Tag: Innovation



Twenty years ago, through the exceptional generosity of the McDonnell Douglas Foundation, The Boeing Center for Technology, Information, and Manufacturing was endowed in the Olin Business School. Since then, we have served as a powerful catalyst for technology-driven innovation, process optimization, risk management, and global supply chain excellence.

In honor of our 20th anniversary, and to more accurately reflect our focus, we adopted a new look and changed our name to The Boeing Center for Supply Chain Innovation. And with a renewed vigor, we completed the most successful year in our history. Not only did we work on a record number of corporate projects, but we also hosted several events featuring exceptional speakers and supported research on a number of cutting-edge topics.

This spring, we welcomed Mike Pinedo, the Julius Schlesinger Professor of Operations Management at New York University, to talk about operational risk management in the service industry at our 13th annual Meir Rosenblatt memorial lecture. And we welcomed John Stroup, President and CEO of Belden Inc., to share his perspectives on Industry 4.0 and the emerging technologies that will impact the manufacturing industry and beyond. Both presentations were intellectually stimulating and thought provoking.

We also held our inaugural project competition and awards ceremony, the Project of the Year Symposium, which highlighted our top five corporate projects from the 2016-2017 academic year. The Symposium featured presentations from our student teams that worked on projects for Anheuser-Busch InBev, Belden, Boeing, Emerson, and Monsanto. The teams competed for awards in “Project of the Year,” “Greatest Immediate Business Impact,” and “Presentation Excellence,” and split a $10,500 prize pool. A summary of all our spring projects can be found below.

Our 3rd annual Supply Chain Finance & Risk Management Conference took place on May 14-15. The aim of the conference, which was attended by prominent academic researchers from top business schools from around the world, was to stimulate interactions and knowledge sharing at the interface of operations and finance, and supply chain risk management. The conference featured presentations based on current research trends, including real operations and risk management, crowd funding, finance, trade credit, and hedging. There was also a panel discussion on emerging themes and directions of the field.  One of the initiatives resulting from the conference will be an edited book, comprised of short papers submitted by attendees, to be published this fall as an issue in the Foundations and Trends in Technology, Information and Operations Management book series.

We would also like to share with you some of the corporate projects The Boeing Center and student teams have led for our corporate clients this year.

Lastly, we would like to thank all of our corporate member companies for providing us with the opportunity to offer valuable experiential learning to our students, who dedicated long hours to ensure delivery of insightful and impactful supply chain solutions. We hope you all had an awesome summer, and we look forward to working with you again soon!


Learn more about sponsored projects and membership through The Boeing Center.

Anheuser-Busch InBev

This project revolved around optimizing the inventory mix at distribution centers for some of ABI’s craft beer products, particularly Stella Artois. The team utilized mathematical models with the potential to reduce accessorial costs and increase product freshness. Student team:  Miles Bolinger, Sam Huo, Huyen Nguyen, Roberto Ortiz, and Jon Slack.

 

Belden

The team working on this project used the QR inventory modeling approach to identify opportunities and costs for improving service levels at PPC, a Belden subsidiary in Syracuse, NY.  Student team:  Bonnie Bao, Michael Stein, Yuying Wang, and Yuyao Zhu.

 

Boeing

The goal of this project was to determine the most influential order and part characteristics affecting on-time delivery statistics of Boeing’s transactional spare parts business.  Student team:  Vineet Chauhan, Phil Goetz, Brian Liu, Sontaya Sherrell, and Fan Zhang.

 

Edward Jones

The team’s objective was to analyze the technology deployment process at Edward Jones. They did this by conducting interviews and collecting survey data to run a capacity analysis and generate a personnel network diagram.  Student team:  Huang Deng, Wyatt Gutierrez, Cynthia Huang, Drew Ruchte, and Jamie Yue.

 

Emerson

The Emerson project team worked with ProTeam’s Richmond Hill facility to determine the optimal product mix, optimize inventory management of stock, and develop a data analysis model to facilitate future upkeep of the system.  Student team:  Kushal Chawla, Serena Chen, Kai Ji, Jeffrey Lantz, and Zoe Zhao.

 

Express Scripts

The purpose of this project was to optimize Express Scripts’ distribution network by considering logistics costs, formulary configuration, and inventory vs. service levels.  Student team:  Himanshu Aggarwal, Jinsoo Chang, and Janet Qian.

 

MilliporeSigma

In this project, the team worked with MilliporeSigma’s facility in Temecula, CA to develop a model to help determine the economic production quantity for each SKU based on customer demand, production cost, inventory value, and shelf life.  Student team:  Perri Goldberg, Youngho Kim, Ayshwarya Rangarajan, Prateek Sureka, and Flora Teng.

