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MBA Supply Management Class Prepares Exciting New Set of Projects for Fall 2016

It is that time of year again, and the SCRC team is getting ready to prepare for a new semester starting the week of August 15th!  As always, we have a great set of new projects that we are teeing up for this semester, which provide an interesting set of “real-time” challenges for our students.  As in past years, we have been collecting these projects from our partner companies, and they reflect the on-going set of strategic challenges faced by these organizations as they work on building their supply chain capabilities.  Here is a sample of the projects we will be kicking off with our students this coming semester for the American Red Cross, Merck, Hyster-Yale, MetLife, and RJ Reynolds.

Benchmarking Supply Management salaries:  Understand what the ‘going rate’ is for key roles in Supply Management, so it can better develop its ‘employee value proposition’ to more effectively attract, develop and retain key staff.  This project presents an opportunity to benchmark salaries (base salary, incentive compensation and equity/stock grants, etc. = total annual cash compensation) for key roles like Category Manager, Director, and Senior Director of Supply Management.

Supplier Contract Development:  Develop a Supply Agreement for outside services that 1) is based on best-in-class industrial agreements, and 2) is build around a supplier’s Master Supply Agreement Template. This is to be accompanied with a process which clearly identifies the strategic needs and key deliverables, clearly related to specific language within the Agreement.

Criticality matrix and supplier development priorities for lower level spend supply base.  This project will include learning and understanding a method of grading and prioritizing supplier development needs. Various financial, performance, and geopolitical data and information must be gathered, analyzed, and plotted by non-core supplier ( those that the buyer spends less than $500k with ).  Specifically will involve gathering required financial / performance / geopolitical data inputs and complete grading and plotting the non-core supply base. Then summarize what specific areas of development are needed for those suppliers who fall within the upper quartiles of the criticality matrix.

SCRC Supply Chain Maturity Model.  Conduct in-depth interviews and complete an assessment of the SCRC Supply Chain Maturity Model and provide recommendations/analysis.  This approach is based on best-in-class supply management profiles developed on years of research conducted at the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative.  Comparison to “best in class” maturity ratings of the Fortune 500, collected through Machine Based Learning methodologies developed by SCRC.

Supplier Risk Management Assessment  Previous SCRC project proposed several risk management best practices for managing supplier risk. This project will take learning from previous team and execute risk assessment of current major suppliers. The team will review portfolio of suppliers and develop method segmenting suppliers or specific items into risk categories.

Contract Management Process Documentation & Knowledge Sharing  Currently, contract management group processes are not well defined or documented. There is an opportunity to simplify and standardize the processes further through the documentation process. Additionally, the creation of a website will allow for the processes to be more transparent to enable more efficient interactions with our global procurement colleagues.  The team on this project will be interviewing contract management team members to document contracting processes. The team would then work to organize and summarize the process documentation for inclusion on the internal contract management website whose primary audience is global procurement.

Commodity/Category sourcing profiles within Research and Development (R&D).  Develop sourcing strategies for R&D commodity categories (play books).  Collaborate with buying staff, evaluate categories, define strategy & verify data sources.  Review existing examples, complete additional play books and collaborate and learn best practices.

These projects are all very well scoped out, and represent activities that can be completed in a 15 week semester.  The students completing the projects will be getting a “hands-on” experience on managing a real project, and will be under the supervision of our capable faculty advisors, including Bill Collins, Betty Minton, Walter DeGrange and our newest advisor to the group, John Zapko.  There are also another bunch of projects assigned for our undergraduate supply chain practicum class (14 projects in BUS479) and our other MBA practicum class (8 projects in MBA 549).  We will be assigning MBA student teams to these projects, which will be run through the semester, culminating in a one day “Gallery Walk” presentation of the results to other students, SCRC partners, and faculty on November 30, 2016.  Can’t wait for the gun to go off!