Welcome to the new SCRC Blog!
I’m relatively new to the blogging format, so I hope that readers will be patient with my first set of posts that are about to come out…..2010 is the 10th anniversary of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative. The SCRC was started on an idea and a dime, with the help of Dave Nelson (Chief Procurement Officer at John Deere at the time), and Steve Edwards, (the guy who trusted me enough to help make the SCRC a reality). After having invited Dave to speak at our NC State Executive forum in the fall of 2000, I gave him a ride to the airport, and we discussed the idea of bringing together industry, students, and faculty into a milieu where students could learn from industry, industry could work with students to shape their education (and also have them work on relevant projects for their business), and faculty could oversee the process, learn, and connect with the real world. This vision became a reality when Dave wrote us the first check to get the SCRC started (he called his manager from the airport!) Later partners included Duke Energy, General Motors, ABB, Bechtel, Bank of America, BP, Caterpillar, GlaxoSmithKline, Shell, Chevron, Ministry Health, IBM, Lenovo, BlueCrossBlueShield, Nortel Networks, BioigenIdec, and others. While some of these partners are no longer around, executives at all of these companies helped shape our students and our curriculum, and their imprint is indelible. In other words, the idea stuck, and the SCRC continues to take in new students, engage them in new company projects, and companies keep coming back again and again for more.
The SCRC worked because we saw a need, and executives were quick to recognize that we could provide them with a resource that met that need: talented young people entering the workforce with supply chain knowledge that allowed them to “hit the ground running”. These young people brought a fresh view to problems that were once viewed as insurmountable. They brought with them an intensity to learn, explore, and try new approaches that had been unexplored in the past. Most importantly, they brought with them an unabashed lack of fear to ask “stupid questions”. As we’ve learned over the years, stupid questions are often met with a response of “well, we’ve never asked that question before….”
Over ten years, the SCRC team (faculty, staff and students) have accumulated a lot of knowledge, insight, experience, and most importantly, long-standing relationships with executives and officials across multiple industries and branches of government. Everyday, we are privy to fascinating conversations, exposed to diverse points of view on industry, government, and the environment, and work on fascinating problems that broach multiple facets of global supply chain management. As the world becomes smaller, and more complex, the need to branch out and learn, listen, understand, and share these points of view becomes critical to the well-being of our global community.
From my office in 2806 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC, USA, I can see a small part of that world. But in the offices and discussions that take place in the space around these offices, knowledge, insight, and learning is taking place at a breakneck speed as we speak. This blog is intended to provide a view into the learning and knowledge creation that is taking place in this forum. We won’t be violating any of the non-disclosure agreements that surround our relationships. The views that are presented are my own interpretations, and do not reflect those of the students, faculty, or staff of NC State University. But I believe you will find them of interest, and I look forward to your comments, viewpoints, and discussions……so here we go!