LGO Alumni Newsletter January 2015

The monthly LGO Alumni Newsletter goes out by email to all alumni; archived issues are posted on this page. If you would like to change your contact information, please email Josh Jacobs.

Message from Thomas Roemer

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Thomas A. Roemer

Dear friends,

Happy New Year from Domestic Plant Trek 2015!

I am enjoying traveling with our students, and in a rare break between plant visits and receptions, I find some time to write this note from our hotel lobby in Seattle. As expected, the students did a fantastic job organizing the tour and our hosts thus far, Boeing and Amazon, have shown us fascinating sites as well as generosity and genuine LGO spirit.

With seven more company visits in five more states/territories as I write, we are looking forward to an action-packed program with lots of learning, friendship and fun. Upcoming stops include SanDisk and Danaher in San Francisco, Pacific Gas & Electric in San Luis Obispo, Raytheon in Tucson, GM in Detroit, and Amgen in Juncos, Puerto Rico.

I hope you all got some well-deserved rest over the holidays and that 2015 started on an equally exciting note for you.

Thomas A. Roemer
Executive Director, MIT Leaders for Global Operations Program

LGO News

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Gantner hopes to go from LGO into the lasercom business

First-year LGO student Karl Gantner is working on a high-speed communications innovation that's out of this world—literally. Read more...





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Startup and team with LGO student help people with autism

MIT Sloan students are collaborating with a Cambridge startup to transform how people with autism interact with their families, teachers and caregivers. Read more...



Alumni Scholar profile

Starting this month, the Alumi Newsletter will include periodic first-person accounts by students who have benefited from an Alumni Scholarship.

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Ammar Asfour

When I received the phone call from Don, it was around 9 p.m. in Amman, Jordan, where I lived at the time. Moreover, that moment occurred in the best setting it could possibly occur. I was drinking tea and eating some delicious deserts with my siblings, cousins, aunt and parents. I was amongst my family, whom I love and cherish. What followed was a state of exuberance that left everyone wondering if I was OK!

The strong LGO community was one of the main points that made the program my first graduate program choice. The program remained my first choice; however, I was distracted by attention from other programs where I was admitted. Meanwhile, the official LGO admission package, it seemed, took an eternity to arrive in Jordan (in reality it was maybe 1-2 days later than expected).

The strength of the LGO community was something I witnessed first-hand. Admittedly, without the help and assistance of some LGO students at the time, I would’ve probably not been admitted into the program. I was also impressed by the continuous involvement of alums who are at executive levels at large companies such as Boeing, Amazon, Verizon, etc.

When the official package was delivered, I was relieved to see the Alumni Scholarship. This was more than a phone call gesture or a few nice words over the phone. It felt welcoming and encouraging. Moreover, working in the developing world meant… well… cash flow was a critical consideration. This scholarship definitely alleviated some stress regarding my summer move to Cambridge.

Less than two years later, I found myself completing my internship at Boeing, during which time I met and talked with many of the 50 LGO alumni at Boeing. This network was one of many significant aspects that led me to accept a full-time offer to join Boeing after graduation. In fact, I chose to join Boeing's Salt Lake facility where the site director and general manager is an LGO alum.

I am grateful for the LGO Alumni Scholarship. The LGO network was critical to me, and I look forward to contribute to that strength as I join the Alumni ranks (shortly after I finish my thesis and come back from the BVI sailing trip!).

— Ammar Asfour, LGO '15

LGO Partner Job Postings

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.

Amazon

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.

For any of these positions (except where noted), please contact Brent Gibbons.

Leader of Global Infrastructure Operations – Seattle
The leader of Global Infrastructure Operations will be responsible for Amazon’s datacenters globally. This position will own the datacenters and the operation of the datacenters once they have been built and commissioned as operationally ready. From the point of commissioning, the leaders will be responsible for security, safety, availability, operations and people. The leaders will be responsible for taking the datacenters and their people through a transition that more strongly brings Six Sigma and lean operations to our leadership, people and processes to ensure the highest quality. This transformation will be crucial to maintaining Amazon.com's competitive advantage in the industry.

This position will be a peer position to the leader of Networking, the leader of Datacenter Global Services (which is location strategy, acquisition, build of mechanical and electrical plants), the leader of Supply Chain and the leader of Hardware Engineering. The leader of Infrastructure Operations will lead a team of hundreds of full-time employees and a much larger number of contractors. This position will be responsible for hiring at a very high growth rate.

