Tag: strategy

Each age has deemed the new-born year the fittest time for festal cheer.

—Sir Walter Scott

Happy New Year from Olin Business School! This is the perfect time for us to extend our best wishes to you for a happy and healthy 2018.

Please watch this brief video for a sneak peek into some of the many exciting things Olin has planned for the coming year.





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


Supply Chain // Operational Excellence // Risk Management

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In her presentation at the 8th annual Boeing Center Industry Conference, Natacha Alpert, innovation lead at Caleres, spoke about the future of the fashion industry. She described how technologies such as 3D printing and body scanning are being used to manufacture consumer products with a high degree of customization, as well as how Caleres is using 3D digital design to decrease lead times and drive strategy.

According to Natacha, 3D printing, design and scanning are the new roadmap to the future.  She believes within the next five years, the footwear industry will experience a paradigm shift that will help improve the way consumers shop and, subsequently, will change how we will look at manufacturing design in the future.

For more supply chain content and cutting-edge research, check out our social media network [@theboeingcenter].

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The past year has been an extremely successful year for Olin Strategy and Consulting Association, an MBA student-run and led organization aimed at developing leaders in the disciplines of consulting and strategy.

As a measure and testament to our success this year, we are happy to announce that 18 students received full time offers to join external consulting firms and 12 students received offers to intern at external consulting firms.

We are very excited to have increased the percentage of consulting offers to 13% of the MBA class. Our MBA students will be joining a variety of firms including: Accenture, Bain & Company, Boston Consulting Group, ECG Management Consultants, Navigant Consulting, McKinsey & Company, and North Highland Consulting.

OSCA members with WCC advisors.

OSCA members with WCC advisors and faculty

Recently the students were able to sit down for a luncheon with some of the outstanding faculty at Olin who have previously worked in consulting firms. Students were able to gain insight on how to succeed going forward in their internships/full-time offers by hearing stories of their professors and learning about the “do’s and don’ts” of consulting.

In addition to faculty support, we were joined by our awesome  Weston Career Center (WCC) staff members who helped make the luncheon possible and have been our biggest supporters all year long.

Guest blogger: Sarah Lobo, MBA Candidate 2016, President, Olin Strategy & Consulting Association

David Nicklaus looks for answers in a recent column featuring an interview with Olin’s Lamar Pierce.

The great economist Milton Friedman famously argued that a business’s only social responsibility is to make more money, and his view dominated boardroom thinking for decades. What has caused big business to abandon Friedman’s principle? Lamar Pierce, associate professor of organization and strategy at Washington University’s Olin Business School, thinks it’s the advent of social media and the 24-hour news cycle. “Because of the changing nature of media, it’s easier to get messages out very quickly, and it’s more important to get them out,” Pierce says.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“CEOs turn activists when social issues affect the bottom line”
Link to article

On our second day in Budapest, we made our way to an island in the Danube River called Óbudai-sziget (“Old Buda Island”), for our first meeting with Sziget, our client for the Venture Consulting in Budapest program which is offered every year here at Olin.

Guest Blogger, Ty Holden, MBA’16, is a student in Cliff Holekamp’s Venture Consulting course that works with companies in Budapest, Hungary.

In addition to the incredible opportunity to see and explore Budapest and to gain experience in international business, we were assigned a very exciting project: to develop a strategic plan for attracting more Americans to Sziget Festival, a week-long music and entertainment festival that takes place on Óbudai-sziget every August.

Sziget-Festival-2014-prevendite-aperteSziget attracts over 400,000 attendees a year, but essentially all are from Europe. In fact, only an estimated 200 Americans purchased tickets for last year’s festival. The task that we were given was to develop a plan for raising awareness of Sziget in the United States with a stated goal of increasing American attendance to 3,000 by 2018 (a 1500% increase). Sziget wants to diversify the origin of their attendees to protect against isolated economic difficulties and to drive 7-day ticket sales versus single day tickets.

We then had the opportunity to interview the executives of Sziget to explore its current structure, market, and strategies. With the objective and information about the festival in mind, we set out to develop a structure for addressing the problem and eventually for providing a strategic plan. In order to attack this problem, we developed a structure for understanding it called a MECE (“mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive”) tree. It is a process used at McKinsey and taught to us by Professor Orbán in Budapest.

The structure allows you see the problem in its entirety and to test hypotheses that solve it. Our analysis indicated that Sziget’s problem was an awareness issue, and in order to attract more Americans on a tight marketing budget, the probable solution is to employ a very targeted marketing campaign. This raises another challenge, however, in that we must now determine the typical American customer who is interested in the offerings of Sziget and also has the time and money to attend. Once the target customer is identified, we will need to develop a plan for reaching these individuals.

Overall, the week was a great success. Our project was given some much needed context and our interview sessions with the Sziget executives proved invaluable. While we were certainly sad to leave Budapest and all that it has to offer, we are excited to return the United States to continue to work on this exciting, unique project.