Don Rosenfield, LGO
The alumni conference and 25th anniversary was a wonderful event that celebrated our rich history. It was great to see so many of you (over 300 attended), and of course the recognition of me led by Gus Tai was something I will always remember.
The Class of 2015 started on June 3, and on June 10 we're having a reception that we hope a number of you can attend.
Donald B. Rosenfield
Senior Lecturer, Sloan School of Management
LGO marked its 25th anniversary with a special alumni conference at MIT on May 2-3 that brought together hundreds of LGO alumni, faculty and friends for reconnecting and seeing presentations centered around the theme of practical leadership. Keynote speakers included MIT Sloan Professor Arnold Barnett, Tim Copes (LGO '92) of The Boeing Company, Denise Johnson (LGO '97) of Caterpillar Inc., Kellie Johnson of ACE Clearwater Enterprises, and Dr. Randal Pinkett (LGO '98) of BCT Partners, while panel discussions looked at LGO's founding and early years, LGOs hiring LGOs, and leadership in a multinational world.
Please visit our conference highlights page to view images from the conference and from 25 years of LGO history, as well as conference video highlights and presentations (coming soon: please check next week on the LGO Virtual Community).
Stories in our conference section include the following:
LGO founders recount program's birth and success
LGO's 25th anniversary alumni conference included
a panel with (left to right): Gary Cowger, Tom
Magnanti, Kent Bowen and Bill Hanson.
Four of LGO's founders described the obstacles and successes they encountered while creating the program as they spoke to an audience of hundreds of LGO alumni at last week's 25th-anniversary conference.
Arnold Barnett speaks on real-world leadership at LGO conference
(Photo by Sarah Foote)
MIT Sloan Professor Arnie Barnett brought his background in airline safety statistics and research to the Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) 25th Anniversary Alumni Conference last week.
Barnett has co-taught the LGO summer core class Engineering Probability and Statistics (15.064J) since 1997, so he's well known to alumni of LGO. Named MIT Sloan Teacher of the Year several times over, Barnett is a popular instructor.
Women of LGO greet old friends and make new ones at conference
LGO alumnae gathered at a Cambridge restaurant during the recent LGO 25th anniversary alumni conference.
Among the hundreds of LGOs and SOs who reconnected at the 25th anniversary alumni conference at MIT were 34 "WLGOs"—Women of Leaders for Global Operations.
The women graduates of LGO gathered at Area Four, a Kendall Square restaurant. Although they spanned a 23-year age range and many had never met each other before that night, it was clear that they shared a common bond.
Tom Sanderson (front row, center) received the
2013 Harrison Smith Award. Beside him are Smith's
parents, Sandra and Charles Smith. Also on hand
(back row) were LGO program director Don
Rosenfield; LGO '14 award nominees JS Bolton,
Andrew Bower and Paul Meggs; and Harrison
Smith's sister, Sandy Storey.
Not pictured: nominees Jane Guertin and
Tom Sanderson (LGO '14) was voted by his LGO peers to receive the 2013 Harrison Smith award, a scholarship award given annually to a first-year student who has made outstanding contributions to the program and has shown remarkable leadership in his or her first year.
The award was established in remembrance of Smith, who graduated from LGO in 1999 but died just days later in a car accident while on his way to his new job at Dell. Smith was "the kind of person who brought out the best in everyone...he was a central figure in the formation of our class character," said his friend and classmate, Rob Mosher.
This year's awardee was announced by last year's winner, Steve Herington (LGO '13), at a May 1 ceremony attended by Smith's family as well as many LGO students and past winners of the award. Herington noted that Sanderson received multiple nominations for "his leadership in domestic plant trek and as the kitchen refueler, as well as multiple outside classroom activities."
"Tom is exactly what I had in mind when I thought who my ideal classmates would be — not only insightful and smart, but always willing to help anyone in need," one of Sanderson's classmates said in nominating him for the award.
Thanks to those alumni who joined this spring’s LGO web seminar series. We were proud to host discussions by Matt Vokoun (LGO ’05), who discussed Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, and Prof. Andrew Lo of MIT Sloan, who described how capital markets tools could be used for a "cancer megafund".
Most recently, Prof. Zeynep Ton of MIT Sloan gave a seminar based on her ten-plus years of research on retail labor practices, titled "How Operations Break the Trade-Off Between Low Prices and Good Jobs." Ton, an adjunct associate professor of operations management who just won an MIT Sloan award for outstanding teaching, is a key contributor to the LGO curriculum as the co-instructor of Introduction to Operations Strategy along with LGO program director Don Rosenfield.
