Free online operations, supply management courses introduce professionals to leading software

Idea for camp stemmed from challenges brought on by the pandemic
Abbey Goers | April 16, 2021

University of Wisconsin-Stout is offering four free online Advanced Operations and Supply Management Camps this summer, designed to provide professionals with skills they can immediately apply in their organization.

The camp courses are self-paced and include prerecorded lectures, sample problems and real life scenarios to analyze. Activities and assignments introduce participants to software and concepts that may be of value to an organization.

MS OSM Program Director David Ding
MS OSM Program Director David Ding / UW-Stout

Each course will take participants five to six hours per week to complete. Assignments will be reviewed by Master of Science in operations and supply management Program Director David Ding, and feedback will be provided. 

Pick two of four sessions

Participants may enroll in only two sessions each and will rank their preferred choices during registration. The Discovery Center will notify participants if they’ve been selected for their preferred camps.

Camp courses include:

  • May 24 to June 18, Introduction to Arena Business System Simulation: Organizations will need people with modeling and simulation skills to perform what-if analysis in new operations and to optimize post-pandemic processes.
  • May 31 to June 25, Apply Minitab 19 in Medical Device Production Control: Minitab is the most commonly used statistical analysis software. It can help medical device manufacturers perform analyses and provide records for FDA and ISO 13485 regulation auditing.
  • June 14 to July 16, Cognex Vision Sensor Introduction and Application in Manufacturing: Vision sensor is an important component in automation, ensuring high product quality and reducing labor costs. The course will introduce the fundamental application of vision sensor and provide examples on how to use them in industry.
  • July 12 to Aug. 6, SAP Introduction and Data Analytics with Tableau: SAP ERP System is the world's most widely used enterprise resource planning system. The course will introduce participants on how to perform analytics to support business decisions with the data generated from SAP.

Camp courses will be held in Canvas, an online delivery platform. Participants are required to download the free trial versions of the software. Links to the trial versions will be provided.

“The software programs introduced in the camp are considered the hottest in the industry,” Ding said. “The cost of the software and training are very high. Our summer camp provides the opportunity for our industry partners to taste and feel the software with hands-on experiences, so they can decide if they want to move forward.”

Because the camp is online, unlimited spaces are available. However, registrants will be chosen to participate on a first-come, first-served basis, as well as whether they have a bachelor's degree in a related area; plan to enroll in the MS OSM program or Six Sigma Black Belt Certification.

Approaching new challenges in business

The free camps were first offered last summer, with 44 people from 38 organizations attending.


Adam Karis, a UW-Stout graduate student in the Operations and Supply Management program, works in the 3M Plant Engineering Stockroom.
An MS OSM graduate in the 3M Plant Engineering Stockroom. Photo taken pre-COVID. / UW-Stout

“The idea of the camp came from the pandemic challenge,” Ding said. “Businesses were facing serious challenges due to the shutdown, and most of them were seeking approaches to react to the challenge.”

The camp is held in partnership with UW-Stout’s Manufacturing Outreach Center and the Discovery Center’s Leadership Institute, with partial funding from the Economic Development Administration’s CARES Act grant that supports leadership and pandemic response.

With support from the chancellor’s office and the College of STEMM, Ding created the camp to support business partners and to allow potential students to explore the quality and content of the MS OSM and certificate programs.

“This project will help the industry to fulfill the skill gap in operations and supply related areas with no cost. It will also help the program, the college and the university to serve the stakeholders better,” Ding said.

Ding plans to offer the camp in the coming years and is allowing UW-Stout seniors to join starting this year to help their future career, he added.

To build a full skill set, student participants are encouraged to enroll in the corresponding graduate level course at UW-Stout.

The project reflects the mission and vision of UW-Stout:

  • It prepares campers in their professional career. They can learn skills needed in industry, without a financial investment.
  • It offers campers hands-on, career-focused, applied learning experiences.
  • It provides the opportunity for the university to work collaboratively with industry.

UW-Stout’s operations and supply management master’s program is offered both on campus and in a flexible online format.

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