Blog by Christopher Rusell
Supply chain practitioners make countless decisions every day without really understanding the mental processes that underpin their choices. Recent studies on these cerebral interactions have shed light on the psychology of risk, an emerging factor in risk management decision making. Operations leaders can help their teams—and themselves—to make more informed decisions and avoid common errors of judgment by being aware of these psychological influences.
MIT-authored case study shows cost, greenhouse gas reductions from increased efficiency and collaboration in logistics operations
Whether it’s a burning question that needs to be answered or a gap in your knowledge that has the potential to yield some valuable insights, taking the time to do the research – assuming you have the right resources – is often a tall order. Partnering with academia is one way to get the work done. But how can you make sure that your academic partners will deliver? There are no standard rules for such engagements, and projects vary widely in terms of their scope, subject matter, and goals
Yossi Sheffi may have his roots in engineering, but he has brought his scientific perspective and a seemingly boundless curiosity to bear on transportation, logistics, and supply chain management. Sheffi, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is the director of the school's Center for Transportation and Logistics as well as its Master of Engineering in Logistics (MLOG) degree program.
A couple of decades ago, visitors to the quiet city of Zaragoza, Spain, had no reason to think it would become a capital of world trade. But in 2000, the city opened Europe’s largest logistics hub, called PLAZA — and now Zaragoza is a key global shipping link, connecting manufacturers, suppliers and distributors, among others involved in international commerce.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., October 9, 2012 – The MIT Global SCALE Network chose The Fresh Connection (value chain learning experience) to serve as the platform for the 2013 SCALE Challenge. This is a four month long supply chain simulation exercise that includes all 98 students from the four masters-level programs within the SCALE Network.
The basic interior of the automobile changed little in the latter half of the 20th century. “You had the steering wheel, the gas pedal, the brakes. And the display in there might have been providing a digital readout of the radio station,” says Bryan Reimer, a research scientist at the MIT AgeLab. In the last decade, though, those displays have grown so sophisticated--or, rather, distracting--that even the typefaces used in them could impact how you drive, the lab’s latest study suggests.
In recent decades, numerous industrial clusters have developed around the world. Some of the best known are the knowledge clusters around Silicon Valley (for information technology), Hollywood (for entertainment), and Boston (for life sciences). In each case, one of the most powerful lures for companies and employees has been knowledge spillover. Strong clusters are ecosystems of venture capital resources, universities, research centers, employers, highly skilled workers and institutions for collaborations, such as chambers of commerce.
Smart headlights, emergency response systems and reverse monitoring features rank highest
HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Smart headlights, emergency response systems and reverse monitoring features rank highest in car technologies that benefit mature drivers according to The Hartford and MIT AgeLab's Top Technologies for Mature Drivers Research.
Corporate culture—or a lack thereof—shapes an organization’s value system. And the values that characterize a company influence the types of individuals it hires, how they perform in the organization, and how long they stay in the job.
by Fabrizio Brasca
A partnership to promote imports and re-exports of apparel and fashion between Asia, the Colon Free Zone (CFZ) and Latin American destinations was signed by the Panamanian company Exclusive Brands Logistics Corp (EBL) and Damco Panama. According to spokesmen, the logistics deal is the first of its nature for the fashion industry in Panama. The hub will handle approximately 35,000 cubic metres of goods per year.
No man is an island, wrote the poet John Donne—and according to a new book by Yossi Sheffi, the same could be said of logistics operations. Sheffi, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Transportation and Logistics, believes companies gain a competitive advantage by locating their transportation and distribution operations within "logistics clusters"—geographically concentrated sets of logistics-related business activities—instead of in an isolated area.
Imagine cars driving themselves seamlessly and safely down the highway. Gone are traffic jams, crazy drivers, and commute-induced headaches. A vision of the future? Actually, no, this was the vision of the 1939 World's Fair and an idea that has come, come again, and now seems closer than ever before. A combination of technological availability, continuing safety concerns, and escalating congestion and energy problems fuel transportation researcher and policy-maker dreams of robotic vehicles.
If you don't have one already, there is a fair chance that an analytics group (AG) will become part of your supply chain organization at some point soon. This type of resource is attracting more interest partly in response to the increasing complexity and strategic importance of supply chains. Other drivers are the growing volume of market data that companies need to interpret and the availability of more sophisticated analytical tools.
New lab conducts ground-breaking research on megacity supply chains
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 19, 2012 – The MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (MIT CTL) will launch the Megacity Logistics Lab at its Crossroads 2012 conference, June 28, 2012, on the MIT campus, Cambridge, MA, USA. How to design, build, and manage the supply chains that are critical to the sustainable growth and operation of these giant urban centers is the main focus of the new research initiative.
Making sustainability central to logistics decisions is smart business but requires closer collaboration and creative thinking by shippers, suppliers, packagers and retailers. That's the conclusion of participants in a GreenBiz.com webcast this week. "Start by thinking about savings opportunities," said Stephen Silva, senior vice president of global logistics for toymaker Hasbro, during the webcast, "Smart Moves: Supply-Chain Decisions that Save Fuel, Cut Costs and Reduce Emissions." "They will go hand-in-hand with the environment and emissions.
Larry Lapide, research affiliate at MIT's Center for Transportation and Logistics, deploys a maritime metaphor to dramatize the pressing need for companies to implement an effective sales and operations planning (S&OP) process.
With increasing focus on supply chain performance, the recruiting, hiring, and retention of logistics and SC talent is becoming a key differentiator for companies competing in global markets. But as companies have expanded internationally, the demand for supply chain and logistics talent has also become international in scope. As a result, multinational companies with sources and markets on opposite ends of the earth face a significant staffing challenge: Finding the talent to support current and future growth across countries.
In 1930, former Massachusetts state senator George Parker tried to ban car radios because they were too distracting. He invoked the ire of both the Radio Manufacturers Association and motorists, who loved driving to music, even though early radios were expensive and sometimes burst into flames. After consumers protested at his office, Parker dropped the effort and decided to focus on drunken driving instead.
The driver’s seat is a fascinating setting in which to study HUMAN DECISION MAKING. Where else do you have people practicing a highly learned activity with a major safety implication involved with failure? Hands-free technology can allow a driver to keep both hands on the wheel. However, it may not offer all the SAFETY ADVANTAGES that many believe.
The highest logistics and supply chain salaries continue to be earned by those who concentrate on adapting new technological advances and maintain a life-long commitment to learning.
According to the findings of Logistics Management’s (LM) 28th Annual Salary Survey conducted by Peerless Media Research Group (PRG), average earnings and compensation have actually leveled off over the past year. However, our research team also found that an aging workforce is giving way to younger, more highly trained professionals who also happen to be savvy technologists.
The MIT SMR – BCG 2012 Sustainability and Innovation research report “Sustainability Nears a Tipping Point” prompted an invitation to participate in a White House Sustainable Supply Chain Dialogue on March 30 in Washington, DC.
What are the major developments that will impact supply chain professionals in the months and years ahead? What challenges will they face in helping their companies compete in an increasingly global environment?