Supply Chain Fundamentals explained by MITx

Hey there, Skill Miner is online. Have you ever thought what stays behind the work of such giants like Danone or Coca-Cola? How they manage to control their massive Supply Chains? Or what is flowing in the veins of automotive OEM giants and Tier 1-2 suppliers. How they manage to get all the necessary components just in time (JIT), even the smallest spring or screw? Then this course will break these things down for you. I am talking about CTL.SC1x: Supply Chain Fundamentals from MITx. Even if you are new to this branch, this course will teach you many skills. 

The story behind

I have just finished my first course in the MicroMasters Program  CTL.SC0x Supply Chain Analytics. Having amazing impressions and desire to continue I immediately enrolled in the next one. Have you ever had such an urge after a successful purchase? To buy something else from the same company? So did I.

Supply Chain Fundamentals course is for people with strong character and patience. Especially if you are coming from another direction. It doesn’t have anything to do with the course quality. I give it 9.5 out of 10. It is related to the level of your preparation. I was a newbie in this field. It took a lot of my time and effort to finish it with a high score. The important point for you – the course contains all the necessary information to master the skills and learn the concepts. Chris Caplice and his team have made again great job and I am seriously planning to continue with next courses. By the way, if you have never heard about MicroMasters Programs here is full information about it.

Getting through

Learn more concepts

The structure of the course is not different from the previous one. There is always an introductory lecture from Chris followed by a set of presentations with a background voice. There are totally 12 weeks in this course. Yes, it is going to take at least 3 months of your regular effort. Every week or better to call it a module has its graded assignment. You have 2 weeks to finish it if you applied for a certificate and want to get it. If not, I still recommend to do it to train your skills.

Every module has 2-3 lectures focusing on a specific topic. The theory is empowered by recitations and supplemental materials for MicroMasters (or in other words – those who paid the certificate). Before diving into the Graded Assignments you have Practice Problems for training. Consider it as a dressed rehearsal.

The course is divided into two halves by a timed Mid-Term exam. And one week before it, you have a chance to revise all the materials. The final exam that time wasn’t a proctored one. Have you heard about a proctored exam by the way? It is an exam controlled by a special software. This software monitors your web browser, microphone, and camera to make sure that you are following the Academic Honesty rules. Here you can read more about it.

Topics covered in this course

First a general statement. This course deals with many statistical things. It is an advantage if you have good knowledge of it.


You will get a good overview of push and pull processes. Are you an Industrial Engineer? Then you must know this. As well as that there are also mixed systems. Handling uncertainty is where your knowledge in Theory of Probability and Statistics will come in handy. Then many modules will be dedicated to various approaches in demand forecasting. If such terms like Exponential Smoothening and Time Series Analyses do not scare you, then this is the right place for you. 

Supply Chain Fundamentals course teaches exactly the basic things. If you are planning a career in a logistic department then without an understanding of such terms like EOQ (Economic Order Quantity) for example you can drive your company into crisis. If you are a COO or a CEO of a company with a different background I also recommend this course. It gives a necessary minimum of knowledge in the field.

Inventory Management

There are 4 huge modules dedicated to the Inventory Management. Have you heard that there was a period when many Supply Chain Directors made big failures because their main KPI was to avoid a Stock Out? The situation, when there is a lack of a certain material or a component? It was in the time of Toyota Production System emerging. If you read a book of Eliyahu Goldratt The Goal or you read any books about Toyota Production System then you know that full with components warehouse doesn’t mean a troubleless and prosperous future for the company. On the contrary. It breeds a bunch of vital problems endangering the whole business.

Supply Chain Fundamentals gives insights into such inventory management models like single- and multi-period approaches. This knowledge is critical for a top manager responsible for the area. Because it encompasses the Policies of the company. Nevertheless, it is also important to have a good overview for everybody involved. In this course, you get more information about operational side, given that there is an established policy already.

Transportation Management

The course is wrapping up with some modules about transportation management.

Inventory management

Discussion forum insights and hang-out events

The discussion forum was very active. Whichever question I had about a concept or a methodology I could ask it on Forum. There are people with very different background and I always got an answer. The course team was also extremely helpful. The course followed a tradition of Supply Chain Analytics an offered regular hang-out events.

Skills to mine in Supply Chain Fundamentals

Before we go further, please, read how I give the ratings to the skills trained by a course here. This course will make your brain ticking on the top of its capacity. But, even if you feel lost sometimes and don’t understand you can always ask others (as long as it is in accordance with Academic Honesty Policy). In my opinion, Chris Caplice and his team provided all the promised volume of information and provided all the possible support. The money I paid definitely worth it.

Entry Skills

Here I have to be honest it will be extremely challenging course if you don’t have at least some basic knowledge in statistic and theory of probability. There is a wonderful summary on this topic in the course content. But alone without practical skills, it is still challenging. To apply for this course you don’t really need to complete the Supply Chain Analytics. They are quite independent.


I recommend this course first of all for those who are involved in a medium or big size businesses. Described concepts would not be applicable for small start-ups as long as they work based on statistical instruments. If you want to boost your career in one of the leading automotive OEMs, food and beverages industry or garment industry. Then it is must have. It will cost you with certification and extras 200.00 $ and will take approximately 8 hours of your weekly time. The total duration is 12 weeks. And the last but not the least, the course creators have fulfilled all the promises they have given in the beginning.

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