In the webinar, Ton told the story of Janet, a Wal-Mart worker with unstable hours and a big healthcare deductible burden, as an illustration of how most retailers prefer to lower the tangible direct costs of salary and training rather than hope to benefit indirectly in the long-term through investing in staff. But it's not only staff who pay the price for this approach, but also companies and investors, Ton argued. The phenomenon of "phantom stockouts," in which customers can't find items even though they're in the store, is one effect of underinvestment in staff that hits directly at company sales and customer satisfaction.
Based on her study of companies like Costco, Trader Joe's, and Spanish supermarket Mercadona, Ton described a category of "alternate-philosophy retailers" that have led their sectors in profits and growth while also offering better conditions for workers and achieving better customer service. The key components of this alternate approach include:
See Professor Ton’s archived presentation and discussion with seminar participants
Three members of the Class of 2014 currently doing their six-month internships at partner companies took a few moments' time during Midstream Review to talk on camera about how their projects are progressing and how they see them finishing up.
LGO students recognize the internship as a unique opportunity to apply their knowledge in a real-world setting as part of a diverse team drawn from the partner companies and MIT. Midstream Review gives the LGOs an opportunity to return to campus, reflect on their work to date, and talk with their classmates and with staff from all the partner companies about how best to address their projects' challenges. LGO '14s who are doing off-cycle internships from February to August had their midstream session in late April.
From the moment LGOs arrive at their host partner company, it's clear that their status is far different than that of a typical intern. Gold Truong, whose internship is at Amazon's outbound transportation department, described how much the Amazon staff valued her work and allowed her to make a significant contribution during her six-month stint.
"They're interested in what I have to say academically and in practical terms. It's a strength of both Amazon and LGO that they've built a partnership that allows students to come in and do what we do," Gold said.
The Production and Operations Management Society recently honored LGO engineering faculty co-director Professor David Simchi-Levi of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Engineering Systems Division with an article published in the January-February issue of the journal Production and Operations Management. The journal honors two to three researchers annually. Past honorees include MIT Sloan professors Jay Forrester and Stephen Graves.
The article cites Simchi-Levi’s contributions to both the theoretical and practical aspects of supply-chain management as demonstrated by the quality and reach of his published research; the application of this research in corporate practice; his seven years as editor-in-chief of Operations Research; and the popularity of his second book as a graduate business education text.
That book, &"Designing and Managing the Supply Chain: Concepts, Strategies and Case Studies" (McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2007) by Simchi-Levi, Philip Kaminsky and Edith Simchi-Levi, is now in its third edition. In 2000 it was named book of the year by the Institute of Industrial Engineering. Earlier this year, the blog Supply Chain Management (SCM) Operations listed the book on its "10 Greatest Supply Chain Management Books of All Time," based on the number of citations for books found by Google Scholar.
Read more about Professor Simchi-Levi’s experience and honors
To connect LGO partner companies with potential LGO alumni job prospects, this year we’ve started a regular section listing LGO partner opportunities. If you work at a partner company and want to include a posting in this section, please contact Josh Jacobs.
At Amazon, we are seeking the best and brightest leaders in the manufacturing and operations space. Our leaders will be challenged to lead and develop large teams, as well as show the ability to analytically problem-solve in a very metrics-driven culture. We value strong engineering backgrounds and those who bring new and innovative ideas and solutions. Whether it is within our fulfillment center network or our supply chain and transportation groups, we are looking for individuals who can demonstrate a track record of successfully leveraging Lean Six Sigma tools and concepts to drive process improvement. Amazon is experiencing rapid expansion in North America and globally: please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to explore the possibility of joining our team.
Director of Emerging Regions ACES — Seattle, WA
Amazon is seeking a Director of Emerging Regions ACES who will build and lead ACES teams for Emerging Markets. ACES (Amazon Customer Excellence System) is Amazon.com’s innovative program for driving process and customer experience improvement. ACES brings together the tools of Lean, Six Sigma, technology, and Amazon’s customer-obsessed culture to drive continuous customer experience improvement.
The Director of Amazon Customer Excellence System (ACES) is responsible for implementing the ACES system enabling Amazon Emerging Regions Fulfillment Operations to benefit from the productivity gains available via Lean Six Sigma.
In this role you will develop and lead a team of senseis who identify, create, develop and integrate innovative solutions and programs that lead to improvements in our Emerging Regions ACES Programs. This highly visible position has primary leadership responsibility for implementing continuous improvement, standardization and best practice development across operations at multiple locations around the world. This position reports directly to the Director, Emerging Regions and must exercise considerable judgment in the identification and execution of strategic continuous improvement plans and the tactical project implementation and completion process.
