Supply chain management is a relatively new discipline. You may feel that not all necessary information is available at your finger tips. You may have to spend lots of time in libraries to gather information, try to understand strange terminology and try to figure out how to draw useful information.
Luckily, we've been there and we are here to help you. This article is created to make your life easier and become more productivity. So let's have a look :)
Find Valuable Data
1. Access public data from Data.gov
Supply chain management is part of complex economic activities. Then you need to understand the big picture. Data from Data.gov will help you do just that. To find data set to analyze, head to Data.gov and enter the keyword of your choice.
2. Ask Google to find more public data
You can find more public data from leading organization such as World Bank, WTO, etc on Google Public Data. The good point of this database is that it visualizes data for you so you can understand more quickly.
Resource: Google Public Data
3. Track public policy development on Pew Research Center
At Pew Research Center, you can browse the report related to public policy published since 1983. The report itself is so comprehensive and full of useful data and charts.
Resource: Pew Research Center
4. Utilize GIS data from ArcGis
GIS data has been used to analyze supply chain related issues such as vehicle routing and location strategy. Here at ArcGis, you can find lots of GIS data for free!
Resource: ArcGIS Open Data
5. Understand online consumer behavior via Think With Google
Google has provided lots of data for you to understand what, when, why and how customers make online purchase via the interactive data.
Resource: Think with Google
6. See the real supply chain via Commodity Flow Survey
Commodity Flow Survey is a survey conducted every 5 years (in the year ending in 2 and 7) by Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce and Department of Transportation. The data is grouped by industry based on North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Commodity Flow Survey is one way to understand supply chain of every industry in the United States.
Resource: Commodity Flow Survey
7. Compare logistics infrastructure using Logistics Performance Index
World Bank has produced Logistics Performance Index (LPI) report since 2007 to aid policy makers to benchmark logistics infrastructure in their countries. For business people, LPI is the way to help them evaluate the location of new production and distribution facilities.
Resource: Logistics Performance Index
8. Obtain more research articles from Google Scholar
We believe you have access to major research database and corpus. However, you will find that the collection of articles related to logistics and supply chain management can be very limited. Just type the below query into google scholar and you will find additional articles.
Resource: Google Scholar
9. Find more supply chain case studies via MIT Dspace
Case study analysis can be useful for both college students and supply chain practitioners. MIT 9-month SCM program is known to produce good amount of case study research and they're available to anyone (printing is disabled).
Resource: MIT Dspace
10. Find even more supply chain case studies on DiVA Portal
One thing we're fascinated by supply chain management is that many best practices can be implemented differently in each country. DiVa Portal will provide you with many outstanding case studies from European side.
Resource: DiVA Portal
11. Find Working Papers on Social Science Research Network (SSRN)
Working paper is the good way for academia to discuss contemporary issues in any subjects. Because they don't have to worry if it will be published by particular journal. However, we believe most working papers have very high standard.
12. Track case studies from Harvard Business School Publishing (HBSP)
Many textbooks provide learners with real world examples from HBSP case studies. The link below will help you locate case studies by subject areas and by textbooks.
Resource: Textbook Case Maps
13. Use Google Form to conduct a short survey
If your assignment involves a short survey, using Google form can be a walk in the park.
Resource: Google Form
14. Make sense of supply chain terms using CSCMP Glossary
We know for sure that many terms used in supply chain management have special meaning and this can be a headache. So we believe CSCMP supply chain glossary is one of the most useful resource to use.
Resource: CSCMP Supply Chain Glossary
15. Streamline your note taking with Microsoft OneNote
Notepad is out, OneNote is in! With OneNote, you have many ways to take note and sync them to all devices you have.
Resource: Microsoft OneNote
16. Save your articles in Pocket and read them later
You can try to balance your life by saving useful articles quickly and read them later using the software called "Pocket"
17. Manage your time and your team with Trello
Organize and brainstorm your ideas with team mate with the software called Trello. This software also helps you prioritize your project effectively.
18. Manage more complex project with Gantt Project
In case you would like to apply project management knowledge to your current assignment, Gantt Project is the ideal software for you. Because it follows sound project management methodology and it's free!
Resource: Gantt Project
Analyze and Present Information
19. Visualize data like a pro using Tableau Public
With Tableau Public you can create amazing graph and chart so you can find hidden patterns inside your data. However, please note that any data you upload will be publicly available to other uses (because it's a free version).
Resource: Tableau Public
20. Need more analytics power? Try R Stat
In case you need to analyze more complex data, R Stat is the ideal resource. R Stat may seem to be too complicated for you. But we know for the fact that people use it because extensive model library that you can use. So you don't have to really learn programming at all.
Resource: R Stat
21. Make flow chart for free with Dia Diagram
Dia Diagram is the open source software that enables you to create flowchart and diagram quickly. Our suggestion is that don't use the default color scheme and try to pick your own colors.
Resource: Dia Diagram
22. Make value stream mapping for free with Draw.io
Studying about lean manufacturing and can't find free VSM software? Draw.io is the real hidden gem. Just click to create new diagram and VSM is under "business" diagram.
23. Make mindmap quickly using Mind Maple
Mind Maple is one of the most effective and free mind mapping softwares we would like you to try.
Resource: Mind Maple
24. Create outstanding graphics with Canva
We use Canva here at SupplyChainOpz. It's so useful because anyone can create beautiful graphics and this helps a lot to communicate the ideas. Pick any template you want to use, add it to your paper and your professors will be stunned!
