Robert Combs and Adam Cosentino, two of the top students in the Supply Chain Management (SCM) program, were selected to participate in the Madison County Supply Chain Assessment Survey. Work on the survey began over the summer and has continued into the fall semester.
Robert and Adam are both non-traditional students – seniors from Lexington. Robert is pursuing his BBA in Supply Chain Management. Adam is pursuing a double major in Supply Chain Management as well as General Management.
The survey originated with a request from Tonita Goodwin-Executive Director of the Richmond Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC) to have a general idea of the state of the supply chain activities, practices, strengths, and opportunities in Madison County. The expansion of nearby supply chain partners would hopefully lead to economic expansion in Madison County. The survey was created to assess the general state of the supply chain in Madison Co. It was an opportunity for EKU to learn what the community needs and try to respond. This survey has a universal applicability that, with minimal modifications, makes it pertinent to other economic entities.
The survey underwent around 20 revisions before it was published. Robert and Adam developed the survey from the ground up, with the help of Mr. Kirby Easterling, the Executive-in-Residence of the Supply Chain Management program who has 22 years of corporate supply chain experience under his belt. Dr. Lana Carnes and Dr. Weiling Zhuang were also imperative in the development of the survey.
Specifically, the survey states that it would help the following:
- Understand how developed and systemized the practice of supply management is in Madison County.
- Identify supply chain management trends and/or opportunities for helping local entities become more competitive.
- Determine identifiable knowledge and competency gaps among surveyed firms which may need to be addressed to encourage further overall economic local/county/regional development.
There are three different phases to this project. Phase I was to create the survey, which has been accomplished. Phase II was to administer the survey to various businesses in Madison County. Robert and Adam plan to meet with the top executives at around 25 corporations to discuss the survey contents. Phase III is the actual analytics portion. Toward the end of the year, Robert and Adam plan to present their findings to EKU faculty and staff, manufacturers, and officials from the city, county, and state government.
The more advanced that the supply chain management practice is in Madison County, the more attractive that will be to potential companies. This, in turn, creates increased employment opportunities in Madison County.
Robert had only great things to say about the Supply Chain Management program. He stated it was a “great, highly quantitative program” that would leave students feeling well-prepared for the job market, and that the knowledge they obtain at EKU will be attractive to potential employers. Robert also stated that SCM jobs are available all over the United States, although the “hotspots” are the major U.S. port towns and air freight hubs such as Louisville, Seattle, Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego, and Charleston.
For more information about the Supply Chain Management program, visit http://management.eku.edu/GSM or contact Mr. Kirby Easterling at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Weiling Zhuang at email@example.com.
-written by Lauren Ray, Graduate Assistant
Office of the Dean, EKU College of Business and Technology