MIT’s Global Supply Chain MBA

March 16, 2017
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The new 3C program allows students to study on three continents in ten months, gaining a global perspective and an master's degree. When I was in college, way back in the day, we all looked forward to a semester abroad. It was a chance to experience the world and broaden your horizons as part of your education. With that as backdrop, I was intrigued to read about a new supply chain masters degree program being rolled out by the MIT Global SCALE Network next fall. Known as the 3C Master’s Program – the 3C refers to three continents – the program will begin with a fall term in Zaragoza, Spain ,

Supply Chain Management: Past, Present and Future

March 03, 2017
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Featuring the article "A New Score for Supply Chains" by Chris Caplice Additive manufacturing, autonomous vehicles, blockchain technology, the Internet of Things and multi-channel retailing are some of the innovations that are driving tremendous change in supply chain management today. Yet the innovative trend that is of most interest to me is already several decades old—the growing importance of service over products. Although this trend is not new, it is more relevant to the future of supply chain management than ever, and its impact is gaining momentum. I believe that the value of services

The real keys to innovation: Knowledge and creativity

March 03, 2017
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Technology promises to revolutionize the way supply chains are managed. However, in-depth knowledge and creative problem solving can enable significant supply chain innovations without the need for new technology. By Roberto Perez-Franco At a time when promising new technologies (Big Data, Internet of Things, Blockchain, to name a few) promise to revolutionize the way supply chains are managed, it is tempting to conflate the idea of supply chain innovation with new technology. However, to assume that cutting-edge technology is necessary for innovation would be a mistake; revolutionary innovati

It Takes More Than Math to Design a Distribution Network

February 24, 2017
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Distribution networks are the conduits that connect companies with their customers, so it is hardly surprising that the way these networks are designed has a critical impact on cost and customer service. Companies commonly use mathematical optimization models to arrive at the best network design, but this approach is flawed in one key respect — it does not take into account changing market conditions during the several years it can take to complete a design project. This is particularly onerous in developing economies where markets tend to be extremely changeable. Research carried out at the M

Fulfilling Election Promises Needs to be More Than Ticking Boxes

February 02, 2017
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Politicians are often taken to task for making election promises they fail to keep once elected. Candidates should be held accountable for the policies they advocate when campaigning for votes. However, delivering on the bluster that politicians often espouse during the heat of an electoral battle can do more harm than good. President Trump’s stance on trade between the U.S. and Mexico is a striking example. During the presidential election, he vowed to stop jobs being exported to Mexico and to correct what he regards as an unacceptable trade imbalance between the two countries. Once in office

The Last Mile:  How Data Analytics In The Cloud Is Improving Parcel Delivery

January 03, 2017
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UPS is the largest delivery company on the planet, flying more than 500 jets in a mission to serve a customer base that topped 8 million last year. Operating at a similar scale is the U.S. Postal Service, which delivered 154 billion pieces of mail in 2015 using 215,000 vehicles. At that scale, the postal service is one of the largest civilian fleets in the world. Despite the enormity of their infrastructures and logistical smarts, UPS and the Postal Service haven’t been able to overcome one long-standing obstacle: the last mile from distribution center to doorstep. While virtually every other

The Potential Promise and Pitfalls of 3D Printing

January 03, 2017
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There are many innovations and societal changes such as robotics, autonomous vehicles, and the sharing economy that could shape the future of supply chains. But none of these developments is likely to transform the way manufacturing and supply chains are managed more than additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing. While the concept of additive manufacturing is not new, the technology has become good enough that it is starting to be applied at scale. To understand the technology, imagine a printer that instead of using ink, spews a building material – be it polymers, ceramics, cemen

Does Your Supply Chain Risk Management Strategy Hold Water?

December 27, 2016
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Companies have come a long way in their ability to manage supply chain risk, but they urgently need to step up their efforts in one key area: the threats posed by water scarcity. The Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) 2016 Annual Report of Corporate Water Disclosure, published in November 2016, provides a wake-up call. A total of 607 of the world’s largest global companies submitted data about their efforts to manage and govern freshwater resources — the largest response in the report’s seven-year history. Disclosing companies reported $14 billion in water-related impacts this year, a fivefold

A Faster, Cheaper Master's Degree - From MIT To Boot

November 28, 2016
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When the Massachusetts Institute of Technology piloted its first online master’s degree in Supply Chain Management last year, Danaka Porter thought it was exactly what she needed to boost her career. "I found that people were a little bit more respected once they had their master's because it was like they had taken that next step to go a little bit further," Porter said. The 30-year-old business consultant from Vancouver, British Columbia, said she simply couldn't afford to stop working to become a student again. "I own a house. I have bills and stuff that doesn’t stop because I wanted to go