Jeffery Smith, Ph.D.
Associate professor and chair

business.vcu.edu/departments-and-centers/supply-chain-management-and-analytics

Faculty in the Department of Supply Chain Management and Analytics are passionate about providing impeccable academic instruction and research that advances knowledge related to production, product development and the information systems needed to direct these endeavors. The department’s undergraduate and graduate programs prepare students to immediately take important positions related to supply chain management and business analytics. The department remains involved with the corporate community through a partnership with the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics Systems. 

Students interested in production, distribution, and the engineering and finances supporting large-scale operations will be prepared by VCU’s programs in supply chain management and analytics to enter an exciting field with plentiful job opportunities. For additional information contact the department by emailing scma@vcu.edu.

Decision analytics

DAPT 611. Analysis and Design of Database Systems. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Focuses on relational databases for structured data and includes entity relational diagram and extended entity relational diagram and transformation of ERD and EERD into relational schema. The course will give students competence in SQL and other search techniques, data validation and data cleansing.

DAPT 612. Text Mining and Unstructured Data. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture hours. 2 credits. Focuses on unstructured data and includes the topics: creation of XML documents, creating/validating ontology; identifying terms and their relationships and converting them into an ontology using an ontology editor such as Protégé; object-oriented programs; extracting keywords and key phrases; term similarity measure and term frequency.

DAPT 613. Tools for Business Intelligence. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Provides students with techniques and practices for modern decision-making in support of business/corporate performance. Includes hands-on experience with various information analysis, business intelligence and decision-support techniques and tools with applications to various business-problem scenarios, such as portfolio analysis, project selection, market research and supply-chain optimization.

DAPT 614. Advanced SQL. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Prerequisite: DAPT 611. This course is designed to prepare students for multiple table queries using structured query language and will provide advanced training in the application of SQL to real data problems.

DAPT 615. Emerging Technologies. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour.1 credit. The course emphasizes the study of a variety of big data technologies to gain insight that will be used to get people throughout the enterprise to run the business more effectively and to provide better service to customers. The course focuses on big data solutions that are processed in a platform that can handle the variety, velocity and volume of data by using a family of components that require integration and data governance.

DAPT 621. Statistics for the World of Big Data. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Covers single variable and multivariable statistical techniques using commercial computer packages such as SAS and SPSS. Students will learn when different techniques are warranted, conceptually how techniques function, how to perform the analysis using commercial computer packages and how to interpret the program outputs.

DAPT 622. Statistics for the World of Big Data II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: DAPT 621. Continues an emphasis on data visualization and statistical modeling for different types of variables, including relationships between multivariable variables.

DAPT 631. Data Mining. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture hours. 2 credits. Data mining is the extraction of implicit, previously unknown and potentially useful information from data. Data mining tasks include classification and regression (pattern recognition), cluster analysis, association analysis, and anomaly detection. This class will introduce methods for each of these tasks, their implementation in relevant software and the interpretation of data mining results.

DAPT 632. Forecasting Methods and Applications for Managerial Decision-making. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture hours. 2 credits. Methods covered include moving average and exponential smoothing, seasonal adjustments, time-series, and forecast averaging. Particular emphasis on developing and implementing forecasting systems in an interactive organization and appreciation of issues and caveats.

DAPT 633. Introduction to Marketing and Customer Analytics. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture hours. 2 credits. Examines how firms make use of analytic tools to target advertising, improve customer response and service, and improve financial performance. The course will apply quantitative tools students have already seen (statistical analysis, simulation and regression analysis) to marketing and customer-response decisions.

DAPT 641. Introduction to Simulation Methods. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. An introduction to the application and theoretical background of simulation. Topics include Monte Carlo simulation and modeling systems using discrete event simulation. Theoretical topics include random variable generation, model verification and validation, statistical analysis of output, and decision-making via simulation. A high-level simulation language will be utilized.

DAPT 642. Introduction to Risk Analysis. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Presents a formal methodology for prescriptive decision-making under risk and uncertainty. Decision analysis applies to hard problems involving sequential decisions, major uncertainties, significant outcomes and complex values. The course includes building and solving influence diagrams and decision trees; modeling uncertainty with subjective probabilities; the value of information; and modeling risk preferences with utility functions. Decision and risk analysis applications in business and government are considered.

