Business & Research

The inaugural Project of the Year Symposium provides a competitive forum for student consulting teams to present their work and a chance to win awards totaling $10,500.

“Just consider me as Joe bag-of-doughnuts, Joe six pack,” says the self-deprecating host of the American Management Association’s Edgewise podcast, Dave Summers, as he invites Anne Marie Knott to explain her RQ theory to non-academics. The two discuss Knott’s new book, How Innovation Really Works on the podcast.

Prof. Anne Marie Knott

Knott, professor of strategy at Olin, has developed a tool to measure the relationship between a company’s spending on R&D and how it affects profits and market value. You can think of the tool called “RQ” for Research Quotient as the equivalent of human IQ measurement for companies. If you know a company’s RQ, according to Knott, you can determine its optimal level of  R&D spending, and you can figure out how the change in R&D spending affects profits and market value.

How Innovation Really Works is accessible to “Joe Six Pack” as well as Jane, PhD. Knott says, “Geeks like me can find all the mathematical stuff in Chapter 10. The math is really beautiful.” For those who want to skip the numbers, she recommends chapters 1-8 to understand the the innovation-R&D-GDP connections.

Knott explains on the podcast how she got interested in innovation and R&D while working on missile defense systems at Hughes Aircraft before she entered academics. Her corporate experience fueled her research into why companies like Hughes were failing to maintain their innovative edge by outsourcing R&D.

The Edgewise podcast is produced by the AMA, link here for more info.

Related blog post with video.


In order to reduce operational costs and maximize beer freshness, Anheuser-Busch InBev is constantly identifying new tracking technologies to help them stay on top of their shipments. Many carriers have their own digital portals showing the location and route of their trucks, but since ABI contracts with hundreds of different carriers, the time and complexity needed to manage shipment logistics requires a different solution.

As a result, they’ve developed an application that allows logistics managers to log into a single portal and see real-time tracking on all trucks.  Unlike other existing portals, ABI’s aggregates many different carriers’ data feeds in a single user interface. In addition to seeing where the trucks are, they can also see what routes they’ve taken to get there, the contents of each truck, and the estimated time of delivery. The application is available to wholesalers as well, allowing them to plan ahead for the unloading process.

Navigation in phone. Isolated 3D image

The technology also allows ABI to utilize a tracking technology called “geofencing.” As soon as a truck crosses these virtual fences, a sensor pings their distribution centers and lets them know its exact location and the time it arrived at that location. It also gives them insight into their operational efficiency (i.e., how quickly the trucks are being unloaded and turned around).

By using these technologies, ABI is able to have greater visibility of its supply chain on a granular level. They can then take this information to identify the most efficient carriers and negotiate rates.

In the video above, Dan Hazlett and Matt Gordon of ABI describe some of the innovative technologies they are employing to improve the visibility of their payloads. This is a highlight of their presentation at the 2016 Boeing Center Industry Conference at Washington University.

By Evan Dalton

For more supply chain digital content and cutting-edge research, check us out on the socials [@theboeingcenter] and our website []

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A Boeing Center digital production


Supply Chain // Operational Excellence  //  Risk Management

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Friday, May 19 marked the fifth and final day of our stay in New York City. We first went to Goldman Sachs and had a great time with the speakers from risk management department. The first speaker has worked at Goldman Sachs for three decades and also happens to be a graduate of WashU’s School of Engineering. He shared his career path with us and how he finally found his passion for risk management. The best advice he gave us is to keep learning specific skills in school and thinking about how to apply our knowledge to work. Even though the practical world is different than the theoretical world, the knowledge we learn in school is the foundation of our future work, and when technologies change fast, the foundation does not change. Also, when asked for advice about interviewing, he emphasized the importance of being honest about what you know and what you don’t know, and showing your willingness to learn.

Next, two younger analysts from the risk management office had a Q&A time with us. One of them just joined the team last year, so she had many recent experiences that we were curious about. Many students asked questions about how to prepare for the interviews and what kind of skills Goldman Sachs required. They also talked about the normal day-to-day work and the training program that Goldman Sachs provides.

In the afternoon, we headed to another asset management heavyweight on the street, Neuberger Berman, one of the largest independent, employee-owned investment management firms.

