• University of Warwick

Supply Chains in Practice: How Things Get to You

Behind each simple everyday activity there is a complex web of supply chains that have brought those goods or services to you.

7,741 enrolled on this course

Behind each simple everyday activity there is a complex web of supply chains that have brought those goods or services to you.
  • Duration

    6 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours

This free online course will explore the complex web of supply chains that bring goods or services to you.

Take, for example, eating your cereal in the morning. The cereal and milk have gone through a seamless chain of processes to get from the field to your kitchen table. The bowl and spoon also had to be manufactured from raw materials and retailed to you. Did you go to a shop to buy these things, or did you have them delivered?

Skip to 0 minutes and 17 seconds Supply chains are all around us, yet we take them for granted. Imagine a world without water, without food, without medicine, without our homes, that would be a world without supply chains. Take an everyday occurrence like eating your breakfast– your cereal, your milk, the bowl, your spoon. They’ve all got to you via a supply chain.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 seconds The MOOC is designed to have broad appeal. If you understand how supply chains work in practice, you’ll start to look at the world differently. As a consumer, it could change how you behave. And from an organisational perspective, that kind of understanding can help to make more holistic and long-term decisions.

Skip to 1 minute and 1 second This MOOC is going to take you on a journey through the basic principles with different processes– the planning, manufacturing, the logistics– and we want to understand how these things work in practice through case studies. Some of the companies we have worked with include Robert Welch, Rype Office John Lewis, Alucast. [Radio: Chukka Umunnan] I think of supply chains as being the blood that pumps the heart in our economic system. They are such an important part of the economy. It’s a six-week course, and each module will begin with a course introductory video, some core principles, and different supporting materials. Each week, we’d expect you to commit about two hours to the MOOC, digesting content.

Skip to 1 minute and 40 seconds There’s some interactive work through the discussion boards, small activities. And at the end of each week, there’ll be a short quiz just to check your understanding.

Skip to 1 minute and 55 seconds We hope that this MOOC will spark your imagination, will get you to think about the world of supply chains differently, and that help you make more informed decisions, either as an individual consumer or within your organisation.

What topics will you cover?

  1. Just the tip of the iceberg: what is the supply chain?
  2. The global orchestra: balancing supply and demand
  3. Shop till you drop: purchasing and procurement in context
  4. Factory of the future: changing nature of manufacturing
  5. I like to move it, move it: logistics in context
  6. Closing the loop: meeting the challenges of a more circular economy

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at everyone who has an interest in finding out more about supply chains and their management. No prior knowledge about supply chains is required and we recommend you spend between 2 to 4 hours per week on the course materials.

It will provide insight to those whose roles may not be directly involved in the supply chain, but wish to see how their role interacts. It will also benefit those currently working within one part of a supply chain, who wish to understand the broader supply chain context.

Who will you learn with?

I lead the Supply Chain Research Group and the Supply Chains in Practice (SCIP) industrial collaborator forum. My work is focused on helping companies turn supply chain theory into practical reality.

I bring together academic thinking with practical application in the design and delivery of Masters level business programs to support individual and organisation success.

Dr Donato Masi is an Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management at the University of Warwick and his research focuses on the role of Supply Chains in the Circular Economy.

A s/c consultant, author & trainer, & Associate Lecturer at the University of Warwick. Written three books on logistics subjects. Other courses can be found at https://appriseconsulting.teachable.com

Who developed the course?

The University of Warwick

The University of Warwick is forward-looking, entrepreneurial and globally connected. With new ways of thinking and achieving it stands out from its competitors as an inspiring place to study.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control

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