Making sure enough balls are in the air and the supply chain

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Spike Ball's COO sees instant benefits from online master's program in supply chain management

P. Scott Palmer’s plunge into the study of supply chain management was well-timed. 

His first class in the online master of science in supply chain management program offered by Rutgers Business School led him to reconsider inventory projections for Spike Ball, the small company behind the widely popular game of the same name.

"It had me looking at forecasting in a completely different way,” said Palmer, the company’s chief operating officer. "We would have run out of product if I hadn’t put through an increase, and we would have lost money or passed up opportunities."

P. Scott Palmer is the chief operating officer of Spike Ball.

Six-year-old Spike Ball has warehouses in three countries. It ships product to 52 countries and 3,000 retail locations in the U.S. For the past three years, its revenues have tripled annually – and that was before it received the backing of investor-entrepreneur Daymond John when the company was invited to appear on ABC's Shark Tank.

Palmer, whose background is data-driven marketing and custom print manufacturing, said "as the company continued to grow, the need to have a deeper understanding of supply chain had come up.”

This is part of an occasional series of stories highlighting the specialty masters programs at Rutgers Business School.

Palmer said he considered programs at other schools that would have required him to relocate and juggle class time with the demands of a growing company.

"When you take a class, you participate and leave," he said. "Taking this program online allows me to take the principles I learn about and apply them immediately in real time."

After one of his first lectures, he immediately began implementing new principles in his work. "It has allowed me to become a better manager and to better support the growth of the company,” Palmer said.

Learn more about what led Palmer to choose Rutgers and hear some of his impressions of the program by listening to a recent conversation he had with Rudi Leuschner, a professor of supply chain management, over Skype.

TAGS: Master of Supply Chain Management Online Return on Investment Supply Chain Management