Optimizing the Game with Supply Chain Strategy

Nov 27, 2017 | Atlanta, GA

It’s not every day that a student pursuing a master’s degree also plays NCAA Division 1 football. This fall, Matt Jordan, one of Georgia Tech’s talented quarterbacks, began the College of Engineering’s graduate program in ISyE for supply chain engineering. No small feat for someone with two-a-day practices and workouts. Despite the workload, Jordan is excited to discover new applications for supply chain management in his master’s program, which meets the growing demand for business-savvy engineers who can design and synchronize highly complex global supply chains.

“Since I started at Tech, I’ve been interested in supply chain management – moving a product from the supplier all the way to the end consumer – but there is a difference between that and supply chain engineering,” said Jordan. “With supply chain management, you are operating off a system that’s already been created. With supply chain engineering, you’re creating the supply chain. And I think that is a very interesting challenge.”

It’s not just classroom learning that has Jordan thinking about supply chain management. He also uniquely applies supply chain strategy on the football field. He notes that supply chain management is all about efficiency and optimization, focusing on the quickest way to get a product from point A to point B.

“On the football field, you want the most efficient and quickest way to score a touchdown,” said Jordan. “That’s what we aim to achieve as well with supply chain management and engineering, but with products. You want to get the product as quickly as possible to the consumer.”

While Jordan says that the strategy behind the game is ultimately all up to the coach, he does rely on it when executing. 

 “When I execute a play, I draw on supply chain strategy,” said Jordan. “If the ball needs to go to a certain spot, at a certain time, I envision the best way to do that with the players I have around me. It’s about optimizing the field.”

After football and earning his master’s, Jordan plans on joining the workforce in a supply chain management or engineering role. The combination of a business degree in supply chain management and a master’s degree in supply chain engineering sets him up well for a career in logistics.

“With both of my degrees [Jordan has a bachelor's in business administration from Tech], I’ll have a better understanding of why supply chain management is important, and I can put it into practice with the engineering experience,” said Jordan. “I understand why it’s important to have efficient supply chain management to run a company at optimal levels. Without good supply chain management, you don’t have a viable business.”

With companies like UPS and Delta in Atlanta, Jordan might even get to stay in the city that he’s come to love and continue cheering on Georgia Tech from the side lines.

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  • Matthew Jordan (photo: Danny Karnik)

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Georgia Parmelee

College of Engineering