Morgan Swink

Systematic innovation

Executive Director of the Neeley Supply and Value Chain Center and James L. and Eunice West Chair in Supply Chain Management

On the TCU faculty: Since 2010.
Previously: Faculty, Broad School, Michigan State University (ranked #2 among U.S. supply chain programs); faculty, Indiana University Business School; winner of multiple teaching/faculty awards; engineer for Texas Instruments for 10 years.
Education: PhD, Indiana University Graduate School of Business; MBA, University of Dallas; BS, Southern Methodist University.
Expert in: Supply chain management; project management; product/process innovation and management; operations strategy.
Career leadership: Co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Operations Management; co-authored three books and published more than 50 articles in academic and managerial journals.
International involvement: Experience in China, Korea and England.
Hobbies: Golf, tennis and reading.

The Neeley difference: Many schools house supply chain courses in marketing departments, while others focus on a single aspect such as purchasing or operations management. But TCU offers one of a very few integrated supply chain programs in the country — and it attracts top talent. “Students at Neeley are as good if not better than students at Michigan State, which ranked either #1 or #2 all the years I was there. We have an end-to-end view that includes customer relationships, supplier relationships and internal operations. Michigan State and TCU are the only schools I know that have a dedicated supply chain department, and we have our own center, too.”

Hot topics: A course in supply chain analytics uses rich data from enterprise resource planning systems for a peek inside complex processes. “Through data mining and large-scale analysis techniques, we can find anomalies, understand what’s happening and take advantage of opportunities to improve policies and procedures. The course gives our MBAs tools that are really valuable for them and the recruiters who hire them.” Students can also become Six Sigma Green Belt Certified through an elective on quality management. Risk management and resilience remain high-profile issues; a distinctive course on global supply chain takes advantage of a “geographically global” faculty. And Swink himself is a leader in innovation management, looking at how supply chain supports product development and process innovation.

Supply chain in the middle: Finance relies on specific tools and methods to support its mathematical outlook, and marketing, with its concepts and softer topics, is at the other end of the spectrum. “Supply chain covers the techniques — but it’s an integrated, high-level systems view. Decisions made in supply chain have an impact on both marketing and finance. We think beyond functions or even internal walls or organizations to focus on relationships that extend upstream and downstream with suppliers and customers.”

Stand and deliver: Active learning sets the Neeley MBA program apart, Swink says. Supply chain students visited China in the spring to tour manufacturing plants, ports and logistics hubs. Many students are involved in the Neeley & Associates Consulting group. A 15-member corporate advisory board in the Supply and Value Chain Center –– and the center’s close relationships with many other companies –– yields additional projects, including a survey design for BNSF to understand opinions about and needs for intermodal logistics services. “There are lots of opportunities to learn outside the building.”

Location matters: Dallas-Fort Worth has more corporate headquarters than any other city in the United States — including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York — so Swink reaches out to companies, planning four or five major supply chain events a year at Neeley and offering networking meetings for students that resemble professional speed dating. But that’s not the metroplex’s only plus. “It’s a logistics hub, a supply chain center for the country, because it’s centrally located and close to the Port of Houston. Lots of supply chain programs are in rural or college town situations. We’re in a metro area that offers a lot of untapped opportunity.”

Career success: TCU MBAs translate the Neeley School’s excellent reputation into solid careers all around the nation. “We’re doing great. Everyone in the supply chain concentration has gotten jobs. Most of them stay around, though some are going to California, Arizona and other places across the country.”

Related Stories

Morgan Swink

“The Neeley School is on the rise. It’s a good time to be here.”

Get the Inside Scoop More about VIPRequest Info

Already a VIP? Log in