Loyola University Chicago

Quinlan School of Business

The future is now for the growing field of supply chain management

lockwood profile
Age; hometown
42; Eric grew up in Dartmouth, Mass., and now lives in Mundelein
Bachelor of Arts in communications, Hofstra University
Currently president of the hospitality division for Focus Products Group, which helps hotels outfit their rooms. He’s also an advisory board member for Loyola’s new Supply Chain Management master’s degree program.

How would you define “supply chain management” to someone who may not know much about it?

“It’s everything you go through—from start to finish—to sell a product. It’s everything from purchasing to manufacturing to distribution. It’s how do you become smarter about the way you manage your business.”

Why are we hearing more about it now?

“One of the things that’s come out of the current economy is companies have gotten a lot smarter about how they do business. Retailers, suppliers, and consumers don’t have as much money as they used to. That’s why there’s been an increased focus on supply chain management, because it’s become such a necessary piece of the business.”

Has supply chain management been a degree option for very long?

“Warehousing and sourcing have been around forever, but thinking of it as a professional discipline is far more recent. In the past, companies saw supply chain management as something that cost them money. What they’re seeing now is that if they educate people and invest in this area, that there’s a lot of value they can get out of it.”

 And what about job prospects?

“There are tons of opportunities. You can be an operations director in customer service, you can manage sourcing overseas, you can do any number of different things. The job opportunities—and these are all high-paying jobs—are really increasing, which is nice.”

 Why supply chain management instead of another type of graduate degree?

“You have the opportunity to impact an organization far more from an operations role than you do in any other position. You literally touch every piece of the business. … Also, a lot of the functions are universal and carry across from organization to organization. So you can work just about anywhere.”

 Connect with Eric on LinkedIn.