Director, Emerging Regional Operations — Seattle, WA
Amazon.com’s success is built on a foundation of customer obsession, and the Director, Emerging Regional Operations will lead multiple Amazon Fulfillment Centers, which are the last Amazon touchpoint in the customer experience. The Director, Emerging Regional Operations is an extraordinarily complex leadership role, requiring an executive to balance flawless daily execution with the long-term development of a team. The role requires a detailed understanding and ability to balance every operational component of multiple facilities from employee needs to IT, from process technology to process improvement. A successful executive will be able to provide strong vision and direction for the team while fostering bottoms-up input and participation in process improvement from all levels of the organization. This role will serve as the face of the organization to thousands of employees across North America. Amazon’s Director, Emerging Regional Operations will manage fulfillment facilities globally which consist of 200,000 to 1 million square feet with 500 to 1,500 full-time hourly and salaried employees. At peak these numbers will increase to 2,000 to 4,000/facility. The role will have a budget responsibility of $1.5B+.
Director, Operations Engineering, Emerging Regions — Seattle, WA
The successful candidate will lead the Operations Engineering team for our Emerging Regions. The Operations Engineering Emerging Regions team works with the Global Fulfillment Design and Engineering groups in the development, selection, construction, facility design and layout, capital equipment budget and selection, advanced mechanical engineering and software development for Global Fulfillment Center Execution in Emerging Regions. The team provides global business expertise to exceed customer expectations while minimizing end-to-end supply chain costs. This is a highly visible position that is critical to the company's operations management and forward capability. The fast-paced growth and scaling of our fulfillment network relies on the innovation and operational excellence of this impactful leader.
Fulfillment Center General Manager — multiple U.S./international locations
Amazon.com’s success is built on a foundation of customer obsession, and the GM of an Amazon Fulfillment Center is the last line of defense in the customer experience. The Fulfillment Center GM is an extraordinarily complex leadership role, requiring an executive to balance flawless daily execution with the long-term development of a team. The role requires a detailed understanding and ability to balance every operational component of a facility from employee needs to IT, from process technology to process improvement. A successful executive will be able to provide strong vision and direction for the team while fostering bottoms-up input and participation in process improvement from all levels of the organization. The Fulfillment Center GM serves as the face of the organization to potentially thousands of employees and the entire community where the center is located. Our corporate leadership depends upon the fulfillment centers to deliver the ultimate in customer experience and satisfaction, and it is a role that is taken extremely seriously throughout the company.
Amazon’s field leadership roles manage 500,000 to 1 million square foot facilities with 500 to 1,500 full time hourly and salaried employees. At peak these numbers will increase to 2,000 to 4,000. Many of our sites handle over $1B in revenue per year with a $60-100 million budget.
Contact for this position: Brent Gibbons
Senior Operations Manager — multiple U.S. locations
Our Senior Operations Managers are responsible for all budgetary, people development and operations objectives for one functional area of our Fulfillment Center (Inbound or Outbound). Additional responsibilities include managing and leading a team of Operations and Area Managers, coaching and mentoring the team to ensure performance objectives are met, building positive employee relations, and building leadership bench strength within the Fulfillment Center.
Associate Director, Technical Operations Global Planning and Capacity Management — Cambridge, MA
This role is responsible for leading detailed assessments and analyses which drive decision-making on manufacturing network strategy, make-vs.-buy decisions, capacity investments, and supporting assessment of new commercial opportunities or acquisition of new products/technologies by NV&D. This role is also responsible for leading operational excellence initiatives and capability building projects within Technical Operations. This role works with cross-functional stakeholders to generate clear recommendations for senior management.
Contact: Tom Hensey, Head, Global Planning and Capacity Management
This month will feature two projects that focus on strategic supply chain issues. The first was done by Brent Yoder (LGO ’13) at National Grid on transforming the company’s supply chain processes. The second was done by Jessica Lin (LGO ’13) at Verizon Wireless on optimizing reuse of network equipment. Both projects demonstrated the potential for each company to improve operational performance and profits.
Name: Brent Yoder
Company: National Grid
Supervisor: Ross Turrini
Academic Advisors: Professors Georgia Perakis and Mort Webster
Title: Dramatic Transformation of U.S. Supply Chain Processes
Summary: National Grid’s organization in the United States has grown through the acquisition of many small gas and electric utilities in New York and New England. The development of well-defined corporate procedures has been particularly challenging because of legacy company practices and regulatory requirements in each of the four operational districts in which National Grid supplies customers. National Grid USA is embarking on a journey to become a process-based organization focusing on customer satisfaction. Supply chain management is one of the key processes National Grid would like to streamline and dramatically improve over the next three years.
Management of National Grid’s supply chain is not the responsibility of one operational group, but rather eight primary stakeholders organized by functional expertise to satisfy various customer requirements. Traditionally each of these stakeholders has focused on its individual customers without having a perspective of how decisions impact the efficiency of the overall supply chain.
This LGO project took the first step toward optimizing National Grid’s supply chain both for efficiency and responsiveness. The primary deliverables of this project were:
Interviews with representatives from each of the eight stakeholder organizations were used to develop process maps for gas and electric supply chain operations. The interviews and process maps highlighted 23 initial improvement opportunities, which were categorized by implementation complexity and estimated benefit. A supply chain scorecard was developed to identify the baseline performance of 10 key performance indicators.
