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Off to another exciting year of student-industry engagement at NC State on cutting-edge supply chain projects

In a prior post on 2018 supply chain predictions, I shared how NC State’s Poole College of Management engages directly with industry through student-led projects.  I also predicted how this type of engagement would continue to grow in the future, as organizations begin to recognize the value of having an objective, third party view on their problems can create innovative solutions.  In the NC State Supply Chain Resource Cooperative, supply chain projects occur at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and are organized around focused deliverables related to our partner company supply chain issues and challenges.  And everyone I know has issues and challenges with their supply chains!

Here is a sample of the type of projects our MBA and Engineering students are working on this semester, proving again that NC State is all about “THINK AND DO” (in our case, executing on practical applications in the real world using robust supply chain analytical approaches).  These projects all invovle cutting edge topics that are often discussed in blogs and websites.  Our students are executing and making them happen in these projects.

  1.  Cheniere:  Modernizing Master Service Agreement Contract Language.  In this project, students are using search algorithms  to identify all MSAs that have an evergreen Term and replace the older vintage MSAs with newer vintage MSAs.  Such MSAs were entered into by any one or several of a plethora of entities, and must be addressed to minimize risk.
  2. Cisco:  Category Spend Segmentation.  This project continues the work the team did in the fall semester, in regards to Spend Classification and taxonomy and applying it to category maturity and optimization. The current phase will involve using the analyzed spend & other inputs to refine the Category Strategy optimization approach
  3. Duke Energy Sourcing Automation through AI:  Sourcing Optimization through technology and artificial intelligence are becoming more readily available within the Supply Chain industry. This team will work to identify specific opportunities within the sourcing process at Duke Energy to advance sourcing strategies through AI technology and reduce low value sourcing efforts.
  4. Lenovo Blockchain Analysis Part 2.  Following a project we did last fall, Lenovo’s Data Centre Group (DCG) at Morrisville, North Carolina is seeking to identify and explore its opportunities for process improvement and supply chain efficiency by leveraging Blockchain. Blockchain utilizes cryptography protocol to transfer titles, enforce permissions, and record activity to track the flow of goods and services among various parties through a commonly shared ledger.
  5. Lenovo Excess and Obsolete Inventory.  This project is the extension of an executive workshop we ran last fall.  The students will review and document the current geography allocation process for Surplus/excess, Overage and Unconsumed Purchase parts inventory (SOUP).  The objective will be to recommend process improvements including process flow, timeline, meetings, and roles and responsibilities for a revised E&O allocation process.
  6. MUFG Union Bank Strategic Performance Metrics.  The team will seek to develop a comprehensive set of forward thinking, long lasting, Strategic Performance Metrics suitable for use by the Chief Procurement Officer within a major US bank’s procurement and vendor payment program.   The Strategic Metrics should serve the needs of a Chief Procurement Officer that operates as a critical part of the enterprise, encompassing all material program elements.  Metrics should be focus on managing a bank’s Procurement and Payment Program, not on managing individual vendors.
  7. Premier Category Calendar.  The team will develop a system that will positively impact the workload of Premier’s  internal sourcing team and external membership by reviewing the current category calendar, developing an understanding of new category and split category expectations, taking into account distributed and non-distributed product and how it effects workload, as well as number of suppliers participating in the sourcing process.
  8. Yum Brands Beef Analytics.  The Taco Bell beef quality assurance predictive analytics project provides the unique opportunity for a team of strategically and analytically focused future executives to apply business analytic tools to determine if there is a relationship between the beef raw materials used to produce Taco Bell seasoned beef and the product scorecard ratings for Taco Bell’s seasoned beef. The project will help to identify superior raw materials and superior sources of those raw materials in order to ensure that Taco Bell continues to deliver the highest quality beef product to its guests.

What makes NC State unique, is that we team up MBA students with Masters students from Engineering colleges around the university.  We have had engineers from Industrial, Mechanical, Textiles, Manufacturing Systems, and Agricultural Sciences come over to Poole and partner with our MBA’s.  This brings a unique skillset to these projects that isn’t found at most universities.  These are exciting projects, and I have no doubt this brilliant team of MBA and engineering students will come up with some highly innovative insights and solutions!