Developing capable supply chain professionals

14 June 2018

Together with Executive Education in the Graduate School of Management, the Centre for Supply Chain Management (CSCM) is beginning to build an ecosystem that supports the development of capable supply chain managers. The work is in its infancy, but we are enthusiastic about its potential.

This ecosystem approach has been born out of frustration from industry that there is no obvious pathway available for professionals to build on their foundation skills and knowledge post-university or NZPIC programmes.

Currently, opportunities to develop skills are fragmented across universities, industry bodies and individual organisations. Many people provide very good content but it is not freely available or linked together.  We have seen that need and have begun a process of building that pathway in collaboration with industry leaders and industry bodies.

Currently, the Strategic Supply Chain Management Programme (SSCMP) delivered through Executive Education forms a key part of our approach, bringing together people from different organisations to study together in four modules over five months. The cohort delves into organisational and supply chain strategy, supply chain design, optimisation, new technologies and innovation. Academic rigour combined with business experience provides participants an in-depth view of strategic supply chain operations, which they must apply in a challenging project in their company or work together across a sector.

The programme has support from industry leaders from a range of companies including DHL, Fonterra, The Warehouse, NZ Defence Force, CODA, The January Group, Kotahi, Ports of Auckland, Fisher & Paykel, Optimity, Halls and Goodman Fielder. Senior supply chain leaders from each of these companies form an Advisory Group, committed to working together to shape learning experiences that build strategic supply chain capability over time.

A key observation by the advisory group is that this programme is "on its own" and should be connected to other development activities to provide systematic development over time.

Over the next two years, CSCM and Executive Education together with the Advisory Group want to see the development of a 'learning ecosystem'. We want to build strong networks amongst supply chain professionals and dedicated development opportunities based on industry competencies. We also see the opportunity to work with other industry groups to raise awareness and conduct collaborative projects to resolve common supply chain issues.

The purpose of this work is twofold:

  1. Improve the pipeline of skilled supply chain professionals able to take on senior supply chain roles
  2. Create strong supply chain capability in NZ that will benefit all industries facing global competition and radical changes in technology and workforce disruption.

If you would like more information on this concept, or to be part of the ecosystem, please email Felicity Lawrence on