The leader of Global Infrastructure Operations must be a visible leader who earns the respect of our leaders and their teams due to the experience, strong communication skills, and deep knowledge of operations management. The role is highly impactful and will drive our success in a new market.

This position will be responsible for the following strategic focus areas:

  • Get big fast with high quality: Between Amazon Web Services (AWS) nd traditional Amazon.com businesses, we believe Amazon has one of the largest data centers in the world and is on an incredible growth path. This position will be responsible for ensuring we have the process and people needed to keep up with that growth.
  • The leader will champion operational excellence with a combination of the tools of Six Sigma and lean operations. The leader will establish great working relationships with U.S.-based development teams (Networking, Hardware Engineering and Datacenter Engineering).
  • This leader will need to ensure we have the leadership team in place to hand our large growth and scale.
  • This leader will need to focus on the creation and automation of standard work in the datacenters to improve the efficiency and predictability of manual processes.
  • This leader must also focus on the creation of industry-differentiating cost advantages.

Director, North America Operations Real Estate – Seattle
The successful candidate will lead the North America Operations Real Estate team and will be responsible for developing and leading teams executing the expansion of the fulfillment center network throughout North America. The Director will be the executive in charge of setting and implementing the overall real estate expansion strategy for the network, including site acquisition; due diligence; site development; entitlements; strategic partnering with developers, investors and other stakeholders; and structuring transactions and related functions for large, complex projects.

Focus and deliverables for the first 12 months:

  • Establish relationships with internal/external stakeholders such as Engineering, Tax, Architects, developers and brokerage teams
  • Develop a one- to three-year real estate strategy
  • Hire and develop best-in-class internal real estate team
  • Be willing to partner with state community leaders (governors, mayors, state Congressional members, City Council)
  • Property management of existing sites

Ideal candidate profile:

  • Bachelor's degree in real estate, business administration, finance, engineering, construction management, architecture or equivalent.
  • MBA preferred.
  • Twelve years’ experience successfully leading a dynamic industrial real estate operation with a national footprint, leveraging a combination of internal and external resources. Experience must include leading transaction management, construction and asset management.
  • Demonstrated success in building a sustainable network of partners (investors, developers, contractors, consultants, and attorneys) as resources in maintaining deal flow at values of $50 million each and greater.
  • Extensive experience developing and implementing process improvements to streamline the full project life cycle from requirement definition through asset management.
  • A track record of championing speed, flexibility and frugality in the face of rapid change and extremely heavy workload.
  • Ability to effectively communicate Amazon requirements to various audiences (e.g., senior management, peers, public officials, vendors, etc.).
  • Demonstrated success in successfully establishing and maintaining key strategic relationships with municipal, state and regulatory jurisdictions.

Director, Regional Operations — Seattle
Amazon.com’s success is built on a foundation of customer obsession, and the Director of Regional Operations will lead multiple Amazon Fulfillment Centers, which are the last Amazon touchpoints in the customer experience. The Director of 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 and from process technology to process improvement. A successful executive will be able to provide strong vision and direction for the team while fostering bottom-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 of Regional Operations will manage multiple facilities consisting of 500,000 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 per facility. The role will have a budget responsibility of $1B+.

Head, Sort Center Engineering – Seattle
As senior member of the management team, this position provides the leadership, management and vision necessary to ensure that the organization has the proper financial and operational controls, the necessary administrative and reporting procedures, and the required information technology and systems in place to effectively grow the organization and ensure financial strength and operating efficiency. The role has primary responsibility for over $4B in transportation cost partnering with many internal teams (Operations, Transportation, Supply Chain, Accounting, Retail Finance, Accounts Payable, Engineering, Real Estate, and IT) to drive performance and simultaneously build a world-class transportation team.

This candidate will be responsible for the development of the North America transportation strategy utilizing the USPS and contribute to the development of the organization’s strategic goals, including driving cost-out. He/she will lead the operational planning process, interacting with vice presidents within Transportation and Technology. The successful candidate will drive new insights into key financial and operational performance drivers and become a trusted leader within the organization. This candidate will be a strong and inspirational leader who has a proven track record for hiring, developing and retaining the best talent.

