The Top 10 Business Schools For Supply Chain Management

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Supply Chain Digital magazine has ranked the 10 best business schools in the world for the study of supply chains

The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore early on the morning of March 26 was a terrible tragedy that may have cost the lives of six construction workers who were on the bridge when it was struck by the large container ship Dali. In the months ahead, the bridge collapse will likely cost a great deal more — not in lives but in time and money.

The Key Bridge is a major thoroughfare in a huge metropolitan area, part of the Baltimore Beltway that encircles the city. The bridge itself is part of Interstate 695, a spur of Interstate 95 that runs from Miami to Boston and farther points north — the most important road link on the Eastern Seaboard, and arguably the entire United States. I-695, to the southeast of Baltimore, can be avoided, and other routes can be used to get that traffic where it needs to go — but costly delays are unavoidable.

It’s a thorny problem, the ins and outs of which seem sure to become case studies for business school students to contemplate for years to come. What are the top schools where such studies will be researched, conducted, and taught? Recently a magazine dedicated to supply chains and logistics news published a list of the top 10 schools globally for supply chain management.

THE TOP SUPPLY CHAIN SCHOOL: NOT A B-SCHOOL

Supply Chain Digital is a magazine and website that covers news and reports on supply chain and logistics. It is based in London, Dubai, and New York. Its list of the top supply chain schools includes some well-known global business schools and a few that are best known for their specializations in supply chain and logistics. It also has some notable omissions. Four of the 10 schools are in Europe, led by INSEAD at No. 2; the rest are in the United States.

The school that the magazine names the No. 1 in the world for supply chain, interestingly, isn’t a business school at all. The MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics, founded in 1973, “is a dynamic, solutions-oriented environment where students, faculty and industry leaders pool their knowledge and experience to advance supply chain education and research,” the magazine writes. “Its integrated Global Supply Chain and Logistics Excellence (SCALE) Network includes more than 80 researchers and faculty members from multiple disciplines, six centres of excellence and around 1,000 alumni worldwide. Over the years, MIT CTL has made significant contributions to supply chain and logistics, and has helped numerous companies gain a competitive advantage thanks to its cutting-edge research. Its master’s and doctoral programs are consistently ranked among the very best in the U.S.”

The MIT CTL has a half-dozen degree programs; its flagship program, the Supply Chain Management master’s, is a 10-month program that offers “a rich mix of leadership development, analytical training, and real-world problem solving through MIT CTL’s powerful industry and alumni networks,” according to the center. Some credential holders can finish the program in just five months. “The program not only prepares students to conceive, design, and operate complex systems, but also equips them with proven sales and negotiation toolkits to master tomorrow’s logistics and supply chain challenges.” Graduates receive a Master of Engineering in Supply Chain Management or a Master of Applied Science in Supply Chain Management from MIT.

SUPPLY CHAIN DIGITAL MAGAZINE’S TOP 10 SCHOOLS  

Supply Chain Rank

School

1

MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics

2

INSEAD

3

Michigan Ross School of Business

4

Cranfield School of Management

5

Penn State Smeal College of Business

6

Cardiff University

7

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

8

Rotterdam School of Management

9

Stanford Graduate School of Business

10

Texas-Austin McCombs School of Business

2 B-SCHOOLS MAKE BOTH SUPPLY CHAIN’S AND GARTNER’S LIST

Supply Chain Digital’s top 10 list is notable for its omissions. Where, for example, is Michigan State’s Broad College of Business? The Midwestern B-school has been named the top school for supply chain in the U.S. for seven straight years by U.S. News & World Report — and there’s little reason to believe it won’t be No. 1 for an eighth year when the magazine’s 2024 ranking is released in a couple of weeks. “Given the prominent role that supply chains have played, particularly in the past few years, the strength of our programs recognized through our seven-year No. 1 consecutive supply chain/logistics ranking is a source of great pride at the Broad College, and our supply chain faculty, staff, students and alumni continue to inspire the future of business,” Judith Whipple, Broad’s interim dean, told P&Q last year.

Notably, for the last three years U.S. News has kept intact the same trifecta atop its supply chain ranking, with MIT Sloan School of Management consistently landing No. 2 and Arizona State Carey School of Business at No. 3.

Due this summer: what many consider the definitive list of the top supply chain schools. Research and consulting firm Gartner publishes a pair of biannual rankings of the top North American supply chain B-schools, graduate and undergraduate, and the 2024 lists are expected to be published in late June or early July. The top school on its 2022 graduate list: The University of Tennessee, whose business school, the Hallam College of Business, offers an online Supply Chain Master’s and a MS in Supply Chain Management Tri-Continent, the latter operated in partnership with a German school. Gartner ranked Haslam’s undergraduate program No. 2 in the nation in 2o22.

Two schools made both the Gartner and Supply Chain Digital lists: Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, which Gartner ranked No. 3 and Supply Chain ranked No. 5; and Michigan Ross School of Business, which Gartner ranked No. 7 and Supply Chain ranked No. 3.

DON’T MISS POETS VS. QUANTS: HOW U.S. NEWS RANKS THE TOP B-SCHOOLS BY SPECIALIZATION and GARTNER’S TOP 25: RANKING THE BEST SUPPLY CHAIN SCHOOLS AND COMPANIES

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