25. Nail your presentation using Prezi
Use Prezi if you don't want to face with "Death by PowerPoint". Jazz up your presentation using zoom presentation like Prezi is the good way to wow your classmate.
Make Perfect Assignment
26. Minimize grammatical and stylistic errors with "After the Deadline"
Clear writing is the best way to make perfect paper. To help you with this, we would like to introduce the free software called "After the Deadline". What you have to do is to put text in the box and this software will do the magic. You can also download this add on for OpenOffice suite.
Resource: After the Deadline
27. Eliminate cliche using Cliche Finder
Do you know how often you use cliche in your writing? Well, just put text in the box to find out.
Resource: Cliche Finder
28. Cite your sources properly using RefME
RefMe is the tool to help you manage reference properly including APA, Harvard and MLA.
Follow Industry Trends
29. Follow supply chain blogs that matter
From time to time we try to identify top supply chain blogs that people should follow. One of our blog lists was cited by scholar articles so we believe you should check it out too.
Resource: SCM Global 100
30. Follow influencers that you should care about
Twitter is used to spread knowledge and experience by authority figures in virtually every industry. The list below consists of top influencers in scm that you should follow.
Resource: Supply Chain Power Influencer
31. Don't have time to read? Listen to podcast
Knowledge is everywhere including in your smart phone. Listening to podcast is the smart and convenient way to understand what happens in supply chain management space.
Resource: Supply Chain Insight Podcast
32. Find interesting questions (and help to answer) on Quora
When it comes to Q&A site related to supply chain management, most people will always think about LinkedIn. Anyway, we believe Quora has higher quality because answers tend to be genuine and helpful. You can also try to contribute here by helping to answer questions.
Resource: Supply Chain Management Topics on Quora
Establish Career Path
33. Understand what a supply chain manager really does
Soft skills such as coordination and communication skills take years to develop. Then you should try to understand the roles and responsibilities of a supply chain manager so you know exactly how to develop yourself.
Resource: A Day in the Life of Supply Chain Manager
34. Develop the habits of supply chain manager
There are seven crucial things that a supply chain manager should have, let's find out as below,
Resource: 7 Habits of Supply Chain Manager
35. Follow the role model
Tim Cook is one of the most famous supply chain people to date. Because he worked in scm areas for a very long time and become one of the most successful CEOs in the world. Find out how he did it as below,
Resource: 7 Traits of a Great Supply Chain Leader
36. Develop job hunt skills
Do you know how to land dream supply chain jobs? The resource below has the advice from leading supply chain recruiters.
Resource: Experts Reveal How to Land Dream Supply Chain Jobs
37. Find supply chain jobs in the right place
One of the most important job search portals in this space is JobsInLogistcs. You really need to bookmark this site.
Resource: Jobs in Logistics
38. Don't like jobs in big companies? Try startup jobs
Job in a startup company can be a rewarding experience because you need to put theory into practice and try to do everything by yourself. You won't be surprised at all when you see yourself grow quickly.
Resource: Venture Loop
39. Want to be your own boss? Establish a startup company
Some people want to work in regular companies before establishing their own companies. We think this is a good idea but you need to study what kind of startup you really want to create. You can get some ideas from AngelList as below,
40. Understand startup world from CrunchBase
CrunchBase provides you with important information about angel investors, companies and industry. You really need to see this if you're in to startup world.
41. Follow startup trends on TechCrunch
TechCruch is not only about tech news but also about startup world. Another resource to find startup ideas.
42. Seek help from startup accelerators
If you believe you have a solid startup plan and outstanding products/services you would like to introduce to the world, you can seek help from startup accelerators. They will help you test your product ideas, find investors, help with legal issues as so on.
Keep On Learning
43. Enhance your analytical skill with help from Wharton
Data analytics has become more and more important in every field of business. Developing skill in this area in truly a resume booster. Acquire this new skill from Wharton as below,
Resource: Business Analytics Course by Wharton
44. Need more analytical skill? Take data science course by John Hopkins
If you plan to work in big corporation where big data are readily available, a new type of skill is required. Check out how sexy data science is from the course by John Hopkins
Resource: Data Science Course from Johns Hopkins University
45. Learn how to promote your company (and yourself) with the help from Northwestern University
Been working in back office function and don't think social media is important to you? Think again! Learn how to use social media to attract your future employers here.
Resource: Social Media Marketing Course from Northwestern University
46. Turn conflict into collaboration with help from UCI Extension
Supply chain management is about coordination/collaboration. Learn how to become a conductor and lead your own orchestra with a course from University of California Irvine Extension.
Resource: Conflict Management Course from UCI Extension
47. Want to become an ERP Consultant? Mastering your project management skill
Take this project management course from University of California Irvine Extension and qualify for Project Management Institute's educational requirement.
Resource: Project Management Course from UCI Extension
48. Develop your leadership skill with help from University of Illinois
Test this course by University of Illinois and get college credits towards iMBA program (traditional admission requirements applied).
Resource: Leadership Course from University of Illinois
49. Create a pathway to MBA program with this course
Take this value chain analysis course from University of Illinois and make your way to one of the best university in the country.
Resource: Value Chain Management Course from University of Illinois
50. Want to go to top SCM program? Take this course from Rutgers
Complete this scm courses, apply for Master of Supply Chain Management Program and join one of the best scm program in the country from Rutgers University.
Resource: SCM Courses from Rutgers University
Wow! Do you find this list useful? Are there some other resources we should add?
Posted by Ben Benjabutr, the editor of SupplyChainOpz.com