Head, Transportation Network Optimization – Seattle
Amazon’s Worldwide Transportation Strategy group is looking for a passionate, talented and inventive expert and leader to join the team. The Transportation Strategy team is responsible for optimizing the global transportation network for Amazon.com and making sure the company is able to deliver our customers’ products to them as quickly, accurately and cost-effectively as possible. The group owns the strategic planning and development for initiatives associated with the transportation network including long-term forecasting, optimization algorithms and mathematical modeling. The Head, Transportation Network Optimization will work with cross-functional teams to build long-term strategy and simplify and solve the world’s most complicated network problems using advanced mathematical methods and tools.

We are looking for a motivated individual with a recognized background in mathematical modeling, network optimization and machine learning with deep experience and expertise in the transportation space. The person should have current or prior academic experience with a heavy practical consultative component, or industry experience managing a research team that is engaged in mathematical/statistical modeling and analysis. The qualified candidate will have experience in building long-term strategy for inventory, network and forecasting.

The analyses and models produced by the team will guide business decisions by highlighting opportunities, identifying correlations, defining experiments, and determining cause and effect relationships. You will partner closely with many groups such as operations, IT, retail, and finance teams to support various business initiatives.

The candidate will work closely with Transportation leadership and operations research/data science teams and leverage the expertise of each individual to construct models, perform analyses, and derive relevant metrics. The candidate must have relevant domain knowledge to teach and mentor group members and to critique models and approaches taken by the group in terms of business relevance, technical validity, and computational performance. The candidate must have the skills to write documents that influence important decisions by clearly articulating strategy, business impacts and technical challenges.

Head of Finance for Worldwide Logistics – Seattle
As senior member of the management team, this position provides the leadership, management and vision necessary to ensure that the organization has the proper financial and operational controls, the necessary administrative and reporting procedures, and the required information technology and systems in place to effectively grow the organization, ensure financial strength, and operating efficiency. The role has primary responsibility for over $300M in operating expense and requires partnering with many internal teams (Operations, Transportation, Supply Chain, Accounting, Retail Finance, Accounts Payable, Engineering, Real Estate, and IT) to drive performance and simultaneously build a world-class Finance team.

This candidate will be responsible for the development of the World Wide Amazon Logistics financial management strategy and contribute to the development of the organization’s strategic goals, including driving cost-out. He/she will lead the operational planning process, interacting with vice presidents within Finance and Operations. The successful candidate will drive new insights into key financial and operational performance drivers and become a trusted leader within the organization. This candidate will be a strong and inspirational leader who has a proven track record for hiring, developing and retaining the best talent.

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 bottom-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 on the fulfillment centers to deliver the ultimate in customer experience and satisfaction, and it’s a role that’s taken extremely seriously throughout the company.

Amazon’s field leadership roles manage facilities of 500,000 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. Many of our sites handle over $1B in revenue per year with a $60-100 million budget. Contact for this position: Tom Butts, tombu@amazon.com

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. Contact for this position: Tom Butts, tombu@amazon.com.

Senior Manager and Senior Program Manager, Worldwide Engineering Services — Seattle
Amazon is looking for a Senior Program Manager with a strong delivery record and proven project management experience to own and execute strategic, cross-functional operations and technology projects on the Worldwide Engineering Services team. The team is also looking for a Senior Manager to manage the PMO office.

The Senior Manager and Senior Program Manager on the Worldwide Engineering Services team will develop and implement standardized tools and processes for Capital Planning and Management and for Project Planning and Project Management, and will develop and manage strong strategic relationships with our key suppliers and business partners to reduce cost, streamline project implementation and improve capital efficiencies. These roles will develop and implement standard project management and construction management processes and methodology to be utilized by the engineers and project managers in all Worldwide regions including project planning, status reporting, budget tracking, schedule tracking, open issue resolution, system acceptance, and project closeout. Contact for these positions: Bethany Freeburg, freeburg@amazon.com.

Nike

Inventory Analytics Manager – Portland, OR

At Nike, we are always on the offense, and we are looking for an experienced Inventory Analytics Manager with a passion for data and analytics to join our new and quickly growing Safety Stock Center of Excellence.

