Our Instructor Spotlight is on Dr. Andy Borchers, DBA, CLTD, CPIM. He teaches the CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management) course at UTC. Andy is also a professor of management and associate dean in Lipscomb University’s College of Business.
Marah: What professional experience do you have relating to the course you are teaching?
Andy: I have 20 years of automotive industry experience and 24 years of experience teaching business courses in higher education. In addition, I hold certifications in CPIM and CLTD (Certified in Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution). I got my start in the supply chain field by working in the information systems area of a car company, which means I was doing IT work in a supply chain field. My interest in supply chain and operations management grew as I began taking certification courses and as I started my graduate work as an MBA student at Vanderbilt. All these things─the MBA program, certification courses, working in the industry─gave me valuable supply chain experience. Later, I went on to earn my Doctorate in Business Administration at Nova Southeastern University, which was helpful as well.
M: What made you decide to become a teacher?
A: I began teaching part-time at Lipscomb during my second year of graduate school. Part-time teaching was my entrée, and I liked it so much that I wanted to keep doing it! My students seemed to like me doing it as well. From there, I built a teaching career. I found that I was passionate about interacting with students and engaging them in exciting topics.
M: Why do you love teaching?
A: Students are a constant source of inspiration. I learn as much from them as they do from me. Every course brings a new set of students with their unique life experiences and world views. As I look at their viewpoints, I gain new perspective.
M: What is your teaching philosophy?
A: I like to present students with interesting problems and engage them in learning how to solve them. I have found that problem-solving and small group work are two helpful teaching approaches. As much as I want my students to get the right answers, I want them to grow in their problem-solving abilities even more.
Making sure students develop their critical-thinking skills is also important to me. That goes further than memorizing formulas they can look up later, and those skills will be important in students’ jobs.
M: What do you believe students will gain by taking your course? What are the key concepts you hope students will leave your course with?
A: I want them to know and appreciate the terminology specifically used in the supply chain industry. Students may vary in their application of business models, but they need to know the typical vocabulary used in the models. I also want students to be able to understand the issues that others have faced; by looking at the past, one can understand how to approach the future. Besides knowing key information about supply chains, I also want students to gain problem-solving skills and an appreciation for the social and environmental impact of the supply chain.
M: How do you motivate students in your classroom?
A: I use several techniques, including the Socratic method and group problem solving. I believe it’s important to ask students questions but to do so in a way that doesn’t threaten or embarrass students. Some students are uncomfortable with being cold-called on, so I will give them a warm call instead. I will say, “Here’s our next problem to look at. Johnny, in a few minutes, I am going to ask you to work through this problem.” I talk about how to approach the problem and then ask Johnny what he would do next. I never want students to feel uncomfortable, and this tactic instills confidence in them rather than fear.
M: What is your favorite aspect/topic of your course to teach, and why?
A: I love teaching about green supply chain and humanitarian supply chain management. They show how the supply chain can positively affect the world. Put making money aside; I would ask companies: “How are you serving society through your supply chain?”
If I posed the question, “Who do you turn to when a hurricane hits?” most people would say, “the Red Cross.” Guess what? Home Depot, Lowe’s, and even Waffle House are humanitarian supply chains because of their ability to deliver items that people need during a hurricane. One of my favorite examples to share is telling people what items grocery stores stock up on before a hurricane. Obviously, water and other necessities are accumulated, but one of the most popular items that are stocked up on are strawberry Pop-Tarts. Why? They are ready to eat, are high calorie, and take up little space. Using supply chain management to help others and better society is the humanitarian part. Then, the green part is how we do this with less environmental impact.
M: What are three fun facts about you? (These can be hobbies, your dream travel destinations, movies that never get old, personality types, your Starbucks order…whatever you would like to share!)
- I used to race motorcycles and still love to ride them.
- I love to travel throughout Europe, especially in Germany. I have had an ongoing relationship with a German university for the past 12 years. I have taught there every year until this past year when I taught virtually. I also have spent a month’s time in Germany with Lipscomb students for the past five summers. Everywhere in Europe─Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt, Rome─is amazing.
- My dream travel destination is Moscow.
M: Is there anything else you would like to share?
A: This is Andy in a nutshell. Make sure to take the CPIM course!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Hi! My name is Marah Whitaker (think Laura with an M). I am the Marketing Assistant for UTC Center for Professional Education. During the workday, I spend time writing blog posts, creating content for social media, developing email campaigns, and building relationships with our customer base. During my free time, you can find me getting lost in a good book, having spontaneous dance parties, playing piano, and going to Buffalo Wild Wings on Wing Night. Professionally and personally, I aspire to live by the Mr. Feeny quote, “Dream. Believe. Try. Do Good.” I strive to use my passions to serve others and contribute positively to the world around me.
Connect with me on LinkedIn.