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College of Business launches Center for Transformative Sales & Supply Chain Leadership

Kim Chaudoin  | 

Graphic of supply chain

Lipscomb University’s College of Business, recognized across Tennessee and nationally as a leader in business education, is launching a first-of-its-kind Center for Transformative Sales & Supply Chain Leadership

Lipscomb’s Center for Transformative Sales & Supply Chain Leadership will serve as an academic hub for current and future leaders of the sales profession by educating students in the most advanced concepts and practices of sales as well as developing  supply chain managers and leaders through research, education and training on campus and in the Nashville community and around the world.

“The importance of supply chain and logistics has been evident particularly over the last year as our nation has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and we have experienced challenges to these areas as a result,” said Ray Eldridge, dean of Lipscomb’s College of Business. “Sales also plays a critical role in the process. Preparing tomorrow’s leaders in these vitally important aspects of business who also understand their transformative power is a priority of this new center.”

Transformative sales and supply chain is an approach which focuses on how business practices can positively impact the lives of customers and employees through a focus on environmental business practices, the social impact of organizations on employees and society, integration of faith and ethics, and supply chain innovation. It is a unique approach that reflects the Lipscomb College of Business foundational core values.

“At Lipscomb, we believe in ‘business as mission,’ explained Eldridge. “We encourage our students to engage in local and global outreach opportunities, and prepare them to excel in their vocational calling as servant leaders. This center takes our already strong supply chain management program to the next level by focusing on preparing leaders who will use sales and supply chain to meet the needs of humanity locally and globally through research, education and the creation of an ecosystem of innovators.”

Hannah Stolze head shot

Hannah Stolze, associate professor in the College of Business, is director of the center. Her recent research has been in transformative supply chain management and sustainability, both looking at social and environmental issues. 

“The transformative space examines the impact of business on human flourishing,” explains Stolze. “Businesses know how to get customers to buy services and products, but are these services and products actually improving their lives? This is a more holistic approach that also takes a look at impact, not only on the customer but also on employees. One of the pillars of trends in the corporate responsibility consumer space is wisdom, which I love especially with the faith-based application of that and being at a place like Lipscomb.”

In fall 2013, in response to the growing workforce need for leaders in supply chain and logistics in the Nashville area and around the world, Lipscomb launched its supply chain management program, which began in partnership with Hang Seng Management College in Hong Kong, becoming the first globally partnered program of its kind in Middle Tennessee. As part of the program, students studied for one semester at Hang Seng Management College, located in Hong Kong, one of the largest logistics centers in the world. 

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce targeted the supply chain management industry as one of its five key focuses for economic growth in the city as part of its Partnership 2020 plan, a five-year economic development strategy for the 10-county Middle Tennessee region that was launched last year. According to the chamber’s report, “Supply chain management and logistics are primarily driven by location and cost-to-market analysis done by corporations that are constantly examining ways to more efficiently and effectively reach their customer base. Fortunately, Nashville has a central location in the heart of the U.S. population base that often aligns with corporate America’s customer base analysis. This region is unmatched for its distribution potential, market research and ranks as a particularly competitive location for affordable transportation costs.” Chamber officials also cited the industry’s great potential for growth and job creation potential as other reasons to focus on this aspect of the manufacturing process. In recent years, according to the chamber, the Nashville area has become a “‘who’s who of top logistics and distribution firms,” which also provides numerous internship and learning opportunities for students, said Eldridge. 

Lipscomb’s Center for Transformative Sales & Supply Chain Leadership will house the College of Businesses current undergraduate degree in supply chain management and will look to add new undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs, including a business as mission track, in the future as well as to develop workshops, bootcamps and training for industry professionals around the world in a variety of areas such as customer analysis, service quality analysis, demand and supply integration, professional sales skills and sales management. For more information about the Center for Transformative Sales & Supply Chain Leadership visit www.lipscomb.edu/business or email Hannah Stolze at hannah.stolze@lipscomb.edu