Brain Johnson, Vice President of Supply Chain, Plumbers Supply Co felt that there was a time in his career where he felt some amount of insecurity due to some knowledge gaps, that’s when he pursed the supply chain management programme from Olin executive education school of Washington University. 

About the programme

The Programme included modules and topics like managing the Supply Chain as a System, Integrated Business Planning, Sales and Operations Planning, Supply Chain Design, Supply Chain Analytics and Risk Management, Inventories and Cycle Times

Why WashU Supply Chain Management Programme

A lifelong learner, Johnson believes in ongoing executive education. “But I also was concerned about holes in my game,” he says. “And I thought I’d benefit from exposure to best practices. The Supply Chain Management Certificate programme was a great opportunity to leverage WashU’s reputation and expertise. The programme helped infill the knowledge gaps that I faced during my work and thereby helped cope with my insecurities”

Real-world application of course content

“I was wary of standard classroom learning. I thought courses might focus on the academic theory that wouldn’t translate to the real world. Instead, I acquired models for problem-solving and tools I could take back to my organization and apply right away. The pedagogy they use included playing a lot of games and having open discussions which were fun and useful at the same time.

“In one class, we played a game that replicated the Bullwhip Effect—an exercise that illustrated the perils of an unmanaged supply chain. Plumbers Supply was working on problems with inventory-buying patterns at the time. I passed the lessons I learned on to our purchasing team.”

Another thing that I realised is that as senior leaders, a lot face very similar problems and some of us have figured out how to fix the kinks and some haven’t. This programme is a platform to have an open discussion, share your problems and receive suggestions and ideas on how to go about finding a solution from not only the professors but also your peers.

The quality of programme professors, instructors, and staff

“Everyone on the Executive Programmes team was impressive. Courses were interesting, interactive, and designed to get students to think outside the box.”

Finally, if you are considering this course ensure that you go with an open mind because the professors have amazing insights which you should write down and implement in real life situations.