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Operations and Supply Management Program History

The Operations and Supply Management (OSM) major has been in existence at Ferris State University since the late 1980’s. Since its inception, the program has undergone numerous changes both in name and content to keep pace with industry trends and demand. 

The Operations portion of the program focuses on integrating the core Lean principles (process efficiency, value stream mapping, kaizen, PDCA, 5S, pull, leveling process stability, standardized work, root-cause problem resolution and A3 Reporting), Six Sigma (process quality), Lean culture (skills development), Lean cost management (value stream performance measurement), Lean Logistics (Plan for Every Part) and Leadership techniques (employee centric) to assist the organization in achieving and sustaining optimal employee and organization/operational performance.

The Supply Management section of the program concentrates on how to extend the organization’s internal lean system efficiencies to the organization's suppliers and customers using project management and appropriate software planning tools. Collaboration with an organization’s suppliers and service providers is essential in achieving the lean goal – delivering the right product/service at the right time, in the right quantity, to the right customer, at the right cost. Managing the flow of incoming and outbound goods, services, and related information involved provide valuable tools for turning logistics problems into an opportunity for competitive advantage. This cutting edge approach provides graduates with highly sought-after capabilities to improve operational & financial performance and monitor growth within any type of organization - e.g. banks, nonprofits, offices, hospitals, restaurants, manufacturing.

The OSM program has a rich collaborative history within the College of Business (COB) departments and other colleges across campus. The program continues its cooperative efforts by retaining the College of Engineering Technology courses within the OSM curriculum as well as coordinating efforts with COB departments with respect to course offerings. 

The OSM program is an excellent fit that encompasses both the mission of Ferris State University and the College of Business by giving students an education based not only on business theories, but current skills, practices, and trends industry employers are utilizing and seeking in the workplace. The skills OSM students develop will help them to obtain positions in Operations and/or Supply Chain Management in either the manufacturing or service industry depending upon the student’s particular interest.