Teaching Operations and Supply Chain Management: 2018 Highlights

04 December 2018

Key figures

111 students graduated in 2018 with a bachelors degree with Operations and Supply Chain Management (OSCM) as a major, which is a marked increase from 64 students a year earlier. At the same time, 168 students enrolled in the introductory OSCM course in 2018.

Industry engagement

For the whole year, the students enrolled in the OSCM stream of the Business Project course have been closely working with a few large New Zealand companies to address their real business needs. The student teams under close supervision by the experienced faculty members have successfully completed all three projects. The projects included:

  • Optimisation of Production Schedules for Douglas Pharmaceutical
  • Demand Forecasting for New Product Launch for Foodstuffs
  • Improving Inventory Turnover: Simulation and Dashboard for United Steel

These projects provided our students with invaluable business experience. The companies had their projects completed and also had a chance to assess their prospective employees.

New graduate profile

Earlier this year we had the graduate profile updated, meaning the expectations about the desired skills and attributes of our graduates have changed. We adjusted our courses to make sure our students not only learn disciplinary knowledge but are also effective communicators, are capable of working independently, solving real business problems and thinking critically, and share the values of integrity and social and environmental responsibility. Our changes involved both the course curricula and the teaching methods, putting more emphasis on team-based learning as opposed to the traditional lecturing.

Early exposure to OSCM

One of the key challenges to our major is a relatively late student exposure to operations and supply chain management. As our specialised courses rely on a number of prerequisites, a lot of students are eligible to take them only in the second year of their studies. By that time, some students may have already chosen their career path without having an option to consider operations and supply chain management. To address this issue, we plan to introduce more OSCM elements to the Business Systems course, a core stage-1 course.

 

Timofey Shalpegin
Lecturer at the University of Auckland, Business School