New director outlines clear vision and agenda for the Ryder Center for Supply Chain Management.

Walfried Lassar

Supply chain management can affect every aspect of today’s business environment—from marketing, finance, and distribution to global logistics and international business. What’s more, an increasing number of companies rely on supply chain management for competitive advantage. The magnifier effect makes a dramatic statement: a $1 reduction in cost from supply chain efficiencies is equivalent to a $12 increase in sales revenues.

This broad, yet integrated, view of supply chain management is key to the strategy being set for the Ryder Center for Supply Management by Walfried Lassar, associate professor in the college’s Department of Marketing and recently appointed Ryder Professor and Director of the Ryder Center for Supply Chain Management.

“We want the center to become a leading source for the creation and dissemination of knowledge in the science and practice of supply chain management,” Lassar said. “To deliver on that goal, we are taking a multidisciplinary approach that views supply chain management as the dynamic integration of enterprises, their suppliers, and customers to determine, create, fulfill, and communicate value in today’s global environment.”

Center’s mission focuses on today—and tomorrow.

Under Lassar’s direction, the Ryder Center for Supply Chain Management will work on programs designed to:

  • educate students to become future leaders in supply chain management,
  • develop research to contribute to the theory and practice of supply chain management, and
  • provide a forum to help the college’s business partners be on the leading edge of best practices in supply chain management.

“In the near-term, our emphasis is on research, and working papers will be published on our web site,” Lassar said. “In addition, we plan to host a series of speakers on relevant supply chain management topics. The lectures will be open to students, faculty, and alumni.”

He highlighted the fact that the center is developing an Advanced Certificate of Supply Chain Management, which should be available to both business students and professionals starting in the fall of 2007.

Looking ahead over the next five years, Lassar outlined long-term plans that include “establishing professional and executive education programs in supply chain management and forming a student interest group to support outreach into the business community and to offer internship opportunities.”

He said he hopes to work closely with companies in South Florida to create programs that serve both the students and the business community.

Lassar is excited about the future of the center.

“We envision the Ryder Center for Supply Chain Management as a place to bring our faculty and students together with distinguished faculty from other universities and executives from leading corporations to identify, document, research, develop, and disseminate best practices in supply chain management,” he said.

Lassar brings the right combination of academic and business experience to this leadership role.

Lassar joined the Department of Marketing in 1998, bringing with him experience built both inside and outside the college classroom. His areas of expertise include marketing strategy in channels of distribution, new product management, and services marketing. His research has been published in many leading journals, including the Journal of Marketing, the Strategic Management Journal, the Journal of Business and Psychology, the Journal of Retailing, and the Journal of Business Research.

“Lassar’s appointment earlier this year as director of the Ryder Center for Supply Chain Management recognizes his distinguished record of research, service, and teaching in the fields of supply chain management and distribution,” said Joyce J. Elam, executive dean of the college.

Before joining the college, Lassar taught and conducted research at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire, and the University of Miami. In addition, he has served as a consultant for the United Research Company and held marketing management positions at Howell Computer Company and Procter and Gamble, GmbH, in Germany.

Lassar holds a PhD in business and an MBA in marketing and entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California. He also earned a Diploma-Ingenieur in industrial engineering and business from Technische Universität Berlin.

To learn more about the Ryder Center for Supply Chain Management, visit For more information about upcoming programs, contact Lassar at 305-348-3898 or

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