Supply Chain Management minor hits mark

The Faculty of Management recently announced the establishment of a new minor in Supply Chain Management (SCM) to serve a fast-growing group of people whose enhanced skills will be critical to purchasing and moving materials and merchandise in a global economy.

The new program was established in response to the increasing need for supply chain professionals in a wide variety of industries.

"There are more than 85,000 people employed in supply chain management in Alberta and the average salary is $80,000 to $90,000 per year," says Faculty of Management dean,
Dr. Bob Ellis. "There is very strong job growth for well-trained professionals in this field, so there are great opportunities for the students who choose this minor."

Darren Caines, executive director of the Alberta Institute of the Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC), says that supply chain management is a vital piece in business strategy.

"This is a fast-growing field with lots of opportunities – in the next three years, more than 80,000 graduates will be needed annually in Canada to meet employment demand."

Caines adds that students can also become accredited as Certified Professional Purchasers – a designation offered through PMAC.

"Those with the designation earn about 20 per cent more, on average, than those without," he says.

In the local and regional business community, people with skill sets that include managing materials and their movement can bring value to their employers.

"The courses being offered by the U of L give all management students the basic insights into supply management. It also exposes them to additional career possibilities through the Purchasing Management Association of Canada," says Alvin Kolibar, the logistics manager at Lethbridge-based Haul-All Equipment Ltd., which manufactures and ships its innovative waste management and recycling equipment systems across North America.

"The PMAC-supported courses will be a welcome addition to the University of Lethbridge in the coming years. Haul-All currently has one person involved with PMAC courses, and at this time, these courses are only available by correspondence for the Lethbridge area."

Students are already enrolled in the new minor, now offered on the Lethbridge campus. The program will also be offered to students on the Calgary and Edmonton campuses in the near future.

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