Tag: Research Centers

For Anheuser-Busch InBev, it’s difficult enough to manage the most efficient beer supply chain in the U.S. As they acquire an ever-growing number of craft breweries, the complexity of their distribution increases dramatically. But with extremely accurate production planning and time-tested transportation methods, the largest brewer in the world is able to spread the joy of delicious craft beer to the farthest corners of the earth.

Chris Pickett, Senior Director of Tier 1 Warehousing & Transportation, paid a visit to The Boeing Center to talk about his role in AB InBev’s operations. He shared insights on effectively integrating craft beers into a macro beer supply chain, as well as managing load complexity and shipment quantities across brands.

Product mix complexity is managed by AB InBev using three main strategies. First, they use rigid cycle production to maximize output for each SKU. Second, they plan pallets using optimized order quantity, which helps them to meet wholesaler demand using the fewest number of shipments. Third, they build pallets using proprietary technology in the warehouse environment, ensuring the most beneficial product stacking patterns. All of these techniques allow AB InBev to manage an efficient supply chain, while maintaining an extremely high service level for their craft beer offerings.

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

Supply Chain // Operational Excellence // Risk Management

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




With pension payouts skyrocketing, tax credits expiring and the inability to pay operating expenses, Puerto Rico filed for bankruptcy protection May 3. The U.S. territory owes an estimated $73 billion to assorted creditors, including Wall Street firms. This makes the bankruptcy the largest-ever American municipal debt restructuring in history.

A senior lecturer in finance at Washington University in St. Louis’s Olin Business School says the situation should serve as a dire wake-up call to the municipal bond market.

Ryffel

“Earlier this year, when the bankruptcy of the fictitious town of Sanidcott became the subject of the hit Showtime series ‘Billions’, I knew we had reached a new low point in the municipal bond market,” said Rich Ryffel, who advised governments, corporations and more about financing and capital structure in his 30-year career in investment banking and asset management. “So common had the once-unheard of notion of municipal bankruptcy become, that it would now be understandable to the television audience and fodder worthy of acting out on the small screen. Well, now the folks in Puerto Rico have given us an even better subject.  Reminiscent of CSI Las Vegas, CSI Miami, CSI Whatever, we now have – Municipal Bankruptcy: Puerto Rico.

“Puerto Rico has become the U.S. municipal bond market’s own little Greece, seeking from the courts what it could not find the will nor the way to do on its own; change its profligate ways and pay its creditors.  Its move to the courts lowers the recovery floor in its negotiations with creditors and gives it remedies heretofore unavailable… . Years of preferential tax and trade treatment failed to create an island economic paradise, so after seeking new assistance from Congress last year, Puerto Rico is now adding itself to the list of those expecting others to suffer the hangover after they they enjoy the bender; think Greece, Argentina, Wall Street.  Where does this end?”

Ryffel says the long-held assumption that governments could repay their debt has eroded, and that’s changed the playing field for lenders.

“Not that long ago, the municipal bond market used two standards when considering whether to open the lending tap to borrowers — one’s ability to pay and one’s willingness to pay,” Ryffel said. “The first threshold was fairly easy to assess. The second was always more difficult to gauge — being more qualitative in nature — but it was assumed that governments would only borrow what was needed to provide essential public services and would take all necessary means to repay its obligations. Default, let alone bankruptcy, was a remote thought.

“Now, however, we see with growing and concerning frequency borrowers treating repayment as optional, as the redemption provision in their bonds themselves. The problem is that the markets depend on this second lending standard and as it erodes, the availability of municipal credit will both shrink and become more expensive for all market participants.”

The Puerto Rico bankruptcy dwarves that of Detroit, which was previously the U.S.’s largest municipal bankruptcy. The city filed for Chapter 9 protection in 2013, with $18 billion in debt. While studies are underway to assess the impact of Detroit’s financial woes, Ryffel says the Puerto Rico situation could send even more shockwaves, not just because of the amount owed, but also for the way it could change laws allowing massive debt forgiveness.

“Puerto Rico may have even larger impacts on the market because they have not only moved to the Doomsday scenario, they successfully had law changed to allow them to do so,” Ryffel said. “In essence, they not only started the markets down the slippery slope, they had a slippery slope built for them.

“To be fair, Puerto Rico is only doing what they need to do to protect their citizens, and they have used every tool available to them. One can’t blame their leadership for that.  While there may not be enough money to go around, there is plenty of blame to go around.  Healthy portions of it go to prior administrations which borrowed without a plan to repay and which borrowed to pay operating expenses rather than invest in the future. Still too, blame must also go to the municipal bond markets, which for years knew of Puerto Rico’s increasing lack of ability to pay, yet still lent it money.”

