AIAG and WSU's Mike Ilitch School of Business join forces on education initiative to fast-track talent into automotive industry careers

The Global Automotive Purchasing Supply Chain Network provides degree and certificate programs for students and professionals to advance their knowledge and experience in the automotive supply chain.

DETROIT — The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) and Wayne State University’s Mike Ilitch School of Business are collaborating on an innovative new initiative to develop talent in global automotive purchasing and supply chain management. Called the Global Automotive Purchasing Supply Chain Network (GAPSCN or “Gap-Scan”), the program helps provide community college, undergraduate, graduate and adult continuing education curricula with real-world lecture material, automotive case studies, best practices, knowledge assessments and standards.

“It is imperative that we accelerate the development of our next generation of global purchasing and supply chain professionals by providing them with a skill set and lexicon honed to manage the industry’s increasingly complex business challenges,” said J. Scot Sharland, executive director of AIAG, an organization providing industry-developed standards, allied tools, emerging best practices, and training in quality, supply chain and corporate responsibility.

“We have witnessed a strategic transformation of the automotive supply chain over the past 25 years,” said Associate Professor John C. Taylor, chair of the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the Ilitch School. “The rate of innovation in vehicle design, advanced manufacturing and engineered materials has been truly remarkable and necessitated the creation of an unprecedented collaboration between industry and academia. We are fast-tracking future purchasing and supply chain leaders into industry assignments, saving time and expense often required to retrain entry-level professionals, and positively impacting employee retention rates.”

AIAG will provide the program with guidelines, training and educational opportunities in areas such as global materials management, customs and supply chain security, export compliance, packaging, quality management, finished vehicle logistics, corporate responsibility and environmental compliance. WSU will give participants access to undergraduate and graduate courses and programs, executive education, thought leadership, basic and applied research, and internships as well as international studies programs currently offered in China, Italy, Brazil and Poland. Degree programs are available, including undergraduate majors and MBA concentrations in purchasing and supply chain management.

WSU and AIAG are also offering two supply chain management non-degree courses: (1) an annual certificate program providing an in-depth understanding of global supply chain topics and issues and (2) a one-week, automotive-focused Global Purchasing and Supply Chain Management Seminar that prepares purchasing and supply chain executives, senior managers and other professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to significantly improve company purchasing and supply chain management contributions to cost and overall performance.

Taylor says WSU is committed to an automotive-oriented supply chain curriculum. “Southeast Michigan has one of the biggest concentrations of supply chain professionals in the world — especially in automotive — providing unparalleled interaction between university academics and auto industry professionals. GAPSCN will enhance undergraduate learning, allow for applied academic research on automotive supply chain topics and provide for outstanding executive education programs in supply chain.”

For more information, contact AIAG Customer Service at

About AIAG

The Automotive Industry Action Group is a unique not-for-profit organization where OEMs, suppliers, service providers, government entities and individuals in academia have worked collaboratively for more than 30 years to drive down costs and complexity from the supply chain. AIAG membership includes preeminent manufacturers and many of their parts suppliers and service providers. 

About Wayne State University and Mike Ilitch School of Business

Wayne State University, providing 370 undergraduate and graduate programs across 13 colleges and schools in the heart of Detroit, is one of only three universities in Michigan to receive the Carnegie Classification of Institution of Higher Education's classification of doctoral university: highest research activity. The fully AACSB-accredited Mike Ilitch School of Business is home to more than 3,000 undergraduate, MBA, MS and doctoral students with a wide range of majors. The school’s Global Supply Chain Management program focuses on the auto/vehicle industry with seven full-time faculty members and a number of industry expert adjuncts providing teaching and research expertise. More than 540 undergraduate and MBA students currently are majoring or concentrating in global supply chain management.


Greg Creason, AIAG

John Taylor, Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business

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