Weatherhead School students, area professionals discuss supply chain trends

Panel at Weatherhead School of ManagementStudents in the Master of Science in Operations Research and Supply Chain Management (MSM-OR/SC) and MBA programs at the Weatherhead School of Management got a preview of the supply chain field at Supply Chain Performance and Innovation, an Oct. 29 event co-sponsored by Nestlé, KPMG and the Weatherhead School.

Two-time alumnus Yatish Desai, consulting director for strategy, operations and supply chain at KPMG, drew from KPMG’s 2013 Global Manufacturing Outlook Survey to describe the biggest trends affecting the industry. In addition to globalization and disruptive innovation, Desai said, supply chain transformation is occurring in every branch of manufacturing, from aerospace to metals, as industries move to a demand-driven model.

Following Desai’s presentation, Jim Planchet, vice president of demand and operations planning for Nestlé USA, and Hannah Strominger, demand planning manager, gave an overview of Nestlé USA’s $10.1 billion operation and how big data is helping the company streamline its supply chain, cutting down on wait times, waste and carbon emissions.

Finally, a panel discussion took place featuring Planchet and experts John Beam, vice president, supply chain at Timken; Paul Denmark, director, global supply chain, engineered solutions at Graftech International; Phil Clouse, vice president, global supply chain at MTD Products; and Ankur Goel, professor of operations.

The audience took part in a networking lunch after the panel discussion to ask more questions and make career connections. More than 20 companies with a Northeast Ohio presence were represented at the event.

“The thought process behind planning such an event was to target a way to have Northeast Ohio’s supply chain leaders engage in dialogue with each other to share supply chain opportunities and issues,” said Matthew Maloney, director of the MSM-OR/SC program and the event’s organizer. “We were encouraged by our turnout and feel fortunate to have great partners at Nestle and KPMG in planning content for the program. Since the event I have heard from multiple companies who connected with students and are now looking to talk to them about job opportunities. Once organizations are exposed to the caliber of student in our program, the rest is easy!”