LGO Alumni Newsletter October 2014

Message from Thomas Roemer

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Thomas A. Roemer

Dear friends,

A new academic year has started, all our students came back for Midstream Review, and exciting new partners Danaher and PG&E joined us for the Operations Committee meeting. Due in large part to the continued engagement and success of our alumni, an impressive pipeline of potential future partners is developing.

A new student-driven initiative is on the way to further the alignment between internship content, faculty interests and student backgrounds. With the number of internship commitments near an all-time high this early in the season, we are well positioned to achieve this ambitious goal.

Meanwhile, fall is setting in, leaves are turning golden, and with the first cool mornings I question my resolution to keep cycling to work until snow and ice set in…

Greetings from Cambridge to all of you,

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

LGO Ambassador Day is Nov. 3

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Ambassador Day co-chairs Ana Garcia and David Semko (LGO ’16) inviting prospective students to campus


We would be grateful to all alumni to please give a heads-up to any prospective LGO ’17 applicants to attend Ambassador Day!

If you’re thinking about applying to LGO, Ambassador Day is a great chance to get to know the program first-hand.

This year’s event for prospective LGO students takes place on the MIT campus on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014. Attendees will start off by mingling with LGO faculty and staff and then either going to a class or attending an application Q&A session and touring the campus (the same two choices are offered in the afternoon as well).

After lunch there’ll be breakout sessions on engineering Q&A, internships and the LGO experience. Later that afternoon and evening, there will be a Global Operations Leadership seminar with Denise Johnson (LGO ’97), Vice President for Integrated Manufacturing Operations Division at Caterpillar, and a panel discussion with current LGO students and alumni.

Many of those who eventually become LGO students say that Ambassador Day was a big factor in bringing them to MIT. “The day was full of activities that really gave me a good glimpse of what life was like as an LGO student,” said David Semko (LGO ’16). “I remember being both humbled and inspired by the students I was sitting next to when I went to class. I also remember being thoroughly impressed by how proud everyone associated with the LGO program was to share their experiences with me. Most memorably, I had a very comfortable feeling here—it felt like home.”

Full details and more perspective from Ambassador Day co-chair Ana Garcia ’16

Team led by Traina ’15 wins international regatta in Italy

Adam Traina (left) and Cooper Engst (MBA ’15) compete in the MBA regatta finals on a four-person boat.

A 29-member sailing team from the MIT Sloan School of Management that included three LGOs took first place in the annual MBA’s Conference and Regatta in Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy.

The MIT Sloan crew of the 37-foot Division A boat, captained by Adam Traina (LGO ’15), beat 22 other boats from business schools in 11 countries in the series of races held September 26-29 on the Italian Riviera. Also representing LGO were first-year students David Hume and Michael Buelsing, who captained MIT Sloan’s Division B boat.

The win was the result of lots of planning and teamwork, said Traina, who was also captain of the entire MIT Sloan team and the only member of the 10-person crew on the Division A boat who had ever sailed that type of boat before. In fact, one crewmember had never sailed before, several others had sailed only a few times, and the most experienced crewmember other than Traina had never sailed on a crew with more than four members.

“We started with a huge range of sailing experience and applied fundamental principles from sailing and management to learn to operate in a new environment,” Traina said.

Only the boat captained by an LGO would pull the andon cord to stop the boat mid-race while in first place… and still win! Read more about the race.


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, 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.

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: luiperez@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: luiperez@amazon.com.

Nike

Supply Chain Design Manager – Portland, OR

Nike’s Global Supply Chain Innovation group is looking for a talented and energetic self-starter with a passion for supply chain analytics to join our Supply Chain Design Center of Excellence team.

As a Supply Chain Design Manager, you will adopt and proliferate the use of advanced analytics and visualization in designing Nike Inc.’s end-to-end supply chain network for profitability, responsiveness and sustainability, optimizing across various scenarios and tradeoffs impacting financial, operational and sustainable parameters. You will employ advanced modeling, optimization, simulation and statistical analysis techniques to validate new opportunities to improve supply chain performance and to prescribe actionable recommendations to leverage those opportunities.

You will join a world-class team of analytics professionals to identify, scope and execute high-impact projects across Nike’s global supply chain. You will partner with Global Sourcing and Geo Ops teams across the globe on high-visibility projects, gaining insights from data and modeling and presenting recommendations to senior leaders.

The role is perfect for a team player with strong supply chain experience, analytical skills, drive and exceptional communication skills.

Requirements for this position include:

  • MBA/MS/PhD in business analytics fields (Industrial Engineering, Management Science, Operations Research, Supply Chain, etc.) preferred
  • Strong technical and analytical skillset (Excel, R, SQL, Matlab, Supply Chain Guru, or equivalent)
  • 6+ years of experience in consulting, supply chain or analytics roles
  • Ability to view the big picture and to define and shape strategies
  • Proven ability to frame and structure problems, synthesize and identify critical information, and perform rigorous and complex analyses
  • People management, leadership, coaching and mentoring skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including superior presentation skills and ability to make intuitive recommendations to senior leadership and build consensus among broader audiences
  • Strong project management experience across multiple project streams and complexities; propensity for thinking through projects in a process-oriented way
Contact: Hugo Mora, Hugo.Mora@Nike.com

United Technologies – Sikorsky

Operations Manager – Troy, AL

Sikorsky Aircraft in Troy, Ala., is a 170,000-square-foot facility performing new assembly of the MH-60R and MH-60S SEAHAWK airframes. The Operations Manager reports directly to the General Manager and is responsible for all aspects of production including employee safety, product quality, on-time delivery and product cost.