DAPT 643. Introduction to Optimization Models. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Mathematical optimization is used to support quantitative and logical decision-making by providing a prescription of choices that minimize cost or maximize profit. This class provides an introduction to using optimization tools to model, solve and interpret results of real-world decision problems. Examples of applications include loan allocation, workforce scheduling, multi-period financial models and portfolio optimization.

DAPT 651. Personal, Interpersonal and Organizational Awareness. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. This is an application-based course involving the understanding and application of communicating information in the personal, interpersonal/team and organizational setting. The focus is on barriers to communication, personal and audience awareness, listening skills, nonverbal communication behaviors, team-building and meetings management. A variety of practica and simulations will be used during this course.

DAPT 652. Professional Presentations: Strategy, Delivery and Technology. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. This is an application-based course involving the audience-centered design and application of effective oral presentations. The focus will be on the development and enhancement of public presentation skills in different types of formal and informal public situations. Further ability in appropriate presentation technology will be provided and assessment will be behavior-driven. A variety of practica and simulations will be used during this course.

DAPT 653. Written Communications: Strategy, Structure and Connection. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. This is an application-based course involving the audience-centered design and application of effective written communications. The focus will be on the development and enhancement of writing and English skills for different types of organization-required documents, including email, proposals, executive summaries, letters and formal reports. Further assessment in grammar and syntax will be provided through online and faculty feedback. A variety of practicum and simulations will be used during this course.

DAPT 654. Written Communications: Strategy, Structure and Connection II. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Continues topics and lessons from DAPT 653.

DAPT 661. Issues and Analytics. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. May be repeated for a total of three credits. Academic, business, government and NGO leaders discuss current issues and applications of analytics. Analytics is a dynamically changing and evolving field. Students will have an opportunity to discuss current issues directly with people on the front lines.

DAPT 670. Analytics Problem Formation. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. An introduction to problem formulation and the decision-making process that must precede the application of analytics. Topics include objectives generation, structuring objectives, decision diagrams for risk and uncertainty modeling, and qualitative approaches to decisions under risk and value tradeoffs.

DAPT 681. Analytics Practicum I. 1 Hour.

Sponsored project. 1 credit. This course will allow students to apply the concepts, theories and skills learned in other courses to a real analytics project from a sponsoring organization. Teams of students will formulate a problem based on discussions with management of the sponsoring organization; query the sponsor’s and/or public databases for appropriate data; perform required statistical analysis; and present results in both a written report and oral presentation to sponsoring management.

DAPT 682. Analytics Practicum II. 2 Hours.

Semester course; sponsored project. 2 credits. Continues project from DAPT 682.

Supply chain management

SCMA 500. Quantitative Foundation for Decision-making. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MATH 141, MATH 151 or SCMA 171. A review of basic algebra with emphasis on differential and integral calculus and their application in solving business problems. These topics also provide the necessary foundation for using and understanding more advanced quantitative procedures. May not be included in the 30 semester credits of advanced work required for any of the master's degrees offered by the School of Business.

SCMA 524. Statistical Fundamentals for Business Management. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SCMA 171, SCMA 212, SCMA 500 or MATH 200. Develops an ability to interpret and analyze business data in a managerial decision-making context. Applications are stressed in the coverage of descriptive statistics, contingency tables, probability, sampling, correlation, confidence interval estimation, hypothesis testing and regression analysis. Business-oriented computational software will be used for data visualization and analysis. This is a foundation course.

SCMA 530. Fundamentals of the Legal Environment of Business. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. The legal environment of business is examined in view of common law principles, statutory provisions and administrative regulations affecting various forms of business organizations and management obligations to the company, its owner and the public. Role of ethics and key commercial law areas are examined including Uniform Commercial Code Provisions.

SCMA 602. Global Supply Chain Management. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This course explores supply, operations and logistics processes and how these processes are integrated with other functions within the firm and across organizations. The objective of this course is to provide students with knowledge of the fundamentals of supply chain management and how those concepts apply to business practice in a global setting.

