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Supply Chain Transformation: Practical Roadmap to Best Practice Results by Richard Sherman

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Chapter 6

Supply Chain Management: A Pipeline of Opportunity

Whenever I am invited to speak at universities, either as part of an executive in residence program or at the invitation of my many academic colleagues, I like to talk about why a career in supply chain can be rewarding and secure. In fact, Glenn Richey and Alex Ellinger, both Pat Daugherty doctoral students and now professors at the University of Alabama, routinely invite me to speak to all of the undergraduate and graduate business students considering what to major in. They claim I have an outstanding conversion rate as more students declare supply chain as their major after my presentation than anyone else's.

Of course, I include my “Beam me a Bud, Scotty” story whenever I present. And then I talk to them about the fact that over the years, I have only identified a few professions who truly offer the security of lifetime employment. I use the example of swordsmen and typing pools as examples of careers wiped out by change. Then I tell the story of how, when I was at Burroughs early in my career, I became a little disillusioned. I applied to a blind ad for a director of marketing position in Chicago. It was a game-changing interview for me.

What company? Rosehill Cemetery was seeking a new marketing director and had a hired an Austrian M.D. in psychiatry to hire someone. As I entered the suite at the Drake Hotel for the interview, I noticed a tabletop of pamphlets and articles, authored by the interviewer, about cemetery ...

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