A strategic inventory model was developed to highlight opportunities surrounding existing Central Distribution Center (CDC) inventory management policies. The inventory model incorporates historical demand and lead time information to calculate inventory policies based on random demand and lead time expectations, fixed ordering costs, and holding costs.
The deliverables of this project have provided National Grid with a comprehensive understanding of the current end-to-end supply chain, as well as a strategic roadmap of future process improvement initiatives.
Name: Jessica Lin
Company: Verizon Wireless
Supervisor: Anne Robinson and Harjit Singh
Academic Advisors: Professors Cynthia Barnhart and Donald Rosenfield
Title: Optimizing Wireless Network Equipment Reuse at Verizon Wireless
Background and Objective:
Verizon Wireless (VzW) is the largest wireless communications services provider in the United States. Although VzW continues to expand its wireless network, expensive network equipment is frequently removed from some VzW sites due to shifts in technology (e.g. 3G to 4G) and other factors. While the removed equipment is often reusable at other VzW sites, there is no standard process to reuse this equipment, so a significant amount of potentially reusable equipment remains in inventory. Increasing the amount of network equipment that can be reused will improve the return on invested capital, minimize working capital requirements, and reduce carbon emissions.
The objective of this project is to establish more efficient processes and tools for network equipment reuse. To achieve this objective, the following approach was taken:
Reuse best practices and challenges were identified through data analysis, stakeholder interviews, and current state process mapping. Given the space constraints in many warehouses, a primary challenge is determining whether equipment should be reused or retired. An analytical model has been developed to calculate the optimal number of units of reusable equipment to hold in inventory. When the model determines that too much inventory is being held, retiring the unneeded units will free up room for other equipment, allow VzW to obtain higher resale values and decrease holding costs. When the model determines that all units should be kept, the reusable inventory can be kept and used in lieu of making costly purchases in the future.
After determining what equipment can be reused, the next challenge is to provide VzW’s 21 regions with a tool to quickly identify and request reusable equipment from other regions. A web-based tool that leverages existing inventory data has been piloted and provides a streamlined process to search for and request equipment. A significant amount of inventory has already been requested through this tool.
Different types of obsolescence will be explored in the coming months, and the analytical tool for reuse versus retirement decisions will be modified to reflect equipment obsolescence. In addition, the pilot to identify and request reusable equipment will provide VzW with feedback to modify the piloted processes and tools prior to nationwide roll out. Other reuse processes, such as de-installation and testing of reusable equipment, must also be standardized.
If you have companies or areas of research you’d like to see highlighted in the monthly newsletter, please contact Ted Equi (email@example.com).
MIT Sloan on the Road (SOTR) events are one of the primary ways LGO has to reach out to prospective students. Having alumni at these events is key to our success, because no one knows the LGO as well as you do. You are the best marketing we have and you provide great value to potential applicants when you share the experiences you had during and after LGO.
To help ensure the continued success of LGO, we would greatly appreciate if you can help us promote the program by attending a Sloan on the Road event in your area this fall.
7/24/13 — Washington, DC
7/31/13 — Dallas, TX
8/12/13 — San Diego, CA
8/13/13 — New York, NY
8/14/13 — Miami, FL
8/20/13 — Chicago, IL
8/21/13 — Detroit, MI
8/26/13 — Newport Beach, CA
8/27/13 — Houston, TX
8/27/13 — Los Angeles, CA
9/9/13 — New York, NY
9/10/13 — San Francisco, CA
9/11/13 — Palo Alto, CA
9/12/13 — Seattle, WA
Even if you can’t attend, please be sure to invite colleagues and friends who you feel would be good candidates for LGO.
Thank you for your ongoing support. We hope to see you on the road this fall.
Jane Deutsch, MIT LGO Director of Admissions and Career Development
Please make our students' blogs a regular part of your reading about LGO. If you're interested in the current state of the program, these blogs are a great place to start:
Ammar Asfour '15 with his admit
package from LGO
Videos of current students, as well as archived videos from the LGO conference on "The Future of Manufacturing in the U.S." in May 2012, LGO web seminar videos, and other notable videos are available through our MIT TechTV collection. Please browse the collection and let us know what other videos you'd like to see.
Using Systems Thinking in a Travel Industry Startup
June 17, 2013, 12:00-1:00 PM (ET)
Log in to the Virtual Community to see LGO alumni information, find other alumni, update your information, or find theses. If you have trouble getting in, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or use the "forgot password" button. If the email address you submit is in our system, your username and password will be sent to you.
Josh Jacobs, LGO Director of Operations and Partner Integration (email@example.com, 617-253-2959)