Developing a Distinctive Consulting Capstone Course in a Supply Chain Curriculum
This article describes a required capstone course for students in the Global Supply Chain Management (GSCM) Program at Bryant University, designed to prepare students for a career in supply chain management. Student teams work on semester-long projects for locally and regionally based companies. The projects are supported by all GSCM faculty who teach in the Information Systems and Analytics, Management, and Marketing departments. Since the inception of this capstone course in the fall of 2010, a total of 83 projects for 42 companies have been completed. Hence this article discusses an extensive number of projects over an extended period of time, and our insights should be of interest to supply chain faculty who currently have, or plan to include, empirical projects as a key component of their course or supply chain program. We present a brief literature review on teaching supply chain management, and then describe the practicum capstone course, Empirical Applications in Global Supply Chain Management. We provide company and project descriptions and discuss project outcomes. Students have estimated savings/earnings impact of $109.5 million from 35 projects completed over a 4-year period. Although not without challenges, the practicum capstone course provides students with an integrative, multidisciplinary experience that better prepares them for their careers.