in the field. Students of these programs study the theory and practice of overseeing the efficient and cost-effective flow of goods and materials. These four-year degrees prepare students to assume management-level positions across the supply chain in companies associated with manufacturing, distribution, transportation, warehousing, and transportation. Some of the topics studied in these programs include law and business, finance, marketing, strategic management, and information systems.
Master’s degrees and graduate certificate programs in supply chain management provide career changers and practicing supply chain managers with a deeper exploration of the field, and study is often coupled with related areas of business like accounting, human resources, and international business. The MBA in Supply Chain Management remains a sought-after degree in the field, preparing practicing supply chain management professionals to assume executive-level roles in supply chain management. Topics often studied in these programs include risk analytics, logistics management, operations planning, supply chain sustainability, and total quality management. Master’s degrees in supply chain management are often taught by experts in the field and feature a number of dynamic, real-world learning opportunities.
A growing number of colleges and universities, both in Maryland and across the country, now offer both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in supply chain management in partially or fully online formats. Online degrees offer unmatched convenience and flexibility for professionals with busy work schedules and/or geographical limitations.
Mount St. Mary’s University
Richard J. Bolte, Sr. School of Business