One of the best academic courses I have ever taken, SCM.260: Logistics Systems (aka 1.260, 15.770, IDS.730), teaches the fundamentals of demand forecasting, inventory management, and freight transportation. It is a highly recommended course for anyone who intends to have a career in supply chain management and/or operations. Most of the theory covered in the course is available online (as SC1x) for anyone to audit for free on edX. I had taken SC1x online earlier as a verified learner. However, I still chose to do SCM.260 as part of my master’s in Supply Chain Management, to have another layer of learning and I believe it was one of my best decisions.
My background in supply chain is extensively focused on software technology. While I learned the basics of supply chain systems through SC1x, a deeper layer of learning through case studies and classroom discussions helped transition my basic understanding of the subject to building an intuition. I believe this was imperative for me, or for anyone else looking for a career transformation. For people, including myself, who haven’t worked in core supply chain (Demand Planning, Inventory management, Logistics, and Warehousing), concepts discussed in this course were not intuitive. It was imperative for me to build this intuition, more so, in the light of new era where a significant portion of companies are relying on technology and supply chain to be profitable in the least time and in the most sustainable fashion.
With a semester-long 12 credit spread, the course covered a lot of ground. What separates this course from others is the unique blended delivery wherein students are supposed to watch videos and complete individual exercises on MITx to understand the basic theory, and then attend the classroom sessions for a deeper and more practical discussion. Our weekends were spent watching the lectures on MITx, and Mondays began with a quiz at 8AM (who says Mondays must be boring?). We also had the opportunity to attend guest lectures from industry leaders on a few weeks during the semester. Our week ended with a group case study submission and the individual problem sets on MITx. The course ended with a bang with a final exam on December 15.
The concepts we learned in this course are used to solve several current and potential future supply chain issues, including the problems we are facing in our capstone projects right now! Adding to the cherry on the cake, the credits from this course also count towards the Business Analytics Certificate offered by the Sloan School of Management.
A huge thank you to my supply chain guru Dr Chris Caplice for all his efforts to teach students around the globe.