MBA Specialization in Procurement Management

Many aspects of a modern society fall under the “don’t notice it until it is not there” category. In a world where “Just in Time” is the rule of trade, an ability to broker, contract, and manage competitive and efficient sourcing of goods and services is paramount. With knowledge and competency realms that span from operational, to tactical, to strategic, foundations in procurement constitute a vitally necessary skillset in contemporary business.

The Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business has launched a new MBA specialization in Procurement Management to meet these demands and uniquely position graduates within this growing facet of business.

The college recognizes that Procurement Management is more than a business necessity; it can be leveraged as a competitive advantage. Reducing costs, avoiding delays in production and delivery, enhancing quality, and optimizing resource allocation are just part of the reason procurement management is essential to organizations’ competitiveness.

The curriculum is designed to provide a broad theoretical and applied background to manage the effective development, procurement, contracting, and channeling of material, services, and systems to manage external supplier relationships and ensure these needed resources are acquired at the best possible cost and time. It provides a framework of the principles and tools required to embed category-based procurement organizations to control expenditure across the supply chain, tackling everyday challenges including cost, delays, quality, loss of control, and lack of cost visibility.

Southwest Airlines has effectively utilized the skills inherent in procurement

To best understand the advantages to be gained by expertise in procurement, consider Texas-based Southwest Airlines – a significant US and Texas success story. Known for pioneering the “low cost carrier” airline model, Southwest Airlines had perfected this approach by the 1990s. Among the strategies adopted by Southwest Airlines to ensure their success and growth well into the present day, was to engage in the practice of Jet Fuel Hedges. Simply put, this involves locking in fuel prices at a lower rate with the assumption that fuel prices will rise with certainty. Working strategically in this manner is part and parcel of the kinds of skills that a specialist in procurement brings to bear. The operational advantages in the case of Southwest Airlines put the company in an advantageous financial position that has frequently been distinctive.

The Southwest Airlines example suggests that Procurement Management is multi-disciplinary and draws upon multiple competencies. An understanding of law, regulation, governance is a critical competency as navigating negotiations and contracts is a necessity. Further, the ability to derive fact from incomplete and emergent data is another critical skill that requires adeptness with data and business analytics. Most of all, procurement enters into the dynamics of social and human factors to which the management discipline is well suited. If this mix of skills sounds compelling, then the Procurement Management Specialization would be a great match for you. The program is among a handful specializing in an area where demand is on the rise. Other Specializations in the MBA program The Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business have been highly-ranked by US News and World Report, the Financial Times.