 

Monsanto

The objective of this project was to understand, define, and map out the credit processes within Monsanto.  Student team:  Hai Cao, Yanyan Li, Ashwin Kumar, Jonathan Neff, Tom Siepman, and Xukun Zan.

 

West Pharmaceutical Services

This project sought to accurately compute the approximate safety stock levels, reorder points, and replenishment quantities at West Pharma’s Kinston plant using a continuous review model.  Student team:  Matthew Drory, Rohan Kamalia, Mrigank Kanoi, Ray Tang, and Jiani Zhai.

 


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

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A Boeing Center digital production

The Boeing Center

Supply Chain  //  Operational Excellence  //  Risk Management

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Technology is changing the landscape of supply chain at a breakneck pace, and organizations that are able to stay ahead of the curve often enjoy a significant advantage over their industry competitors. Digitization, cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence are all major factors in shaping operational strategy. These manufacturing innovations have given rise to a trend dubbed Industry 4.0.

John Stroup, President and CEO of Belden Inc., paid a visit to The Boeing Center to share his wealth of knowledge, and to give a brief history of Industry 4.0, aka the Smart Factory. He explained that Industry 4.0, a term coined in Germany, is the fourth major iteration in manufacturing processes. “‘Smart Manufacturing,’ ‘Intelligent Factory,’ and ‘Factory of the Future’ all describe an intelligent, flexible, and dynamic production facility, where machinery and equipment will have the ability to improve processes through self-optimization and autonomous decision-making,” said Stroup. The major improvements from 3.0 to 4.0 are the ability to automate complex tasks (even remotely) and the access to data across the whole supply chain that allows for greater flexibility and connectivity.

Stroup went on to discuss the key characteristics of the Smart Factory and how innovations in digital technology have improved existing business models and enabled new ones. Such innovative technology allows for improved productivity, flexibility, and decision making, all of which benefit manufacturers and consumers alike.

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

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A Boeing Center digital production

BCSCI

Supply Chain // Operational Excellence // Risk Management

Website  • LinkedIn  • Subscribe  • Facebook  • Instagram  • Twitter  • YouTube




Where were you when Steve Jobs pulled the first iPhone out of his pocket on June 29, 2007? For many, including future historians of the digital age, that day marks a turning point in mobile communication and handheld technology. For anyone under the age of 25 it’s impossible to remember life without smart phones. Believe it or not, people used to walk, ride bikes, drive cars with their heads up, looking at the world around them instead of staring into the universe displayed on a palm-sized screen.

Rumors have been circulating for months about the iPhone 8 iterations expected to debut later this year along with a souped-up 10th anniversary special edition. Customers will probably once again camp outside stores for the bragging rights to be among the first to buy the newest model.

Seethu Seetharaman

Seethu Seetharaman, W. Patrick McGinnis Professor of Marketing at Olin uses iPhone sales data in his Data Analysis for Brand Management class. “I have used sales data for the years since the iPhone was launched to teach students how to forecast future sales. I use a new product diffusion model called the Bass Model to do this.”

Seetharaman, who is also Director of the Center for Customer Analytics & Big Data (CCABD) and Academic Director for the Master of Science in Customer Analytics (MSCA) program, points to the data that show iPhone sales increased from $19.3b in 2006 to $215.6 in 2010. That’s an 11X increase.

“The iPhone has been a disrupter like no other,” explains Seetharaman. “It has not just hurt traditional phones (i.e., competitors within the same category), but has destroyed at least four other product categories in a decade’s time!”

Seetharaman shares more data from 2006-2016 as proof of the products left behind in the wake of the iPhone’s success:

  • Digital camera sales fell by 66%
  • MP3 player sales fell by 87%
  • Portal Navigation Systems sales fell by 80%
  • Camcorder sales fell by 93%

Carol Johanek

Carol Johanek, Olin Adjunct Professor of Marketing, says building customer loyalty has been a key to Apple’s success:
“Apple has excelled in building loyalty for its overall brand by continuously understanding the changing preferences of its core customers and adapting its platform to laptops, tablets, smart phones and online music over the years. Their excellence in customer service and allowing for an easy transition into upgrades has enabled the brand to achieve a strong retention among its customer base.”