Guest blogger: Erika Ebsworth-Goold, WashU’s The Source

CATEGORY: News



A team of operations and supply chain management graduate students from Washington University’s Olin Business School came in second place at the regional finals of the Supply Chain Finance Community’s Global Student Challenge on Thursday, March 9. The competition, held at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, was designed to promote awareness on the topic of supply chain finance and risk management.

“The Challenge engages participants to consider corporate strategy and business objectives and to manage cross-functional trade-offs in the value chain. Cross-functional understanding and collaboration are key components, as teams work together to turn their company around.” ~ globalstudentchallenge.org

The competition was based on a business simulation called The Cool Connection. According to the competition’s website, this simulation “provides insight in the complexities and inter-dependencies in supply chains operating under uncertain and volatile market conditions.”

The Olin team, composed of Xingxing Chen, Fasheng Xu, Yu Li, and Yunzhe Qiu, performed consistently well over multiple rounds, and stayed within reach of winning throughout the competition. Unfortunately, they were ultimately edged out in the final round of play. However, they placed ahead of strong competitors from Duke, USC, Maryland, and other top universities. They will find out in the coming weeks if they will advance to the global final to be held in the Netherlands in April.

On behalf of the Olin community, The Boeing Center for Supply Chain Innovation would like to congratulate the team on its excellent performance! All of them have sharpened their supply chain management skills through their participation in mini-consulting projects that BCSCI conducts with its member companies. Our students’ success at the Global Student Challenge serves as another validation of their capabilities.

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

Supply Chain // Operational Excellence // Risk Management

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




Mike Matheny was a speaker at Olin’s “Defining Moments: Lessons in Leadership and Character from the Top” course. 

“Leadership and high-level achievements go hand-in-hand,” began Mike Matheny during his presentation at Olin’s Defining Moments course in January. Mike is the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, a role he’s held since 2012. Mike was a professional baseball player, playing as catcher for the Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays, St. Louis Cardinals, and the San Francisco Giants before hanging up his gloves in 2006. After his stint as a professional catcher, he became involved in youth sports, coaching Little League, publishing a book on youth sports, as well as starting a non-profit, the Catch Twenty-Two Foundation, before following the infamous Tony La Russa in becoming the Cardinal’s manager. Mike has won numerous awards and accolades, both as a player and as a coach. He is a four-time winner of the Gold Glove award as well as the youngest and most winning manager in recent history.

Mike Matheny is a high-performer, having achieved the pinnacle of baseball by playing in the Major Leagues. It’s not his position, but his performance that Mike says makes him to be a leader—and he believes that high performers are leaders because others want to follow them. Mike shared with us five attributes that separate the highest performers from the rest. He believes that living a lifestyle of learning, having the discipline and focus to do the right thing, being inherently tough with grit, having positive energy, and selflessness are the hallmarks of high-performing leaders. Matheny goes further to say that showing up with energy and enthusiasm are non-negotiable for any leader, quoting his mentor, Willie McGee: “Some people light up a room when they enter, some when they leave.”

Guest blogger: Tony Nuber is a 2017 MBA Candidate in the Full-time MBA Program at Olin Business School. 


Washington University’s Olin Business School was proud to host the second annual Monsanto Olin Supply Chain Case Competition on Friday, February 3. Teams from top business schools across the country competed for bragging rights and the $10,000 grand prize. Participating universities included Michigan State University, the University of Washington, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, the University of Minnesota, the University of Missouri, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Washington University in St. Louis, and last year’s champs, Texas Christian University. After much deliberation, the judges decided that UNC had delivered the top overall presentation, with second place going to WashU, and third place to Mizzou.

The competition was designed to give graduate students an opportunity to provide innovative business solutions to a case study written about Monsanto’s seed corn supply chain. Monsanto’s motivation for holding the competition was to foster and attract more supply chain management talent to work on food supply chain solutions for an ever-growing world. Monsanto’s Global Customer Care team, led by Mario Morhy and Marcelle Pires, was very pleased with all presentations and impressed by the level of talent and insight displayed by the teams.

1st Place $10,000:  University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill
2nd Place $5000:  Washington University, Team Olin :Tom Siepman, Serena Chen, Ravi Balu and Samantha Feng
3rd Place $2500:  University of Missouri- Columbia

The case study used for the competition, titled “Monsanto Company: Production & Inventory Planning Challenges in Seed Corn Supply Chains,” was written by WashU’s Panos Kouvelis, Emerson Distinguished Professor of Operations and Manufacturing Management and director of The Boeing Center for Supply Chain Innovation. The competition was administered by Olin Business School’s graduate programs office, with Associate Dean Joe Fox acting as the master of ceremonies and his team, including Sarah Miller and Laura Fogarty, providing strong logistical support.

On behalf of the Olin community, The Boeing Center congratulates the UNC team on their victory and thanks all those who helped make this year’s case competition a great success!

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

The Boeing Center for Supply Chain Innovation

Supply Chain // Operational Excellence  //  Risk Management

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