UT Report Provides Solutions to Truck Driver Shortage, Identifies Broader Supply Chain Talent Crunch

Recent estimates of a 300,000 truck driver shortage have drawn attention from media across the nation, but a report from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business reveals an even broader crisis in supply chain talent.

Higher supply chain volumes and greater operational complexities are creating increased demand for logistics professionals at every level of the supply chain, from the frontlines to senior executives. As the economy continues to recover and more Baby Boomers reach retirement age, those shortages are likely only to increase.

In the recently released white paper “Supply Chain Talent, Our Greatest Resource,” UT’s supply chain faculty uncovers 10 talent myths that are impeding growth, as well as eight best practices from benchmark companies to analyze, find, recruit, develop and retain talent that meet a company’s long-term supply chain needs.

The report, sponsored by Ryder, a leading fleet management and supply chain solutions provider, outlines trends driving changes in supply chain talent. The speed of commerce and global nature of business has caused supply chain management to evolve significantly, and more companies are now looking to leverage their critical logistics functions as a strategic competitive advantage. This means the skills necessary to be successful in a supply chain role are more diverse, complex, and broader than ever, creating a challenging talent crunch within the supply chain functions of businesses across every industry.

Modern supply chain professionals must think beyond their technical role, contextualize their contribution to the business, manage outside vendors, and possess communications skills that transcend global cultural barriers. UT’s research shows that this managerial skill set is already scarce in the supply chain industry and most executives struggle to strategically recruit for their talent gaps.

“More than 90 percent of CEOs recognize that they need to change their strategies for managing talent,” says Shay Scott, director of UT’s executive MBA in supply chain management and co-author of the report. “We want to establish, first and foremost, that supply chain talent is a critical priority that must be addressed now. In addition to addressing the truck driver shortage, this report gives executives a strategy to begin building toward long-term solutions for whatever talent gap they have within their supply chains — from front line staff to high-level executives.”

“The truck driver shortage is an immediate concern to many businesses, especially those who are managing their own fleets,” says John Diez, president of dedicated transportation solutions at Ryder. “The study provides creative solutions to that issue, while also uncovering challenges and strategies to address broader talent gaps that have additional long-term effects on the global supply chain. These issues also create a compelling case for leveraging a third-party logistics specialist that can help companies by providing much needed expertise and infrastructure to support these critical functions.”

The report suggests that executives source talent like any other resource. Raw talent should be procured via systems like internship programs and relationships with top universities while existing labor reserves are further refined internally through mentorship and educational opportunities. The exception to this premise is the report’s emphasis on diversity in recruitment, which it advocates at all stages of talent management spectrum.

To read the full report, please visit http://globalsupplychaininstitute.utk.edu/publications/white-papers.asp.

Contact: Katie Bahr, writer/publicist at the Haslam College of Business, 865-974-3589 or katiebahr@utk.edu

Posted in 2014

Aerospace and Defense Leaders Discuss Research, Meet Students at Haslam


More than 20 prominent leaders from industry recently came together at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business for the college’s annual Aerospace and Defense Advisory Board meeting.

Dan Stewart, UT’s assistant vice president for research, Bruce Behn, associate dean, and Andy White, director of the Aerospace and Defense Business Institute at Haslam, discussed the college’s service to the industry as well as its capabilities and plans to expand relationships and work opportunities. Board members provided feedback on program design and the industry’s needs for business education and research.

Advisory board members include representatives from corporations and organizations including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, the United States Air Force, Eaton Aerospace, Iridium, ATK, Pratt & Whitney, Jacobs Technology, the Tennessee Valley Corridor and numerous small businesses.

In addition to the board’s business meeting, industry leaders met twice with students from three of the college’s graduate programs during their time in Knoxville in mid-April. The student-focused meetings provide excellent exposure for Haslam students, said Behn. “These boards provide great opportunities to showcase our students and their talents and to introduce them to our friends in government and industry,” said Behn. “These relationships are a very important part of how we serve society and our students.”

The college launched the Aerospace and Defense Business Institute in January to integrate industry outreach and synergies between research and teaching efforts. Haslam has carried out more than $58 million of applied research for the Air Force in the last decade and delivers executive education programs to the industry both in Knoxville and worldwide. The Aerospace and Defense MBA program has graduated more than 250 of the industry’s top leaders in the same period.

“Thirteen years ago members of this advisory board helped launch the college’s focus on this industry,” said White. “Today, the group continues to provide invaluable counsel and support. This year we expanded our board a bit to ensure we heard from every sector, and it made for a more effective meeting. Their input helps to make our teaching and research more relevant and valuable for all our stakeholders.”

Posted in 2015 | Tagged ,

Alumni Event Brings MBA Programs Together for the First Time

MBA-AlumnConnect-2015Executive, professional and full-time MBA graduates from the Haslam College of Business held their first joint alumni gathering on April 30. The event, held at Club LeConte in Knoxville, drew more than 25 alumni representing 20 years of MBA graduates.

Andy Ussery (MBA ’96) of Averitt Express said that he appreciated the opportunity to connect with more MBAs from his alma mater. “I met graduates from the executive and professional MBA tracks at UT’s Supply Chain Forum but rarely on other occasions,” Ussery said. “Any time you can make cross-generational and cross-industry contacts helps you to learn and provides a resource down the road.”