As an Inventory Analytics Manager, you will enable Nike's leap to data insights by analyzing a diverse portfolio of product and industry data, and collaborating with cross-functional partners to ensure awareness of and commitment to excellence of inventory and service performance. You will be setting the foundation for Nike’s ability to serve the consumer and evolving the way Nike meets true market demand. This is a unique opportunity to help craft Nike’s future by driving desired outcomes through transparency, metrics, and scalable and sustainable processes for global expansion.

As an Inventory Analytics Manager, you will be a valuable team member with responsibilities that include:

  • Applying statistical methods and visualization techniques for discovery and speed to insights
  • Interpreting results of analyses, identifying trends and issues, and developing alternatives to support business and CoE objectives
  • Driving and influencing inventory and supply chain capabilities for Nike's responsive businesses
  • Using statistical analysis and data-driven decision making tools for the setting of safety stock targets and recommending of safety stock locations
  • Driving value for Nike by providing education on safety stock methodology, collaborating throughout the organization to influence decisions, and raising awareness of the benefits of analytics
  • Leveraging industry standards and inputs to set safety stock targets at all staging locations seasonally
  • Monitoring, conducting and publishing ongoing analysis of inventory performance
  • Achieving a high degree of professional expertise in leading edge, sophisticated decision making tools and advanced forecasting within Nike from a qualitative to a more quantitative / statistical process
  • Determine the disaggregation of the demand plan from monthly to weekly by analyzing historical performance of sales order by week on a seasonal basis

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Masters/PhD degree in business, supply chain operations, engineering, or related field
  • Expert skill level in Excel and Access
  • Experience in Cognos, Llamasoft and Tableau
  • Proficient in forecasting, data modeling, optimization planning, statistical analyzing and advanced analytics
  • Experience in inventory planning is preferred
  • Experience, interest and adaptability to working in a fast-paced, ambiguous environment
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills
  • Experience working with cross-functional teams
  • Strong technical and analytical skillset
  • Experience in SQL is preferred but not required

Interested candidates should send their resume to Meredith.Norris@nike.com and Jessica.McCoy@nike.com.

National Grid

Quantitative Analyst – Waltham, MA

Analyze data and activities to provide relevant and up to date information and/or tools to support decision-making and the effective working of National Grid. Enable a cultural change towards Data Driven decision-making through the development of analytical tools. Support our transformation to a process-based organization, through key end-to-end process initiatives.

Position responsibilities:

  • Applying statistical methods and visualization techniques for discovery and speed to insights
  • Interpreting results of analyses, identifying trends and issues, and developing alternatives to support business and CoE objectives
  • Driving and influencing inventory and supply chain capabilities for Nike's responsive businesses
  • Using statistical analysis and data-driven decision making tools for the setting of safety stock targets and recommending of safety stock locations
  • Driving value for Nike by providing education on safety stock methodology, collaborating throughout the organization to influence decisions, and raising awareness of the benefits of analytics
  • Leveraging industry standards and inputs to set safety stock targets at all staging locations seasonally
  • Monitoring, conducting and publishing ongoing analysis of inventory performance

Knowledge and experience required:

  • Bachelor or master’s degree in a quantitative discipline (engineering, sciences, economics, finance, computer science or equivalent) is required, with a background in computer programming and/or a minimum of 3-5 years’ experience in advanced modeling desired. Masters preferred.
  • Expert within their field. Extensive and significant knowledge of one field of work or broad technical depth in multiple, related fields sufficient to lead programs or projects.
  • Knowledge of relevant industry practice and legislation. Knowledge of current trends within the industry and developments in legislation or regulation.
  • Proficient in relevant software e.g. Microsoft Office products (Excel, Word, PowerPoint). Ability to program in Python, C/C++ and/or Visual Basic for modeling purposes.
  • Experience and proficiency in relevant company related IT systems.
  • Knowledge of industry operations and practices, with the ability to discuss concepts and value propositions.
  • Knowledge of National Grid’s policies and processes and how to apply them effectively.
  • Experience of managing project teams and projects independently.
  • Experience in strategic value of analytical tools in driving process excellence.