Craving iPhone trivia? Here are a few sources:

  • In July 2016, CEO Tim Cook announced Apple had sold the billionth iPhone.
  • Currently, there are more than 700 million iPhones in use worldwide. That’s according to an estimate from BMO Capital Markets which includes more than 200 million second-hand iPhones.  Source: Fortune
  • Why is 9:41 always the time displayed on Apple devices in marketing materials? Link to answer.
  • 60 amazing iPhone facts & stats



With more than ten thousand dollars at stake, student teams competed in the first-ever Project of the Year Symposium, hosted by The Boeing Center for Supply Chain Innovation (BCSCI), on May 17 at Washington University. The BCSCI symposium featured the top five corporate mini-consulting projects executed via our Center in the 2016-2017 academic year. The top prize, $5,500, for Best Project of the Year was awarded to the Emerson team. A second award, $3,000, was given to the Belden team for a project that demonstrated the greatest immediate business impact.  A third award. $2,000, was given to the Monsanto team for delivering the best presentation. All winning teams will be inducted into the Boeing Center Projects Hall of Fame.

Each student team had 15 minutes in front of a panel of judges composed of BCSCI advisory board members and representatives.

While all of our project teams (a total of 15 corporate projects) did an excellent job this year, these five demonstrated a particularly high level of execution, which set them apart. We are grateful to all of our member companies for providing us with interesting and challenging projects, and to all the students who worked on Boeing Center projects this year.

A special thanks goes out to our judges and board members in attendance: Greg Krekeler (Boeing), Mike Woerner (Edward Jones), Eric Carlson (Emerson), Marcelle Pires (Monsanto), Becky McDonough (Monsanto), and of course our own Sergio Chayet (WashU) and Panos Kouvelis (WashU & BCSCI Director). We look forward to developing more innovative supply chain solutions in the fall semester!

Representing this academic year’s projects in the competition were:

ABI student team: Serena Chen, Xinyue Du, Marcus Lei, Yanyan Li, and Cauthen Mordente.

Anheuser-Busch InBev  |  Fall 2016

The Anheuser-Busch InBev team’s project revolved around optimizing the inventory mix at distribution centers for some of ABI’s craft beer products. The need to achieve shipping efficiency by shipping full truckloads is a challenge when lower volume craft beers are involved. It is also important to maintain high service levels of performance when delivering to wholesalers.

The team utilized simulation models to support either the use of higher inventory levels at the distribution center, or shipping lower volume and higher volume beers on the same truck to achieve higher service levels for craft beers.

Belden  |  Spring 2017

Panos Kouvelis with Belden student team: Bonnie Bao, Michael Stein, Yuying Wang, and Yuyao Zhu.

The award for the “Greatest Immediate Business Impact,” with impressive overall cost savings to the company, was given to the Belden team.

The Belden team used the continuous review modeling approach, together with concepts of ABC analysis and market uncertainty, to identify opportunities for lowering costs and improving service levels at PPC, a Belden subsidiary in Syracuse, NY. The proposed decision support spreadsheet will be immediately implemented by the company, and will result in substantial savings. This project delivered the most immediate business impact.

Boeing  |  Spring 2017

Student team: Vineet Chauhan, Phil Goetz, Brian Liu, Sontaya Sherrell, and Fan Zhang.  

The Boeing team’s goal was to determine the most influential order and part characteristics affecting suppliers’ on-time delivery statistics of Boeing’s transactional spare parts business.

Emerson  |  Spring 2017

Student team: Kushal Chawla, Serena Chen, Kai Ji, Jeffrey Lantz, and Zoe Zhao, pictured at top of page.

The judges determined that the Emerson team had delivered the best overall project performance (problem solution, business impact, and presentation), and was declared “Project of the Year” winner.  The Emerson project team worked with ProTeam’s Richmond Hill facility to determine the optimal product mix, optimize inventory management of stock, and develop a data analysis model to facilitate future upkeep of the system. This was a well-executed project, with rigorous analysis and strong presentation by the team.

Monsanto  |  Spring 2017

Student team: Hai Cao, Yanyan Li, Ashwin Kumar, Jonathan Neff, Tom Siepman, and Xukun Zan.

Finally, the Monsanto team’s goal was to understand, define, and map out the credit processes within Monsanto. The audience enjoyed this team’s excellent presentation. The Monsanto team impressed the judges with the quality of its work and its exceptional presentation, and received the “Presentation Excellence” award.

Boeing Center Symposium photo gallery • click here

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

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A Boeing Center digital production

BCSCI

Supply Chain // Operational Excellence // Risk Management

Website  • LinkedIn  • Subscribe  • Facebook  • Instagram  • Twitter  • YouTube


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 [olin.wustl.edu/bcsci]

• • •

A Boeing Center digital production

BCSCI

Supply Chain // Operational Excellence  //  Risk Management

Website  • LinkedIn  • Subscribe  • Facebook  • Instagram  • Twitter  • YouTube