Detailed Programme

The 'Executive Master Class in Supply Chain Management' starts with four core modules. These have been designed to give you a superb Supply Chain Management learning experience and get you working alongside your fellow participants and faculty. When you’ve completed the core modules, it will be up to you to decide what you want to learn by choosing electives that fulfil yours and your company’s needs. We’ll suggest two learning paths but at the same time allow you to build your own learning path. You will find more details when you browse through this programme webpage.

Core modules

Kick-off evening session (19 April 2020 as of 6pm, Ghent)

During the kick-off session you will be introduced to the programme, the Vlerick way of learning and key practicalities. We will spend some time to get to know each other and together enjoy a welcome dinner.

  • Studying at Vlerick Business School: our approach to learning with impact
  • Programme overview and practicalities
  • Welcome to Vlerick Alumni
  • Get-to-know your colleagues

Module 1: Strategy and planning for an effective supply chain (20-22 April 2020, Ghent)

As globalisation and competition amongst suppliers increases, the spotlight on supply chain management is shining like never before. This module will show you how to turn your organisation’s strategy into an effective supply chain design. You’ll be guided through a business simulation to introduce the dynamics of supply chains and gain insights into the strategic role of the supply chain manager. We’ll be investigating inventory management and integrated supply chain planning, covering multi-echelon safety stock optimisation, forecasting techniques and capacity planning.

  • Understanding supply chain dynamics
  • Using your supply chain to create a competitive advantage
  • Supply chain segmentation
    • Aligning the supply chain to your customer segments
    • Designing efficient, flexible and adaptable supply chains
  • Planning and managing inventories in a supply chain
    • Balancing inventory costs and customer service
    • Benefits and risks of inventory pooling
    • Managing uncertainty: securing your safety stock in a multi-echelon system
  • Integrated supply chain planning
    • Gaining practical knowledge of demand planning, forecasting and inventory optimisation tools and techniques
    • Understanding the value of data analytics in the supply chain
    • Matching supply and demand

Module 2: Structuring the global supply chain (17-19 June 2020, Brussels)

You as a supplier – how does your organisation fit in the chain? We’ll discuss supply chains from the perspectives of distribution, global network design, contract management and the use of technologies in the total supply chain. You’ll identify challenges in international distribution and understand and analyse the cost of distribution. We’ll explore outsourcing and service contracts in the context of international supply chain collaborations - applications include service level agreements, gain sharing mechanisms, global partnerships and alliances.

  • Developing a strategy for distribution logistics
    • Identifying challenges in international distribution
    • Learning the strengths and weaknesses of different network designs
    • Understanding and analysing the cost of distribution for the purpose of distribution network decision-making
  • Global integration and local responsiveness
    • Decision-making in international manufacturing
    • Recognising the strategic role of the plant and identify potential lead plants
    • Using value-adding technology in the supply chain
  • Service level agreements (SLAs) for outsourced services
    • The benefits and drawbacks of outsourcing in a supply chain
    • Learning the principles of ‘intelligent’ SLAs
    • Increasing value by applying gain sharing principles

Module 3: Managing cross-functional supply chains (16-18 September 2020, Leuven)

This module focuses on collaborating with areas like sales, marketing and finance – and how to use collaboration into a competitive advantage. First you’ll learn what effective sales and operations planning is and how it links to revenue management and performance management. Then we’ll explore the impact of supply chain management on cost control and financial performance, addressing topics such as cost-to-serve, working capital reduction and cash management. Finally we’ll discuss the supply chain organisation model and the roles and responsibilities of a supply chain department and a supply chain manager.

  • Integrated sales and operations planning (S&OP)
    • Synchronising forecasted demand with supply resources
    • S&OP as a mechanism for communication and collaboration across functions
    • Applying revenue management methods to increase supply chain profits
    • Defining relevant S&OP performance indicators
  • Understanding supply chain cost and financial performance
    • Understand the impact supply chain management can have on financial performance
    • Identify the drivers of cost in the supply chain
    • Carry out a cost-to-serve analysis
    • Recognise the mechanics and various accounts that make up a firm’s balance sheet
    • Learn how to manage the various trade-offs that firms face when dealing with working capital
  • Organising for supply chain management
    • Understand your organisation’s supply chain maturity
    • Learn the roles and responsibilities of the supply chain manager
    • Identify the best design for supply chain excellence

Module 4: Managing agile and sustainable supply chains (14-16 October 2020, Ghent)

We’ll provide hands-on insight into how to identify and analyse supply chain risks. You’ll learn how to build resilience into your supply chain through reviewing global sourcing options and mass customisation. As a result you’ll be able to mitigate uncertainty and generate higher margins. The second part of this module will show you how to orchestrate supply chain sustainability. You’ll learn key sustainability principles and know how to implement them in your firm and extended network.