Capability requirements:

  • Analytical Thinking: After analyzing data, has ability to see multiple relationships, identifying several likely causes or consequences of a situation.
  • Conceptual Thinking: Sees patterns or trends in data or situations, notices when something is similar to a past situation.
  • Mathematical Modeling: conceptualize mathematical models and develop sophisticated Excel or computer programs to model and optimize processes.
  • Information Seeking: Establishes the facts by digging deeper, asking probing questions and challenging initial responses from different sources.
  • Impact and Influence: Uses direct persuasion to influence others, using basic data, logic or a solid business case.

Contact: Mary Mangovski

Sikorsky

Manager for Sales, Inventory & Operations Planning – Stratford, CT

The ideal candidate for this key role will lead the efforts to redefine and enhance the existing Sales, Inventory & Operations Planning Process (SIOP) at Sikorsky Aircraft. SIOP is an enterprise-level business process that is utilized to establish and align overall manufacturing capability (production plan) to best satisfy the current planned levels of sales (sales plan and/or forecasts). The primary goal is to accomplish this alignment in order to optimize the business objectives of profitability, productivity, inventory turnover and lead-time performance. SIOP is a critical process for establishing plans, resulting in stakeholder agreement that is data-based, risk-based and consensus-based. Currently this process is conducted on a monthly cadence and involves all levels of senior management across the enterprise. This position will require a highly adaptable leader who can coordinate with a cross-functional team at varying levels of the organization to incorporate the requirements of key stakeholders, all while ensuring alignment across the enterprise.

Specific job responsibilities:

  • Coordinate demand inputs from each of the P&Ls and validate demand through analysis
  • Evaluate capacity intended to support validated demand requirements via an enterprise capacity planning tool
  • Assess impact related to demand/capacity analysis (Sales, EBIT, Inventory & Cash)
  • Assess other key performance metrics (productivity, shop load, rates, lead time)
  • Redefine, maintain and improve standard work
  • Identify opportunities to leverage technology to further enhance the overall process
  • Successful applicant will have demonstrated experience in the following UTC leadership competencies: strategic leadership, teamwork, developing talent, business innovation and focus on results.

Qualifications:

  • BA/BS degree w/ 7-10+ years of experience; MA/MS degree w/ 5-7+ years of experience
  • An undergraduate degree in a technical or business discipline (MS/MBA degree a plus), with applicable industry experience in an operations management and/or material planning role
  • Demonstrated the ability to take on increasing scope of responsibility
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills, demonstrated ability to work effectively with associates at all levels throughout the organization
  • Solid, results-driven continuous improvement experience, with knowledge of our ACE operating system a plus, and a proven track record of successfully meeting deliverables is a fast-paced environment
  • Comply with the Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) policy and applicable regulatory and company EH&S rules and requirements

Contact: Crystal.Peck@sikorsky.com

Knowledge Transfer

When you click on the Internship page on the LGO website, you’ll find detailed profiles of recent LGO internships to show you examples of LGO projects and the results they achieve.

The internships are organized into seven categories:

  • Capacity and production planning
  • Energy and sustainability
  • Lean operations
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Product development
  • Sourcing
  • Supply chain

Each section includes profiles of two internships with information on the students’ approach, project impact and MIT faculty participation. New profiles will be posted on a regular basis.

This month's Alumni Newsletter will feature two projects focused improving supply chain performance. David Chou worked on his project at Caterpillar evaluating the existing total for supply simulation, optimization and visualization and mapped a strategy for long-term implementation, with some immediate implementation wins. Augusta Niles worked on her project at Novartis Vaccines division of Novartis AG. She developed a stochastic capacity model to aid in the planning for future growth, doing gap analysis and creating potential solutions.

If you have companies or areas of research you are interested in having highlighted in the monthly news, please contact Ted Equi (tedequi@mit.edu).



Name: David Chou

David Chou

Company: Caterpillar
Supervisor: Jenny Wilcoski
Academic Advisors: Edgar Blanco, Roy Welsch

Title: Corporate Strategy for Supply Chain Simulation, Optimization and Visualization

Summary:

This internship focused on the mapping of Caterpillar’s current supply chain simulation, optimization and visualization situation and the development of a strategy around the usage of such programs.

Caterpillar developed an Integrated Supply Chain Strategy (ISCS), and in support of this strategy, a number of independent teams around the company began investigating supply chain design and simulation. However, these teams were not coordinated in their approach and Caterpillar is not fully taking advantage of what has already been developed internally and what is commercially available. The project looks to identify these initiates, determine industry best practices and establish a strategy tailored for Caterpillar to ensure world-class performance.

