WMU News

Supply chain management is focus of business breakfast

March 20, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- West Michigan firms can become stronger and more competitive by adopting supply chain management strategies, according to a Western Michigan University expert who will speak at the Haworth College of Business Friday, March 28.

Dr. Tom Scannell, associate professor and director of WMU's Grand Rapids MBA program, will present "Supply Chain Management: Strengthening the Capabilities of West Michigan Firms" as part of the Keystone Community Bank Breakfast Series. The presentation, which includes a continental breakfast, will begin at 7 a.m. in Room 2150 of WMU's Schneider Hall. The free Haworth College of Business program is sponsored by Keystone Community Bank. Parking will be available in the Fetzer Center parking lot. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the business dean's office at (269) 387-5050.

In his talk, Scannell will examine the critical supply chain management processes and trends as they relate to West Michigan industries. He will discuss opportunities for strengthening the competitiveness of West Michigan firms through collaborative supply chain management initiatives and resource leveraging, such as through group purchasing organizations. Examples specific to the health care, education and pharmaceutical industries will be among those Scannell outlines.

"Customers increasingly expect higher quality products and services, customized with the latest features and technologies, all at lower prices and with faster deliveries," he says. "At the same time, there has been significant change in technologies, product life cycles and global competitiveness.

"These significant demand and supply-side pressures require companies to make decisions more quickly, while struggling to find and analyze all the information needed to make those judgments. Companies that recognize these pressures and adopt supply chain management strategies and processes will better manage information and materials, not to mention reducing costs and improving service."

Scannell has been a member of the Haworth College of Business faculty since 1999. Before joining WMU, he worked as an engineer at Smiths Industries Aerospace in Grand Rapids, Mich. He earned his bachelor's and MBA degrees at WMU, and his doctoral degree at Michigan State University.

The Keystone Community Bank Breakfast Series at the Haworth College of Business features WMU faculty and alumni speaking about their research and teaching on a variety of timely business issues. The company and college formed the partnership in 2000 to offer monthly presentations that are free and open to the public.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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