Every year around a billion tons of freight move throughout Missouri by land, air, water, rail, and pipeline. Missouri’s freight-related industries alone account for nearly half a million jobs in the state and contribute tens of billions to the economy annually, generating approximately $50 million in tax revenue.
Missouri is also home to major defense contractors, most notably Boeing, who bring in billions more each year to the state’s economy in a sector that’s particularly dependent on global supply chains.
Of course, Missouri’s global supply chain inter-connectedness, infrastructure, and billion-dollar multinationals can’t move unit one with the right people at the helm. It takes skilled and talented leaders with the right kind of knowledge to manage it all.
Leadership is central at this level of supply chain management. Experience counts for a lot, but degree programs in SCM at the bachelor’s and master’s level enable students to learn from the mistakes and successes of previous generations and leapfrog to the front of the leadership line with borrowed wisdom and a fresh perspective.
The Major Defense Industry Supply Chains That Run Through Missouri
In Missouri it’s reported that the state’s defense contracting directly affects over 600 industries and 25,000 businesses.
That should come as no surprise, considering major companies with footprints in the state include:
- Boeing with locations in Berkeley, Hazelwood, Maryland Heights, Saint Charles, and St. Louis
- Northrop Grumman with a manufacturing facility in Saint Charles
- Lockheed Martin with a facility in Joplin
- BAE Systems with facilities in St. Louis and Arnold
- General Dynamics with a facility in Joplin
Working in the defense sector places unique demands on supply chain professionals. For starters, you face everything that any other globally-connected company faces. But now add on subsequent layers.
Because public funds are involved with any of these big-five defense contractors, state and federal actors automatically also have their fingers in the pie. When you analyze the strength of your company’s supply chain and make calculated decisions geared towards meeting goals for the future, the goals you’re expected to achieve are interdependent on private, state, and federal actors, and these competing interests may not always overlap.
For example, in 2021 the president signed Executive Order 14017 which mandated that the Department of Defense draft a report that identifies supply chain risks for critical strategic materials, such as rare earth elements.
At the state level, the Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission (MMPEC) and its Office of the Military Advocate fund studies to assess the impact of defense contract spending on Missouri’s economy. This involves conducting audits and researching supply chain impacts on the statewide GDP.
Now you’re expected to square the private-sector shareholder-imposed goals of your defense company with those from state and federal interests, tying them all together with a nice bow wrapped around your final report.
SCM as a private defense contractor is like walking a tightrope where you’re trying to please everyone at the same time. You need as much natural finesse as you can muster, in addition to Level-10 SCM skills.
It’s pure strategy to dope yourself with as much academic SCM knowledge as you can before you’re working for Boeing and need to author an assessment that checks three boxes –private, state, and federal– at the same time. This is why graduate-level SCM degrees for managers who work with major defense contractors are so popular.
What Does a Supply Chain Manager Do in Missouri?
You can immediately get an idea of what it’s like to work in the supply chain field just by looking at the type of subject material that’s covered in related degree programs.
It’s common to find undergraduate programs in business. If you find one with an SCM focus, then you’ll benefit from an introduction to topics like:
SCM programs at the graduate degree and graduate certificate levels offer an in-depth study of subjects like:
Once you graduate and it’s time to put your didactic knowledge to good use, there’s no better example to illustrate what this means than Boeing’s Missouri presence.
To work as an Entry Level Supply Chain Specialist with Boeing in Missouri the company prefers that you have at least a bachelor’s degree or some equivalent combination of education and work experience. Job duties include:
For more advanced positions with Boeing, the company prefers that you have more experience plus an advanced degree. These qualifications apply to a position like a Mid-Level Procurement Analyst, whose job duties include:
Boeing is a major aerospace company with an enormous influence on civil and military aviation. SCM has common overlap no matter what industry you’re in, but each industry also has its unique SCM details that you’ll become familiar with as you gain more specialized experience.
Some other major Missouri-based companies with their own unique supply chains include:
No matter what sector you end up making your career in, the foundations laid in your academic degree program cover subjects that directly correlate to your later job duties, and signal to leading global companies that you take your professional responsibilities seriously.
Supply Chain Management Schools – Universities in Missouri Offering Degrees in SCM Online and On-Campus
Starting with undergraduate SCM programs and working through the master’s, graduate certificate, and doctorate levels, we’ve analyzed and listed every on-campus, online, and hybrid SCM program there is in Missouri and across the nation.
We’ve done the heavy lifting so all you need to do now is choose the program that will best determine your long-term successful SCM career’s trajectory!
Eckelkamp College of Global Business and Professional Studies
Plaster College of Business and Entrepreneurship
Campus, online, hybrid
Saint Louis University
Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business
University of Missouri-St. Louis
College of Business Administration
Campus, hybrid, online