  • Understand and manage global supply chain complexity and risk
    • Understand the challenges of global sourcing
    • Use total landed cost to identify the most cost-effective global networks
    • Learn how to identify, analyse, manage and mitigate risks in the supply chain
    • Explore and apply simulation techniques for risk related decision-making
    • Highlight capabilities that allow a firm to anticipate and overcome disruptions
    • Learn how mass customisation strategy helps companies achieve higher levels of flexibility and lower costs
  • Supply chain sustainability
    • Learn how to create and protect long-term environmental, social and economic value for all stakeholders and understand the principles of sustainability
    • Build a business case for supply chain sustainability
    • Master practical tools to engage with suppliers on sustainability

Project Sounding Boards

After the end of your core modules you will be divided into small project groups in order to attend two sounding board sessions.

During the first content (peer) coaching you will gather with your peers where you can give each other feedback on the process, questions, hurdles you are facing when working on your project.

During the second sounding board the focus will be on impact coaching. The goal of this sounding board is to help you create an inspiring pitch about the project you are working on and the fellow participants of your group give you feedback. This will also serve as a good preparation for the final project defence.

In-company project

With this Executive Master Class, you’ll have an impact in your organisation! Not only are our classes filled with practical examples, case studies and guest speakers. Through an in-company project, you’ll be able to work on your own challenges, relevant to your business.

In order to meet the Executive Master Class certification requirements, you should successfully execute an in-company project, which allows you to translate your knowledge into business practice. Throughout this in-company project, you’ll apply the knowledge and experience acquired during the programme in your own business. This project is carried out under the supervision of a faculty adviser and an internal company adviser. The scope of the project is defined in consultation with the company and the Vlerick adviser. The outcome of the project is a practical and relevant management report that will help you realise the impact of the Executive Master Class in your business.

You can start with the project as of the very first module. Of course, we’re on your side and we’ll help you frame the project scope and link you to a Vlerick faculty adviser. You’ll need to complete the in-company project by April 2020.

Recommended paths

When you’ve completed the core modules, it will be up to you to decide what you want to learn. Based on our experience we recommend three possible paths. You choose the one that best fulfils yours and your company’s needs. Not sure what to choose? We‘ll be happy to advice you on this!

Path Expert

Expert Path - "Deepen your supply chain expertise"

Select a combination of 2 modules (in total 4 to 6 days):

Operational Excellence

Mastering the Digital Supply Chain

Path Leadership

Leadership Path - "Grow professionally and as a person"


You’ll strengthen your management skills with this active, practical programme of role play, peer feedback and analysis from your faculty. We will help you develop your own unique management style. Our tools give you a better understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses and your impact on others. You’ll gain the skills and approaches for improving your effectiveness.

The People Manager

Your employees, and the way you steer and motivate them, make or break the success of your company. This programme therefore develops your people management skills to sharpen your company's performance and competitive advantage.

Path Pick & Choose

Pick & Choose

The recommended paths don’t fully address your needs? Then simply build your own path by selecting the 2 electives most suited to yours & your company’s needs. You can choose these electives from some short-focused programmes with a minimum of 4 and up to a total maximum of 6 days. Our programme finder will give you a good overview of possibilities. Or you can just contact us for further advice.

A learning experience like no other

When you come to Vlerick, you step away from your usual routine and gain a wider perspective. You discover how to tackle challenges, turn your knowledge into action and apply your skills in your workplace. You learn from faculty who are experts in their fields – and from a diverse group of peers. All these things help you become a confident, skilled professional, ready to succeed in business – and in life.

Vlerick Learning Experience

Drive real change in your organisation

A learning experience with real impact on your operations? A management programme tailored to the specific needs of your business? Contact us and discover how we can design and deliver customised programmes for your team that add genuine value to your organisation.

Need help?

Contact our Programme Advisor
Programme Advisor
Tel + 32 9 210 98 84
[email protected]
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Meet Us

Info Sessions & Open Days
04 Jun
Drop In on our Brussels Campus
Category: General Info Sessions

14 Jun
Great place to work® inspiration session : how to establish a great employee experience?
Category: General Info Sessions

10 Sep
Drop In on our Ghent Campus
Category: General Info Sessions

Meet our faculty

Ann Vereecke
Prof Ann Vereecke, key faculty member for Executive Master Class in Supply Chain Management

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