Tag: Innovation



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

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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




One of the most-explored and desired processes of today’s global business marketplace is innovation.  In this highly digitized age, where entrepreneurship and start-up ideas are encouraged and often fostered, traditional organizational hierarchies can be brushed to the side.  The power of a game-changing idea has the ability to transcend this traditional structure, leaving room for equal places of contribution to the table.

The most recent broadcast of the Executive MBA program’s “Live from Olin Business School” webinar series challenged the common notion that a leader should not be involved in the innovation process.  Stuart Bunderson, Associate Dean & Director of Executive Programs, the George & Carol Bauer Professor of Organizational Ethics & Governance and Co-Director of the Bauer Leadership Center, presented the webinar.  In “Leading Innovation without Getting in the Way,” Bunderson broke down just why innovation does not work effectively without the involvement of a strong leader.

By citing the famous example of the 1999 IDEO shopping cart video, in which an IDEO team redesigned the standard shopping cart in just five days, Bunderson showed how innovation is a process buffeted by the contribution of members from each level of a hierarchical system. IDEO, a Palo-Alto, California based invention company, had not formally defined hierarchy of its shopping cart team. Team members were encouraged to contribute ideas equally in the short five-day due date.

Buoyed by this timeline, key members of the team did help drive the process forward, each with a specific role to play. Narrowing down the best idea meant that contributions from the group facilitator, company founder and more experienced members led the team to a revolutionary approach to the shopping cart.

Bunderson emphasized that a social hierarchy helps innovation. Hierarchy is a natural occurrence because of differences in expertise, education, and other characteristics within groups of people. It contributes to the function of groups, most particularly where there is a problem that needs to be solved in a specific amount of time, such as the IDEO shopping cart proposal. These types of “problem parameters” encourage creativity, because time and resource restraints often can produce the most skilled outputs from group members.

Because of this organizational behavior, leadership develops. Leaders become moderators of sorts, making sure that voices are heard and the ideas of team members are not drowned out. This is not for the leader’s professional benefit, but for the guidance of the team and its product output. If there are disagreements, a group can be sidetracked from its goal and its organizational structure. A leader, produced from a social hierarchical system, will settle these disagreements and achieve coordination. In other words, keeping the eyes on the prize – a group or organization requires leadership to encourage direction over conflict, move things forward and foster innovation.

The ancient quote from Lao Tzu, from the Tao Te Ching, best sums up what Bunderson conveyed in his research findings:

“A leader is best when people barely know he [or she] exists, when his [or her] work is done, his [or her] aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”

Please visit www.olin.wustl.edu/EMBAevents to register for the next “Live from Olin Business School” event and to learn more about the Executive MBA program.




Alumni in the news

Retired US Air Force veteran Don Halpin, a 2016 graduate of Olin’s Executive MBA program, is the Healthcare Systems Engineer at the Jump Simulation Lab at OSF Innovations in Peoria, IL. He is responsible for supporting socio-technical innovation projects. In this role, he develops new technologies and processes – particularly the incorporation of aviation safety tools into the healthcare arena. Halpin’s second career at “Jump” was recently featured in The Edwardsville Intelligencer.

Don Halpin is a graduate of the USAF Academy with a BS in Electrical Engineering (computer design focus) and a MS in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle University.

Halpin employs forward-thinking best-practices from his 28 years in the Air Force. His final assignment was as the Director of Safety for Air Mobility Command where he was responsible for the flight and ground safety of its 55,000 person operation. He was an airlift and air refueling pilot, capability planner, political-military affairs officer, squadron and wing commander.  Now, he’s applying his knowledge of mobility operations to the medical sector at Jump Simulation, also known as Jump, for short.

Jump, which opened in April 2013, is a collaboration between OSF Healthcare and the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, and aims to improve the experience of medical practitioners and patients through education and simulation initiatives. One such initiative includes printing 3-D hearts for cardiovascular surgeons to employ before surgery, an example of the high-tech atmosphere at the innovative company.

Halpin credits his strong family support system and Olin’s Executive MBA program as assets to his work at Jump, where he started working following his retirement from the Air Force. He was actively engaged in the EMBA curriculum, graduating with honors, while also fully engaged in the important work at Jump. Managing work, family and EMBA is a challenging yet rewarding experience for Executive MBA students.

With healthcare positioned as one of world’s most relevant and global industries, Halpin practices the EMBA pledge to take “business knowledge and translate concepts into real world applications,” on a daily basis.

To read more about Halpin’s work, please see the news article from The Edwardsville Intelligencer here.




Sports, much like business, represent a global entity. No matter the sport, the values created and embedded on the court, mat, and field don’t just lie within the lines. How can the drive and passion for sports carry over to society, where individuals can enhance business organizations and their own enterprises with their background in sportsmanship? In turn, how do sports shape society? The 2017 Leadership Perspectives series continued by discussing these topics and more at the Charles F. Knight Executive Education Center at Olin.

The St. Louis Business Journal’s Senior Reporter, Brian Feldt, moderated the forum. The panelists included Solomon Alexander, Foundation Director, St. Louis Sports Commission; Drew Caylor, Partner, Louis York Capital & EMBA Alumnus; Khalia Collier, Owner/General Manager, St. Louis Surge Women’s Basketball; Tim Hayden, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Stadia Ventures; and Greg Waldbaum, CEO, 3D Lacrosse & Olin Alumnus.

Each of the panelists brought a unique perspective on the contribution of sports, with commentary on topics ranging from the value of trophies in kids’ sports leagues to the recruiting of high school and professional athletes. One attendee brought her high school-aged son to learn from the panel’s experiences. Waldbaum pointed out that “grades and more grades” are most important in college scouting, emphasizing the importance of success in the classroom as well as in competition. However, he specified that colleges contact high school coaches quite frequently to find out how players perform as a team player and how they lead and show good sportsmanship. Much like academics, sports play a key role in opening up opportunities for getting into a reach school.

On the impact of sports on leadership, Collier noted, “96 percent of women at the executive level attribute their success to sports.” The St. Louis Surge players not only serve as All-American NCAA athletes, but also as role models and mentors, fostering the next generation of leaders. Caylor, who spent several of his early post-college years in the NFL as a center, is a prime example of how sports values also carry over to a business career. Caylor realized that although his true passion and talents lie more within the financial industry, he still balanced the technical skills necessary for the investment sector with the team and collaborative-based skills learned on the field.

In a similar vein, Hayden brought up a fun fact: “Junior Bridgeman is the second-wealthiest athlete”—not holistically due to athletic achievements, but due to entrepreneurship in using his sports salary to buy and invest in franchises both in and out of the sports world. Hayden and Waldbaum both agreed on how experiencing the reality of either a ‘W’ or a ‘L’ in sports educates a former athlete on how to rebound after a failure as an entrepreneur and problem solve when it comes to adapting strategies for business.

In addition to skills for the job market, perhaps the most applicable takeaway of the session, and of sport itself, is learning invaluable life lessons on how to be a teammate and an emphatic human being. Collier underscored that much more than stats contribute to an athlete’s success—character, she said, speaks volumes.

As the forum ended, Solomon Alexander said, to a round of applause, that the best translation of sportsmanship to society is “treating each other like a fellow human being in the most respectful way.”


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