SCL Offers LEAN Supply Chain Professional Certificate

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Beginning in February 2010, the Georgia Tech Supply Chain Logistics Institute (SCL) will offer a lean supply chain professional certificate. This three-course series is the first certificate program of its kind. With a focus on building the lean supply chain professional, this program will change how supply chain professionals think, act, and lead by teaching them to develop and implement strategic and tactical elements of lean principles in the supply chain.

"Embracing lean thinking in the supply chain is no longer an option," said Robert Martichenko, senior lecturer at the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute and Director of the Lean Series. "It is a necessity in the new economy." Mr. Martichenko also is CEO of LeanCor, a 3PL dedicated to the application of lean principles throughout the supply chain.

According to Martichenko, successful organizations going forward will be those that focus on the customer, eliminate all non-value added activities, reduce lead times and inventories and build leaders that can navigate the supply chain from a cross-functional perspective. Organizations that are not focused on process disciplines may not survive in the new economy. And this is where lean thinking comes into play. When lean is successfully implemented in the supply chain, revenue will go up and costs will go down. This is the model of margin management and cash flow improvement required for today's success.

Lean professionals are focused on problem identification and problem solutions at the root case, as well as building a culture of continuous improvement into their organizations. To drive lean in the supply chain, the supply chain professional must have access to the tools and education; and this is the primary purpose of the Supply Chain Professional Certificate Program. The course material is applicable to all professionals responsible for supply chain, logistics, and materials function.

"We are committed to building individuals into serious, results-based lean supply chain professionals," said Martichenko. "Our deliverable is to successfully execute lean in the supply chain and achieve quantum results."

As a result-based program, this certificate will center on measurable areas. Some of the measurable areas include:

  • Reduced total cost of ownership
  • Increased fill rates
  • Reduced inventory levels
  • Improved supplier performance and accountability
  • Reduced logistics costs
  • Improved customer satisfaction and customer relationships
  • Reduced lead time
  • Reduced space requirements
  • Overall reduction of organizational and operation waste

The professional certificate series consists of three courses: Building the Lean Supply Chain Problem Solver, Building the Lean Supply Chain Professional, and Building the Lean Supply Chain Leader. Each course builds on the next and is designed be taken in order. Over a three-month period, participants will meet for three days per month to complete the certificate. In addition to the classes, participants will complete application projects in between courses to leverage understanding of learned concepts and to produce tangible results for their organization.

The course focus areas include:

Course 1: Building the Lean Supply Chain Problem Solver
This first course will introduce students to lean thinking and critical lean concepts. Lean problem solvers utilize skills such as waste identification and use of fundamental problem solving tools to eliminate excesses at the root cause. This course will aim to challenge current mental models and business paradigms to help participants look at operations from a new perspective. Upon ending this course, students will be able to pinpoint areas of excess in their organizations and thus solve problems by eliminating waste at the root cause.

Course 2: Building the Lean Supply Chain Professional
The purpose of the second course is to connect supply chain management with lean principles. The overarching theme of the course is "systems thinking," where participants will understand how "pull and one piece flow" will lead to reductions to "total cost" of the supply chain. Mental models such as "economies to scale" will be challenged and replaced with "economies of time," encouraging participants to connect lean and waste reduction to supply chain functions. Having completed the second course, participants will not only be lean problem solvers, they will understand how to connect lean and waste reduction to supply chain functions.

Course 3: Building the Lean Supply Chain Leader
Guiding an organization from traditional thinking to lean thinking requires leadership, so the final course focuses on building a lean supply chain leader who can sustain the organization's journey. In this course, participants will complete a deep dive of the concept of "House of Lean." They will explore the main aspects of lean leadership, focusing on topics such as "go see" management, "A3 thinking," and "leader as teacher."

If you are interested in taking your supply chain education and learning to the next level, this is a program you do not want to miss.

For more information on the times and dates of the courses or to register, visit:


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    Barbara Christopher
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