Applying new knowledge to real problems for measurable results.

Essentials of Supply Chain Management

A joint venture with Smeal College of Business' Center for Supply Chain Research. Cosponsored by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.

Enhance Your Competencies with a Supply Chain Certificate! Learn more.

Program Objectives

This program offers all the foundational understanding to manage effective supply chains. Learn common terminology, inventory methodologies, distribution concepts, and service performance.  Topics include:

  • A holistic approach to managing your supply chain to avoid functional pitfalls
  • Perspectives of how to minimize supply chain costs while maintaining or improving customer service
  • Concepts of pooling, postponement, and other inventory deployment strategies
  • Customer service management
  • Industry case study on trading partner collaboration
  • Team-based simulation for applied learning

Who Should Attend

This program is for managers who are new to supply chain processes and searching for best practices in their area of responsibility. Those who work as functional counterparts in finance, information systems, manufacturing, or marketing will also benefit. This is a required course for those pursuing a Professional Certificate in Supply Chain Management.

Program Benefits

Upon completion of Essentials of Supply Chain Management, you will have gained the knowledge to:

  • Integrate all functions along the chain through shared objectives
  • Develop common performance metrics
  • Improve customer satisfaction through shorter cycle times, maximizing capital turnover
  • Use information technology to enhance performance
  • Work effectively with alliances and partnerships in the extended supply chain
This program awards 2.4 CEUs. Penn State Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available based on a standard of one unit per ten hours of classroom instruction. Upon completion of this program, each participant will be awarded a certificate for 2.4 Penn State CEUs earned.

Value Created for You and Your Company

Essentials of Supply Chain Management also includes a valuable supply chain simulation exercise called LINKS. LINKS encompasses all major supply chain elements: suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and end-users. In a competitive environment, participant "firms" apply newly learned program concepts to manufacturing, distributing, and selling the "product" in three regional markets. Your firm is responsible for generating high-level decisions regarding demand, information technology, and research studies to ensure that supply chain management is well positioned within enterprise-wide management considerations. Your goal is to improve your firm's overall financial, operating, and market performance.

Program Content

Supply Chain Management

  • Defining the Supply Chain
  • Scope of Supply Chain Activities
  • Systems Perspective of the Supply Chain
  • Market Demands and Corporate Expectations

Supply Chain Strategies

  • Link Between Business Strategy and Logistics
  • Motivational and Leadership Technologies
  • Value Chain Analysis
  • Competing on Speed, Flexibility, Responsiveness, Quality, and Value-Added Services
  • Competing Through Alliances

Supply Chain Partnerships

  • Strategic Alliances and Partnerships
  • Characteristics of Partnerships
  • Current Research and "Best Practices"
  • Shared Use of Technologies
  • Factors Leading to Partnership Satisfaction

Information Technology and the Supply Chain

  • The Role of Information Technology (IT) in the Supply Chain
  • Innovative Technologies and Their Uses
  • IT and Supply Chain Integration

Supply Chain Components and Tools

  • Inventory Management Throughout the Chain
  • Enterprise Resource Planning Systems
  • Manufacturing/Distribution Resource Planning

Creating and Measuring Logistics Value

  • Relationship Between Logistics and Customer Satisfaction
  • Methodologies for Measuring Effectiveness
  • Integrated Logistics Simulation

"One of the best logistics courses I've attended! The faculty/presenters were well prepared and professional. The material was grounded in theory and full of examples and practical application. The facilities and hospitality were five star from arrival to departure! The examples of similarities in the business and defense industry were enlightening for all attendees.  I would highly recommend it; the value added for professional development, relevance to current issues, and application to daily business challenges is tremendous. A First Class Operation!"
-  Lt.Col. J. Reggie Hall, Executive Officer to the Assistant, Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Installations and Logistics



This program is taught by world-class faculty leaders from Penn State, as well as supply chain professionals. Each instructor has an extensive background in research and consulting, and in educating executives. Each brings to the classroom best-practice tools and implementation processes for achieving world-class results.

Faculty Director

Dr. Christopher D. Norek, Senior Partner, Chain Connectors, Inc.and Senior Instructor, Penn State

Faculty Leaders from Smeal College of Business

Dr. Robert Novack, Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management

Mr. Steve Tracey, Senior Associate Director, Center for Supply Chain Research, Penn State

Faculty Leaders from Business and Industry

Mr. Andrew Helveston, Vice President, Planning & Customer Service, Pinnacle Foods, LLC


The program fee of $3,750 includes all instructional materials, private room accommodations, meals, break service, and access to recreational facilities. Association member pricing applies:
$3,650 for CSCMP members
$3,000 for CSCR corporate sponsors

Active military personnel, PSU alumni, and teams of three or more attending this program from one company are eligible for a 20% program discount. 


Our enrollment coordinator will be happy to hold a seat for you in this program. A reservation does not commit you to the program until you submit the registration form online. Please call 814-865-3435.

Related Programs

This is a required course for those pursuing a Professional Certificate in Supply Chain Management. Participants must take these two other courses to complete the Certificate:

    Programs may be taken in any order over any period of time. An Executive Programs representative will be happy to help you select the appropriate program for your current level of responsibility.

    This program is cosponsored by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.

    Program Dates
    There are currently no classes scheduled. Please contact us to register your interest.