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Our Mission

A detailed overview of the Center for Supply Chain Research's mission to be a leading source of supply chain knowledge creation and dissemination.

Penn State's Center for Supply Chain Research is one of the nation's leading institutions dedicated to research and education in the field of logistics. It is organized within the Division of Research of The Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business. Founded in 1989, the Center represents an interdisciplinary approach to the research and development of state-of-the-art logistics and distribution systems. Much of the resource base for the Center is drawn from Penn State's Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems. With 34 faculty members and over 1,000 student majors, the department is one of the largest academic concentrations of supply chain education and research in the United States.

The mission of the Center is to be a leading source of supply chain knowledge creation and dissemination. The Center’s research activities and agenda seek to enhance the body of knowledge relative to all major facets of supply chain management.  These activities culminate in insights targeted at both academic and managerial audiences.  Of primary interest are emerging supply chain research areas that are important yet in an early stage of development.

The center works in conjunction with faculty members from various academic areas to conduct research in areas such as distribution, warehousing, transportation, procurement and supply, customer service, systems modeling and design, logistics information systems, global logistics, and others.

Academic areas that complement the center's expertise in business logistics include management science, operations management, industrial and manufacturing engineering, international business, business law, geography, communications, marketing, agricultural economics, MIS, and finance. The center combines these diverse strengths to provide leadership in integrated supply chain research and education.

In order to fulfill our mission, the members of the Center have identified seven strategies which define the research process.

  1. Conduct research on the nature and dynamics of material, service, and information flow processes; to describe and prescribe effective methods, designs, and structures for the implementation of integrated logistics management, transportation management, and supply chain management systems.
  2. Conduct research on the strategic logistics management practices of manufacturing and service firms, and on the role of logistics in achieving the goals of these firms.
  3. Conduct research on the development of logistics, transportation, and supply chain management systems in order to identify their conceptual frameworks as a basis for the development of logistics theories.
  4. Serve as a major source of published research and other information related to logistics, transportation, and supply chain management.
  5. Develop programs, conferences, and workshops for management and academic enhancement.
  6. Develop and support long-range research programs to attract and retain outstanding faculty and graduate students.
  7. Develop and support logistics, transportation, and supply chain databases that aid academic research and serve as benchmarks for companies


We believe that the implementation and control of these strategies will allow the Center to achieve its objective of providing leading edge research and education in logistics and transportation.

The Smeal College's internationally recognized business logistics faculty provides expertise to the Center for Supply Chain Research in areas such as distribution, warehousing, transportation, procurement and supply, customer service, systems modeling and design, logistics information systems, global logistics, and others. To supplement this core of experience, the center draws upon faculty members from other academic areas and other universities.

Academic areas that complement the center's expertise in business logistics include operations management, industrial and civil engineering, international business, marketing, and finance. The center combines these diverse strengths to provide leadership in integrated logistics, transportation, and supply chain research and education.