McDonnell Douglas (now part of The Boeing Company), for example, offers the following courses at no fee to its suppliers:

  • Statistical Process Control

  • Quality Function Deployment/The Taguchi Approach

  • Design for Manufacturability

  • Design for Assembly

  • Benchmarking

  • Preferred Supplier Certification

  • Effective Presentation Seminar

  • Developing Team Performance

  • Design, Manufacturing, and Producibility Simulation

Even though small business set-asides provide opportunities for participation, they do not ensure success for SMEs. Success still requires good performance.

Recommendation. Small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises (SMEs) should avail themselves of the opportunities provided by government small/disadvantaged business programs to accrue financial resources, develop skills and capabilities, acquire compatible systems, and build trusting relationships so that when they are no longer eligible for special consideration, they can stand on their own as fully competitive and integrated members of supply chains.


Other resources that can assist SMEs in filling educational gaps include academic journals, such as the Journal of Business Logistics, International Journal of Logistics Management, International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, Transportation Journal, and Supply Chain Management Journal, and supply chain periodicals, such as Supply Chain Management Review, Inbound Logistics, Inventory Reduction Report, and Global Sites Logistics.

A variety of educational programs are also available. The Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies and the National Association of Purchasing Management offer a variety of seminars that can be useful for SMEs. Colleges and universities offer seminars, courses, and programs addressing issues associated with supply chain participation, integration, and optimization. SMEs must be selective, however, because some of them are expensive, and some are geared for sophisticated OEMs with massive computer and analytical capabilities.

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