After stepping into the fantastic meeting room, holding a nice drink, and enjoying a magnificent bird’s eye view of the New York skyline and Central Park, we understood the reason that Neuberger Berman is consistently ranked as the company with highest employee satisfaction.

Three senior VP-level speakers shared with us great lessons from their areas of expertise. The head of strategy shared his investment thesis in frontier markets, equity markets, and commodity markets. He also shared his idea of opportunities on investing in fundamentals globally and the trend of macro economics. He frequently discusses these topics with extremely high ranking officials, such as finance ministers of foreign nations.

The head of municipal bonds shared impressive knowledge on municipal bond pricing, valuation, trading strategy, and wisely linked back to dynamics of US municipality financial operation and the challenges and risks they face. Real case studies on Puerto Rico and Detroit gave international students great exposure to the current US public finance system.

The head of corporate finance explained his strategy in dealing with the global corporate system of Neuberger in tax planning, corporate governing, structure optimization, and company controlling. He shared his personal story and career path, which was very interesting for students like us who want to be a CFO of a leading financial institute with a global footprint.

We concluded our New York immersion course with a guided tour of Wall Street. Our guide was a welcoming gentleman, who used to work as a trader in the New York Stock Exchange. While we were walking along the street, we got to know the history of Wall Street, the market, and its participants. We also visited all the famous buildings on the street and heard great stories from years gone by.

The tour ended at the new World Trade Center (pcitured at left), which stands across from the 9/11 monument. While fascinated by the new tower’s beauty, we began to ruminate on the value of peace for society.


Guest Bloggers: Sihao (Henry) Feng, Ye Qu, Yilin Wu, Jiaqi (Jack) Yang (GMF 2017)

This is a series of blogs chronicling the experiences of 42 Global Master of Finance (GMF) dual degree students during their two week immersion course in New York and Washington, DC. Each blog will be written by a small subset of students during their experience. Names of speakers and presenters at firms are anonymous at the request of the firms and course organizers.

We started the day of May 18 by visiting Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), one of the oldest private equity investment firms in the world. Walking on the street, we can sense the passion and energy that embrace the morning of New York City.

Founded in 1978, CD&R today manages investments of approximately $17 billion in 52 businesses. Approximately sixty percent of CD&R’s transactions have involved corporate divestitures.

During the session, one practitioner shared insightful market views of the pharmaceutical industry with us, such as the recent market momentum, how to locate companies conformed to their investment thesis, and how to quantify the risk involved. Additionally, three young associates also shared their valuable career experience with us, such as how they found their passion, how to learn a completely unfamiliar industry or product, and how to develop their own market perception. During this presentation, we had a very unique experience to visit a world-leading PE firm and interact with senior practitioners. It did inspire us a lot, from the big picture of PE industry to the details such as how to make a good deal.

After lunch and a short rest, we visited the headquarters of JPMorgan Chase & Co. We spent almost a whole afternoon in this exquisite building, where trillions of assets are under management. The office floor of JPMorgan Chase & Co. is very elegant, with several works of art decorating the hallway, making us feel professional and at the same time artistic.

JP Morgan's building in New York City

During the visit, we had a lot of insightful conversations with staff members from different divisions, as well as several educational lectures provided by JP Morgan staff.

All of the lecturers and hosts were very professional, and we could feel that they were full of passion for their jobs. They were generous to share their personal market perspective with us, answering our questions comprehensively and thoroughly. Based on some fundamental knowledge we have learned in our courses, the lecturers expanded on the applications of concepts, and how the real world operates.

JP Morgan left us with an extraordinary impression of its awareness of global trends, understanding of the market, and its rigorous and advanced strategies of investment. In this visit, we not only learned how financial markets run in reality, but also got a sense of how to build our career paths toward financial experts and how to build our own view to the markets around the globe.

We concluded the day by returning to our hotel on the same street, but we are more certain about our future.

Guest Bloggers: Wan Syuan (Susan) Chen, Shuhuan (Alice) Fu, Shuangqing (Sean) Wang, Guanhao (Jeffrey) Zeng (GMF 2017)

This is a series of blogs chronicling the experiences of 42 Global Master of Finance (GMF) dual degree students during their two week immersion course in New York and Washington, DC. Each blog will be written by a small subset of students during their experience. Names of speakers and presenters at firms are anonymous at the request of the firms and course organizers.