SCMA 603. SAP ERP and Supply Chain Management. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This course focuses on the concept of enterprise information systems as the application of information technology to support the integration of organizational processes. SAP ERP software applications will focus on the design, plan and control of supply chain management processes. Students will have extensive hands-on activities, assignments and cases using a live SAP ERP system.

SCMA 606. Supply Chain Innovation. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Students are introduced to cross-disciplinary principles pertaining to creativity, design, invention and innovation. The focus is learning and applying problem-solving methodologies to address complex, open-ended supply chain problems. Innovation from individual and team perspectives is addressed to hone more comprehensively students’ problem-identification, information-gathering, conceptualization, evaluation and selection skills.

SCMA 632. Statistical Analysis and Modeling. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: BIOS 543, SCMA 302, SCMA 524, STAT 541 or STAT 543. Statistical analysis and modeling with an applied focus on regression modeling, analysis of variance and data collection planning. Use of business-oriented computational software will be integral to statistical analysis of data.

SCMA 643. Applied Multivariate Methods. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SCMA 524, STAT/BIOS 543 or ECON 501. Study of multivariate statistical methods frequently used in business and analytics problems including principal components, factor analysis, discriminant analysis, MANOVA, logistic regression and cluster analysis. The focus is on applying these techniques through the use of a computer package.

SCMA 645. Management Science. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: BIOS 543, SCMA 301, SCMA 524, STAT 541 or STAT 543. Examines the formulation, analysis and solution of quantitative models for business problems. Problems addressed include the allocation of resources, making decisions and dealing with uncertainty. Applications relevant in diverse business disciplines will be investigated, and the models may include linear programming, simulation and other management science tools. Current computer solution methods will be utilized.

SCMA 646. Legal Foundations of Employment. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SCMA 530 or MGMT 637. Examines the laws concerning human resources in organizations. Equal Employment Opportunity, wage and hours laws, Equal Pay Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act and employee personal rights laws are emphasized.

SCMA 648. Analytics for Organizational Decision-making. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: BIOS 543, SCMA 302, SCMA 524, STAT 541 or STAT 543. Analytical procedures and techniques used by organizations in reaching decisions based on data and application area knowledge. The emphasis is on the application of data-driven decision approaches to solving problems in contemporary organizations using business-oriented computational software.

SCMA 669. Developing and Implementing Forecasting Methods for Business. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: BIOS 543, ECON 501, SCMA 302, SCMA 524, STAT 541 or STAT 543. Forecasting methods and applications appropriate for managerial decision-making. Methods covered include moving average and exponential smoothing, seasonal adjustments, time series, forecast averaging, new-product forecasting, and combining managerial judgment and analytical forecasts. Particular emphasis is placed on developing and implementing forecasting techniques and other analytical tools in an interactive organization and appreciation of issues and caveats associated with each technique. Course includes data acquisition and teamwork along with effective consulting, communication and presentation skills.

SCMA 675. Operations Management. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite:BIOS 543, SCMA 301, SCMA 524, STAT 541 or STAT 543. A systematic investigation of the concepts and issues in designing, operating and controlling productive systems in both manufacturing and services.

SCMA 677. Quality Management and Six Sigma. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: BIOS 543, SCMA 302, SCMA 524, STAT 541 or STAT 543. Concepts of quality management and Six Sigma: quality strategies, organizational quality assessment, Six Sigma process management tools and techniques, process control and improvement tools, the voice of the customer and the voice of the employee.

SCMA 690. Research Seminar in Supply Chain Management. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Approval of proposed work is required by graduate studies office in the School of Business. This course is designed to provide research experience for candidates pursuing a non-thesis option.

SCMA 691. Topics in Supply Chain Management and Analytics. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. Study of current topics. Topics may vary from semester to semester.

SCMA 693. Field Project in Supply Chain Management and Analytics. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: Approval of proposed work is required by graduate studies office in the School of Business. Students will work under the supervision of a faculty adviser in planning and carrying out a community-engaged research project. A written report of the investigations is required.

SCMA 697. Guided Study in Supply Chain Management. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits. Prerequisite: Approval of proposed work is required by graduate studies office in the School of Business. Graduate students will submit a detailed outline of their research problem. They will be assigned reading and will prepare a written report on the problem. To be taken at the end of the program.