OPM 601: Supply Chain Strategy

Supply chains comprise organizations, resources, and processes aimed at satisfying customer demand. Their effectiveness is paramount to the creation of business value. Carefully designed and well-run supply chains are an important source of competitive advantage. Particular complexities arise from the interplay between different members of a supply chain, including suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers. While they all pursue their own objectives they are also dependent on each other and must coordinate their activities to serve the customer. This course addresses the dynamics resulting from the interaction between supply chain members and introduces concepts for achieving supply chain alignment. It presents common forms of supply chain collaboration and discusses their potential and challenges. After establishing the fundamentals, the course proceeds to discuss how recent trends are impacting supply chain management, including sustainability, e-fulfillment, digitalization, and resilience. The course takes an analytics-oriented approach and introduces quantitative models as a means for analyzing strategic issues in supply chain management.

Learning outcomes
Students will understand the role of supply chain management and its impact on firm performance. They will be aware of strategic implications of supply chain design choices. They will recognize the potential of coordinated decision making along the supply chain and be aware of obstacles that complicate this coordination. The students will get to know mechanisms for aligning incentives of different supply chain members. They will be acquainted with relevant business analytics techniques to assess and optimize supply chain performance. Students will also be aware of relevant recent trends and of their impact on supply chain management.

Necessary prerequisites
At least one of the modules OPM 501, 502, 561, 581, 582, or 591 (parallel attendance possible); other modules may be accepted upon request.

Recommended prerequisites
Participants should be familiar with fundamentals of operations and supply chain management. Attendance of modules OPM 501 and OPM 502 is beneficial but not necessary. The course further assumes a basic knowledge in mathematics (including Linear Programming) and in statistics (probability distributions).

Forms of teaching and learningContact hoursIndependent study time
Lecture2 SWS8 SWS
Exercise class2 SWS5 SWS
ECTS credits6
Graded yes
Form of assessmentWritten exam (90 min)
Restricted admissionno
Further information
Performing lecturer
Prof. Dr. Moritz Fleischmann
Prof. Dr. Moritz Fleischmann
Frequency of offeringSpring semester
Duration of module 1 semester
Range of applicationM.Sc. MMM, M.Sc. Bus. Edu., M.Sc. Econ., M.Sc. Bus. Inf., M.Sc. Bus. Math.
Preliminary course work
Program-specific Competency GoalsCG 1, CG 3
LiteratureRecommended (not mandatory):
  • Chopra, S., Supply Chain Management: Strategy, Planning, and Operation, 7th Global Edition, Pearson, 2019
  • Additional specific literature will be communicated in the course
Course outlineTentative outline (subject to change):
  • Introduction to Supply Chain Management
  • Supply Chain Design
  • Value of Information
  • Supply Chain Coordination and Integration
  • Sustainability and Closed-Loop Supply Chains
  • Supply Chain Management in e-Commerce
  • Digitalisation in Supply Chain Management