The integrated supply management major was launched in September 1992 and in 2011 earned its first national ranking, being named 12th in undergraduate supply chain education by Gartner. WMU has been consistently ranked as a top program in the nation by Gartner ever since. Developed initially by two faculty members from the Haworth College of Business—Drs. Robert Landeros and Robert Reck—and Dr. David Lyth from the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences—the curriculum was developed on the basis of an extensive study.
Participants from 30 corporations were enlisted to help pair existing WMU courses with three new courses created specifically for the major. A key feature of the curriculum was the inclusion of five engineering courses to address the need for supply chain professionals to interact with engineering and manufacturing functions.
Since the first two students graduated in the spring of 1993, the program has grown not only in size, but also in recognition as major employers recognize the quality of the students in the program and the unique skills that its graduates possess.
The supply chain program continues to incorporate industry input through the ISM Executive Council. Twice a year, the program faculty meet with industry partners to evaluate the program and the curriculum. As a result of these continuous program reviews, the supply chain program has made changes to the curriculum that preserve the core distinction of combining business and engineering concepts while allowing students more flexibility to design their program for the range of careers available to graduates with supply management skills.
Recent initiatives have increased the information technology content in the curriculum to prepare students for the increasing use of information technology tools in supply management and developing relationships with international partners to provide semester study-abroad opportunities.