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Frequently Asked Questions

Center for Supply Chain Research

1. What supply chain education offerings are available at Penn State?

  • The Center for Supply Chain Research (CSCR) works with companies to tailor and deliver company-specific supply chain education programs. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Skip Grenoble, the executive director of CSCR at 814-865-3262 or
  • CSCR hosts an invitation-only program for mid to senior level supply chain managers and executives, our Supply Chain Leaders Forum.
  • The annual R. Hadly Waters Supply Chain Symposium brings supply chain professionals together for a full day of plenary and concurrent sessions addressing topics relevant to today's supply chain business imperatives
  • CSCR with Penn State Executive Programs offers a complete portfolio of supply chain open enrollment programs and certificate programs that are approved by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Association.
  • The Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems in Penn State’s Smeal College of Business offers a two-year online Masters in Professional Studies in Supply Chain Management.
  • The Smeal College of Business MBA Office offers two options for a graduate degree: The resident MBA Program at University Park, Pennsylvania, and the Executive MBA Program offered on weekends at the Smeal Executive Conference Center in metropolitan Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • You can earn a Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management through Penn State World Campus.
  • The Smeal College of Business also offers an undergraduate degree in Supply Chain and Information Systems.

2. Where can I find supply chain benchmarking information for best practices, cost, service and asset management metrics?

Benchmarking data that is accurate, timely, understandable and comparable is difficult to obtain. Resource suggestions follow:

  • Many industry trade associations gather and publish performance statistics for their members. For example, WERC offers a "Track Your Stats" program and ISM/CAPS conducts several ongoing industry-specific procurement benchmarking studies.
  • The Supply Chain Council (SCC) has developed the Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) Model that facilitates benchmarking through mapping standard supply chain processes.  These benchmarks represent data collected on hundreds of supply chains around the world presented by industry category—discrete and process.  SCC partners with APQC, a nonprofit resource for best practices and the developer of a global benchmarking database, to provide SCC member-only access to a benchmarking portal, SCORmark.  SCORmark allows members to benchmark their supply chains using the SCOR metrics to formalize performance goals, identify gaps and move forward with a road map to achieve supply chain optimization.
  • Annual industry survey reports, although not always considered a benchmarking resource, can give you a snapshot of current trends and challenges that will impact your supply chain.  Examples of reports made available to the public include: "The State of Logistics Outsourcing," an annual 3PL logistics survey authored by Dr. C. John Langley, a clinical professor of supply chain management and the director of development for CSCR within the Penn State Smeal College of Business; and an annual, multi-industry logistics survey conducted by Establish Inc./Herbert W. Davis and Company on the current cost of logistics and service trends in North America.

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