Gartner’s Top 25: Ranking The Best Supply Chain Schools & Companies

The last time research and consulting firm Gartner completed its biennial rankings in supply chain management, the world was grappling with the biggest disruptions to getting products to consumers in a generation. Think about the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020.

Two years on, we’re still facing pandemic-related shortages (looked at buying a new car lately?). Now, we’ve also got the Russian war against Ukraine wreaking havoc on everything from gasoline to food supplies.

The timing of Gartner’s 2024 Top 25 rankings for both universities and supply chain companies couldn’t be more prescient.

“Certainly it’s been a transformational two years for the education sector but also for the companies that we work with,” says Caroline Chumakov, senior principal analyst at Gartner, a research and advisory firm for industry executives.

PREPARING FOR ‘THE GREAT REORGANIZATION’

Gartner’s supply chain Top 25 series releases rankings for both undergraduate and graduate supply chain management programs at universities, as well as a ranking of the top companies in the global supply chain. A major trend Gartner is watching is the “great reorganization.”

“Deloitte estimates that the supply chain talent shortage will leave 2.4 million positions unfilled between 2018 and 2028. So orders aren’t shipping, trucks aren’t driving, lines aren’t running. We see this period of really unprecedented movement and churn in the supply chain workforce that we’ve never really seen before,” Chumakov says in a Gartner webinar for industry executives and school administrators.

On top of that, baby boomers are retiring and there aren’t enough Gen Z workers to replace them. “So these pressures are essentially providing an opportunity for many companies to take stock of their current approach to university engagement and to do a kind of reset.” (See the list of the Top 25 Companies on page 2).

TRENDS IN SUPPLY CHAIN EDUCATION

In the webinar, Dana Stiffler, distinguished VP analyst, points to three emerging trends in undergraduate and graduate supply chain programs: First, Diversity of students and faculty ticked up at both undergrad and graduate programs, but particularly at the undergraduate level. Women account for 40% of supply chain undergrads compared to 39% in 2020. “Some programs, in fact, have a have majority female participation, which is really interesting considering the history of our programs,” Stiffler says.

Diversity among faculty, however, is still lagging with only 26% of women, up 2% from two years earlier. In terms of ethnicity, more than half of schools score at least some points in the ranking for student diversity and 44% for faculty diversity, both increases over the previous ranking.

Starting salaries for students in supply chain roles also increased. In terms of compensation, U.S. undergraduates finding their first jobs in supply chain roles are earning about $1,600 more per year than in 2020. While the average starting salary is $61,769, graduates from the top 10 programs can expect around $65,000. The highest salary from the ranked schools was $80,000.

Finally, in terms of curriculum, schools are incorporating more environmental, social, corporate governance, and ethics lessons into their supply chain syllabi.

“This makes perfect sense if we look at our overall global supply chain trends,” Stiffler says. “A big reason for companies to reorganize their global supply chain networks is resilience in the current environment, and cost and sustainability are very close together. So that is right in line with what global supply organizations” are reporting.

TOP 25 GRADUATE PROGRAMS

Gartner’s biennial pair of school rankings are intended to support chief supply chain officers, heads of supply chain strategy, and supply chain HR partners in their quest to identify the B-school programs from which they can recruit the best talent. A major change for this year’s school ranking was the inclusion of 100% online programs. Traditionally, Gartner only covered on-campus and hybrid programs, but the rapid change of delivery following the pandemic caused them to react to those changes.

This year, University of Tennessee, a longtime participant in Gartner’s ranking, claimed the top spot for the very first time.

“They are big, their graduates get paid, and they improved on the curriculum score this year,” Stiffler says. The school also has a great alumni network working with faculty and the university board to extend the supply chain community.

The University of Arkansas improved more than any other school since 2020, jumping 19 spots to No. 2 in 2022.

“The reason for their very steep trajectory is their improvements across the board – in their curriculum; in diversity, equity and inclusion, and especially in their strong growth.”

Other schools with the biggest gains include University of South Carolina (No. 6 in 2022) which jumped 16 spots, University of Southern California (No. 10) jumping 13 spots, and Rutgers University (No. 5) gaining 12.

The graduate supply chain program list saw six new or re-entrants in 2022. These include University of Houston (No. 11), University of Wisconsin (No. 13), Auburn University (No. 14), HEC Montreal/University of Montreal (No. 16), Indiana University (No. 20), and Syracuse University (No. 25).

Arizona State University (No. 23) dropped the farthest, losing 16 points. Others with big drops include Purdue University (No. 24) falling 12 spots and North Carolina State University (No. 21) falling 11.

Next Page: Top 25 Undergraduate Supply Chain Universities & Top 25 Companies

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