In February 2010, the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute (SCL) launched its Lean Supply Chain Professional Certificate program, a three-course series that is the first program of its kind. Building on the success of its first year with course offerings in both the spring and fall of 2010, SCL is initiating its 2011 series beginning February 1-3, 2011.
Focusing on building the lean supply chain professional, this program changes how supply chain professionals think, act, and lead by teaching them to develop and implement strategic and tactical elements of lean principles in the supply chain.
According to Robert Martichenko, SCL senior lecturer and director of the lean series, "Successful organizations going forward will be those that focus on the customer, eliminate all nonvalue-added activities, reduce lead times and inventories, and build leaders that can navigate the supply chain from a cross-functional perspective.” Martichenko, who is also CEO of LeanCor, a 3PL dedicated to the application of lean principles throughout the supply chain, added that “when lean is successfully implemented in the supply chain, revenue will go up and costs will go down. This is the model of margin management and cash flow improvement required for today's success.”
Lean professionals are focused on problem identification and solutions at the root cause, as well as building a culture of continuous improvement into their organizations. To drive lean in the supply chain, the supply chain professional must have access to the tools and education, which is the primary purpose of the Lean Supply Chain Professional Certificate program.
"We are committed to building individuals into serious, results-based lean supply chain professionals," states Martichenko, and the course material is applicable to all professionals responsible for supply chain, logistics, and materials functions.
The professional certificate series consists of three courses: Building the Lean Supply Chain Problem Solver, Building the Lean Supply Chain Professional, and Building the Lean Supply Chain Leader. Each course builds on the next and is designed be taken in order. Over a three-month period, participants meet for three days per month to complete the certificate. In addition, participants complete application projects in between courses to leverage understanding of learned concepts and to produce tangible results for their organization.
The course focus areas include:
Course 1: Building the Lean Supply Chain Problem Solver
This first course is a pivot point in the educational process that challenges current mental models and business paradigms. Course one introduces students to lean thinking and critical lean concepts and helps them learn to see operations from a new vantage point. Participants utilize fundamental problem-solving tools to identify and eliminate waste at the root cause, viewing their operations from a new vantage point.
Course 2: Building the Lean Supply Chain Professional
A common misunderstanding is that lean is primarily applied to manufacturing, but how does lean apply to the supply chain? Connecting lean to supply chain management is the core purpose of the second course. Participants focus on systems thinking; understanding how pull and one piece flow leads to reductions in total cost of the supply chain. They are challenged to question mental models such as economies of scale and replace them with mental models such as economies of time.
Course 3: Building the Lean Supply Chain Leader
Transforming an organization from traditional thinking to lean thinking requires leadership . While the previous courses focus on strategic and tactical implementation of the lean supply chain, this final course builds the individual into a lean leader. This transformation is critical to navigate through the waters of change management that is required to successfully execute and sustain the lean supply chain journey. Participants complete a conceptual deep dive of the “House of Lean” and explore the main aspects of lean leadership. Additional topics include "go see" management, "A3 thinking," and "leader-as-teacher" concepts.
For Gary Roberts, a participant from the Pace Setter Group, the lean certificate program gave him the tools he needed to “not only understand lean, but, as a leader, to drive its deployment within our organization. This course was not only about the nuts-and-bolts of lean, but about how to sell and work a plan for implementation.”
In addition to the Pace Setter Group, other companies that participated in the program’s inaugural year included Abra Auto Body & Glass, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cummins, Genuine Parts Company, Idaho National Laboratory, Lexmark, Penske, Pfizer, Inc., Rheem Manufacturing Company, Rogers Communications, Inc., and the U.S. Department of the Army.
If you are interested in taking your supply chain education to the next level, this is a program you do not want to miss.
For more information about the Lean Supply Chain Professional Certificate
program and to view a schedule for spring and fall 2011 courses, visit
www.scl.gatech.edu/lean, or click here to register. This program is held at the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center, the new home for all SCL courses at Georgia Tech.
Industrial and Systems Engineering