Mei Ling Davis (ProMBA ‘12), who is Chief Financial Officer of the Gingrich Team, also appreciated the broader alumni base at the event. “I knew there were other levels of MBAs at Haslam, but with this event my network multiplied in literally 30 minutes. I can’t miss this kind of business opportunity,” Davis said. “Seeing UT’s expansion from above the city and meeting fellow MBAs made me so proud to be a Haslam alumna.”

The alumni connect event was held preceding an MBA advisory board meeting on May 1. The meeting is the first official gathering of the 20-member board under Director of Graduate Programs, Trent Thurman, who joined the Haslam College of Business in August 2014.

Posted in 2014

Haslam Students Win Human Resource Competition a Third Time

Haslam College of Business students have won the regional Society for Human Resource Management case competition for the third time in the last five years. Twenty-two schools competed during the event, which was held April 23-24 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Haslam’s undergraduate team included McCall Beckler, Sarah Norris, Catherine Hawkins, Evan Corlew and Shea Lowe, all human resource majors.

Debbie Mackey, the team’s advisor and a senior lecturer in the Department of Management, said the students spent weeks practicing in front of industry professionals. “They did a fantastic job of answering difficult financial questions concerning the case,” Mackey said. “The judges said they were so polished they could have been a graduate team.”

The winning team received $2,500 and free registration to the national SHRM conference where they will be recognized in front of 18,000 human resource professionals. In previous years SHRM also has recognized Haslam’s student chapter as the most outstanding worldwide four times, and Mackey as national advisor of the year.

Haslam students competed against Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, Indiana State University, Colorado State University, University of South Dakota and Olivet Nazarene University as part of the central region of the SHRM. Although the competition was divided into regions, this was the final round. Haslam’s graduate team including Christiana Goode, Kimberlee Lowe, Samantha Thiesen, Alycia White and Casey Lilienthial placed fourth in the region.

CONTACT: Katie Bahr (865-974-3589, katiebahr@utk.edu)

Posted in 2015 | Tagged ,

Accounting Department Leaders Gather in Celebration of Stanga


Pictured left to right are: Jack Kiger, Jan Williams, Keith Stanga, Dan Murphy, Bruce Behn and Joe Carcello

Six previous Accounting and Information Management department heads numbered among the guests at Professor Keith Stanga’s retirement reception on April 20. Stanga, the Andersen Professor of Accounting, will surrender his post at the Haslam College of Business on June 30, 2015, ending a 41-year career as a full-time accounting educator.

Stanga has taught thousands of University of Tennessee students and has received several teaching awards. He served as the Ph.D. advisor in accounting for several years and on UT’s faculty senate, undergraduate council and athletics board. He was head of the department for 10 years.

Stanga says he has witnessed much change at the university over the course of his 38-year tenure at UT. “But one important thing has not changed,” Stanga says. “Our faculty has always strived for excellent teaching and student placement into high-quality internships and career positions.”


Posted in 2014

Senior Impact Campaign Sees Record Levels of Student Giving

Business students in the class of 2015 donated more than $19,000 to the Haslam College of Business during this year’s Senior Impact campaign. A record 40 percent of the class’s 537 students made a gift of $5 or more.

From March 23 to April 3, seniors were encouraged to donate to the fund that impacted them the most while at Haslam, ensuring that future students’ experiences will match or exceed their own. Funds supporting each of the departments were included, as well as scholarships, diversity and inclusion, athletics, the Venture Living Learning Community and many others.

A group of 15 seniors chosen by their peers led the campaign, making presentations on behalf of the campaign in every Management 402 class, a mandatory course for all business majors. Students who made a gift of $20.15 or more were given an orange and white cord to wear during graduation, and the class with the highest participation rate received a pizza party.  The 40 percent giving rate represents a 14 percent increase over last year’s Senior Impact participation level.

Three seniors from the Senior Impact team will present a check to Dean Steve Mangum during graduation as a symbol of the legacy the Class of 2015 will leave.

Posted in 2015 | Tagged ,

Haslam Students Take Second Place at Supply Chain Competition


The Haslam College of Business’ team was the runner up in the annual Intermodal Association of North America’s Logistics and Supply Chain Management Case Competition. Hosted by the University of Northern Florida, the undergraduate competition took place on April 15.

Haslam students have participated in the IANA/UNF competition during five of its seven years and have placed second or first in their past four attempts. “The continued success of the Haslam students is a testament to the quality of our program and to the caliber of our students,” said Diane Mollenkopf, the McCormick Associate Professor, Supply Chain Management and advisor for the student group.

This year’s Haslam team members included seniors Ethan McCullough, Matthew Nolte, Andrew Reed, and sophomore Grant Taylor. The team was selected based on their participation in the EY-sponsored case competition held at the Haslam College of Business in fall 2014. The on-campus competition was started by supply chain students in 2013 as a way to help improve their analysis and presentation skills in preparation for case competitions such as IANA/UNF.

Cases for the competition focus on global logistics issues. The judges are senior supply chain leaders in their organizations who ask pointed questions aimed at challenging the students’ strategies and scenario assessments.

IANA sponsors the competition through the Transportation & Logistics Flagship Program at the University of North Florida Coggin College of Business. Eight universities are invited to bring student teams: Auburn, University of Maryland, University of North Texas (2015 winner), Georgia Southern, University of North Florida, Michigan State University, University of Arkansas and the University of Tennessee.

Posted in 2015 | Tagged ,