Designing a Supply Chain Management Academic Curriculum Using QFD and Benchmarking

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QAE 16,1

Received 9 February 2007 Revised July 2007 Accepted 30 October 2007

Designing a supply chain management academic curriculum using QFD and benchmarking Marvin E. Gonzalez, Gioconda Quesada, Kent Gourdin and Mark Hartley College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to utilize quality function deployment (QFD), Benchmarking analyses and other innovative quality tools to develop a new customer-centered undergraduate curriculum in supply chain management (SCM). Design/methodology/approach – The researchers used potential employers as the source for data collection. Then, they used QFD and benchmarking to develop a Voice of Customer matrix. Using information from the matrix, a new customer-oriented SCM undergraduate programme was designed. Findings – The researchers outline a practical solution to the problem of designing academic programmes which satisfy the main expectations of potential employers (customers). Research limitations/implications – The study is specifically concerned with the design of an SCM curriculum, but the researchers argue that the design methodology could be applied in other academic contexts. Practical implications – The application of QFD and benchmarking as a joint analysis tool is an interesting approach in education because the information is analysed from different perspectives simultaneously. The new programme successfully meets customer/employer expectations and requirements. Originality/value – This study demonstrates the effective application of quality design tools to enhance academic programmes. The approach can clearly be extended to other areas for the design of specific courses and programmes. The most important needs in programme design are those of identifying the programme’s main customers and of clarifying their expectations. Keywords Quality, Customers, Higher education, Quality function deployment, Benchmarking, Supply chain management Paper type Research paper

Quality Assurance in Education Vol. 16 No. 1, 2008 pp. 36-60 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0968-4883 DOI 10.1108/09684880810848404

Introduction Over the last 12 years, the concept of logistics management has been developed within a broader discipline of supply chain management. This new field involves all approaches used to efficiently integrate all participants of a supply chain so that products/services are delivered to the customer in the right quantities, to the right location, at the right time, and at optimal cost (Gonzalez et al., 2004). Scholars, along with practitioners, are continuously developing philosophies and tools to overcome the risks inherent in the current changing environment. The evolution of this concept is driven by the competitive global market place, where providing very high levels of efficiency and customer service are prerequisites to success (Rutner and Fawcett, 2005).

A few decades ago, total quality management arose as a philosophy that proposed the integration of functional areas in the organization for a common goal: customer satisfaction (Quesada, 1999). Firms started to think about their suppliers as strategic partners and began involving them in the strategic planning process (Ellram and Carr, 1994). Just a few years ago, both academic and practitioner communities were shifting paradigms regarding supply chain management. After years of viewing the organization as a single firm, they increasingly view them as one member of a network of suppliers and customers, comprising a supply chain (Leenders et al., 1994; Harland, 1996; Choon et al., 2002). However, this paradigm shift must be supported by the academic institutions that must prepare those future leaders who will eventually have the responsibility for achieving higher standards in supply chain issues in both the services and manufacturing...
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