Robert Trent is the supply chain management program director at Lehigh University and Management Department Chair, and Director of the Center for Value Chain Research. He also teaches at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He holds a B.S. degree in materials logistics management, an M.B.A., and a Ph.D. in purchasing/operations management.
Prior to his return to academia, Professor Trent spent seven years with Chrysler Corporation. His industrial experience includes assignments in production scheduling, packaging engineering with responsibility for new part packaging set-up and the purchase of nonproductive materials, distribution planning, and operations management at the Boston regional parts distribution facility. He has also worked on numerous special industry projects.
He has authored or co-authored articles appearing in the International Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management, the Journal of Supply Chain Management, the International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, Total Quality Management, Supply Chain Management Review, Inside Supply Management, The Purchasing Handbook, Academy of Management Executive, Sloan Management Review, Business Horizons, and Supply Chain Forum: An International Journal. Dr. Trent has also presented numerous topics at conferences and seminars. His coauthored study on cross-functional sourcing team effectiveness was published through the CAPS Research in 1993; a coauthored research report on purchasing/sourcing trends was published through CAPS in 1995; a third CAPS project that investigated how organizations reduce the effort and transactions required to purchase low value goods and services was published in 1999; and a coauthored CAPS Research study on global sourcing was published in 2006. He is also the coauthor of a textbook titled Purchasing and Supply Chain Management, now in its third edition, and the author of the 2007 book Strategic Supply Management—Creating the Next Source of Competitive Advantage. His book, End-to-End Lean Management—A Guide to Complete Supply Chain Improvement was published in Summer 2008. In 2009 he co-authored a book with Lew Roberts titled Managing Global Supply and Risk - Best Practices, Concepts, and Strategies. In 2011 he co-authored a book with Robert Rudzki titled Next Level Supply Management Excellence.
Since arriving at Lehigh, Trent has been awarded the Class of 1961 Professorship, the Eugene Mercy Professorship, and the George N. Beckwith Professorship. He is also active with the ISM, serving for many years as the Professional Development Director of the NAPM of the Lehigh Valley. He recently served as a member of The APICS National Board of Directors and is currently serving as a member of the APICS E&R National Board. Bob and his family reside in Lopatcong Township, New Jersey.