Supply chain executive speaks to retail management students

Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine your professors outside of the classroom. But that gets a bit easier when their childhood friends come as guest speakers.

That was the case in April when Irv Grossman, executive vice president of Chainalytics, a global supply chain consulting firm based in Atlanta, Ga., talked to Dr. Scott Powell’s Retail Management students.

In addition to his wealth of experience in supply chain management, Grossman boasts a 40-plus-year friendship with Dr. Powell. A picture of the friends at 7 years old flashing peace signs projected in front of the class was a great kick-off. 

Grossman began his presentation by giving background about his own career progression. After taking a supply chain course during his junior year in college, he decided to switch his major to business logistics. After earning his MBA and working his way up the career ladder at companies including Kraft Foods, Accenture, Cingular Wireless and Honda North America, Grossman started his own consulting business — Chainnovations, which was acquired by Chainalytics in 2011.

Grossman provided an overview of his field, describing the management of the supply chain — material, people, money and information — as a very important balancing act. He believes that effective supply chain management is likely the most critical asset a company can have. Grossman presented a statistic showing that supply chain disruption had cost businesses $56 billion in 2015.    

For students interested in entering the field, Grossman provided a helpful list of typical roles, ranging from entry level retail buyer positions to experienced commodity specialists. Grossman encouraged students to learn more about the field by reaching out to professional industry associations such as APICS. 

Grossman urged students to consider a supply chain career. Not only is the field a great way to learn all facets of business, there is also a looming talent gap — as a result of aging executives in the field — which will mean more job openings. Who will fill these roles? Hopefully, Grove City College students will be among those who rise to the challenge.

Supply chain executive speaks to retail management students

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