The first aspect of the project consisted of internal interviews with a variety of employees, from organizational-level program managers to facility-level supply chain managers to ascertain the variety of programs utilized. Programs were analyzed based on purpose, function and usability.

The second phase of the project involved meeting with experts at a variety of industry analogs and supply chain program vendors to understand how Caterpillar’s approach differs from other F500 companies. Since most companies differed significantly from Caterpillar, either in product mix or organizational structure, analytical effort was made to find both general corporate best practices and Caterpillar specific benefits. Finally, the project involved a deeper analysis of Caterpillar’s current process of supply chain network design, allowing to understand how all of the earlier research best fits into their established process.

The major outcome of this work was the formulation of a long-term strategy tailored to Caterpillar’s current capabilities and political environment. Caterpillar’s decentralized nature calls for coordination, requiring the creation of a small enterprise expert group. This mirrors Caterpillar’s engineering simulation group, which was created when Caterpillar faced the same situation regarding their engineering software packages. The simulation group is to coordinate between major enterprise units, improve access and capability, and support users through established instruction methods. The group’s work is to be exempt-funded to allow focus on capability development and improvement rather than internal project sales. Existing process implementation teams will work closely with the simulation group in order to apply tools to current and planned supply chain projects.

The project work was utilized by Caterpillar Production System members in a variety of senior level briefings to gather support for this and other significant supply chain changes within the organization. Further movement is to be seen, but there is growing focus within Caterpillar in this field and implementation of the strategy appears likely.



Name: Augusta Niles

Augusta Niles

Company: Novartis Vaccines
Supervisor: Prasanna Deshpande, Tom Hensey, and Karen Mitchell
Academic Advisors: Don Rosenfield and Patrick Jaillet

Title: Stochastic Capacity Modeling to Support Demand/Capacity Gap Planning

Summary:

Novartis Vaccines, one of five divisions of Novartis AG, produces 20+ vaccines which are offered in syringes, vials, multi- or single-pack, and multi- or single-dose and delivered in language-specific packaging to countries all over the world. Bexsero is a new product in 2013. As demand for Bexsero and other products increases over the next 10 years, the production lines used to package them will need to accommodate more and more volume.

Capacity planning compares capacity gaps between future demand and current estimated capacity. Because of recurring shortfalls in production relative to planned capacity, current estimates of capacity are not trusted for long-term planning. Understanding how international demand will be allocated to each production line and what drives current capacity limitations will help Novartis Vaccines prioritize investment to optimally develop this capacity over time.

Incorporating both historical and forward-looking data including the packaging area plan, line records, centralized warehouse records, and machine validation and operating procedures, uncertainty in the system was quantified and used to simulate production over a specified time horizon. Simulated results produce a mean and standard deviation of capacity we are likely to see and were used to shape an overall packaging capacity development plan.

Capacity strategy has established methods of dealing with uncertainty in future demand. This project advances the concept of capacity strategy under conditions of uncertainty in cases where capacity is the primary source of uncertainty. Long-term demand was assessed, capacity vs. peak demand views were created, and production scenarios were simulated on a single line/product/format basis over the time horizon to determine expected capacity. Recommendations were then made for each of the pre-filled syringe, multi-format, and vial format lines.


Student Bloggers

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.

Blair Holbrook ’16 competed in the Red Bull Dolomitenmann relay race

  • John Kang ’15 reflected on his recruiting interview experience. which had its ups and down but resulted in several job offers.
  • Yalu Wu’ 15 talked about the phenomenon “getting slammed" at the end of the semester. Although she was incredibly busy, Yalu found some time to attend The Yarn and had fun going candlepin bowling.
  • Tamara Belkina ’16 is looking forward to Domestic and International Plant Treks. She talked about her exciting spring classes and upcoming internship interviews as well as her amazing classmates and what they have accomplished recently.
  • Elizabeth Ohrt ’16 talked about her Organizational Processes project, the 2015 MIT Energy Conference and final exams.
  • Esther Hu’ 15 described her trip to Leavenworth, a small town in eastern Washington, where she sampled German foods and went to a wine tasting.

Alumni Reference Information

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 lgosdmvc@mit.edu 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 (jsjacobs@mit.edu, 617-253-2959).