Specific duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Development of production schedules to meet customer needs and financial objectives on time, every time
  • Management of production execution to deliver airframes and associated components and spare parts on time to customer need at perfect quality
  • Deliver gross margin and EBIT that meets or exceeds the financial plan for each of Troy’s five P&Ls
  • Maintain customer satisfaction at ACE Gold levels
  • Develop and implement plans to reduce product cost and eliminate assembly rework and the cost of poor quality
  • Continually evaluate new approaches to lean manufacturing used by Sikorsky, other UTC entities, and the manufacturing industry at large, as a vehicle to both benchmark and improve Troy’s efforts by implementing best-in-class initiatives.
  • Achieve ACE Gold certification in all manufacturing cells.
  • Perform due-diligence and operations analysis on prospective new business opportunities and lead on-ramping of new programs within Troy Operations
  • Promote the mission, vision, values and UTC code of ethics in order to maintain a strong relationship with employees, customers, suppliers and shareholders
  • Coach, mentor and develop staff to ensure that objectives are being met and ideas are being fostered throughout the shop
  • Partner with HR on merit planning, incentive compensation, the performance management process, manpower planning and succession planning.
  • Ensure that a positive employee relations position is maintained, promoting teamwork and cooperation with employees, management and union leadership
  • Create a safe work environment for employees and use Relentless Root Cause analysis to improve and mistake proof the employee work environment
  • Assume other responsibilities as directed by the General Manager
  • Assume the role as Deputy General Manager when the General Manager is offsite

Requirements include:

  • BS degree or higher in operations management, industrial engineering or related discipline required
  • MBA or MS degree is preferred
  • Minimum of 10 years in operations management or related discipline, or equivalent combination of education, training or experience required
  • Experience in aerospace manufacturing strongly preferred
  • Management experience with a bargaining unit represented workforce required
  • Strong knowledge of lean manufacturing principles and Root Cause Corrective Action techniques
  • ACE Associates certification (or comparable) required

Contact: Crystal Peck, 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 will feature two projects in planning and process improvement. The first is from Jerry Chiang ’14, who did his work at United Technology Corp.’s Sikorsky Aircraft division. Jerry analyzed and proposed solutions to reduce complexity in the government proposal procurement process at Sikorsky. The second project is from Cathy Fang ‘14, who did her work at Amgen. Cathy analyzed the analytical technologies planned for the new facility in Singapore and developed a model to assess the risk and help guide the selection of the tool set for the facility.



Name: Jerry Chiang (LGO '14)

Jerry Chiang

Company: Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.
Supervisor: Brian Hirsh
Champion: David Gunzenhauser
Academic Advisors: Bruce Cameron, Roy Welschbr

Title: Reducing Government Proposal Procurement Process Complexity

Summary:

Every five years, Sikorsky submits a Multi-Year Government Proposal, the primary agreement between Sikorsky and the U.S. government to purchase military aircraft, and conducts a procurement exercise to support the multibillion-dollar proposal. The primary goal of this project is to improve this procurement process by saving cost, effort and time by reducing complexity while striving to maintain the quality of competition in the bidding process.

Since Sikorsky is a sole-source government prime contractor, all material costs to support the proposal pricing need to be transparent and substantiated in accordance with federal regulations. This may involve awarding parts or packages of parts to the lowest bidder in a competitive environment, obtaining the selected supplier’s underlying cost and pricing data, or obtaining evidence that a given part is commercially sold. Hence, as environmental forces push the multi-year procurement process to be increasingly comprehensive and competitive, the process to analyze, substantiate, negotiate, award and verify supplier bids and packages has increased exponentially in complexity, leading to more cost, time and effort for Sikorsky to manage.

After interviewing stakeholders, examining the data, reviewing the systems, and conducting a root cause analysis to pinpoint the underlying causes of complexity, three key levers were utilized to reduce complexity: Process Improvement, System Automation, and Bid Strategy Optimization.

Process Improvement:
After a thorough analysis of the current process, drivers, opportunities for improvement and potential impact, several recommendations were made to target the root causes of complexity. These include recommendations reducing the number of parts, suppliers and price points solicited, as well as limiting the number of interactions between Sikorsky negotiators, supplier negotiators and Sikorsky buyers.

System Automation:
By way of leading and facilitating a cross-functional team of stakeholders to assess system gaps and identify opportunities, a recommendation for a leaner, more tightly integrated and automated system was proposed. This consists of specific system requirements, including support for more complex bidding formats, connectivity across systems and more robust capture of key inputs.

Bid Strategy Optimization
One opportunity for reducing complexity is more efficient grouping of parts to bids, suppliers to bids and bids to negotiators. By designing an optimization tool that minimizes complexity while fulfilling predefined bid constraints, the number of bids, suppliers and negotiators involved can be dramatically reduced for future procurement processes.

Utilization of these levers is expected to reduce complexity dramatically, leading to fewer required man-hours, less rework and greater transparency.



Name: Cong (Cathy) Fang (LGO ’14)

Cong (Cathy) Fang

Company: Amgen, Inc.
Supervisor: Jared Bryne
Academic Advisors: Peter Dedon, Roy Welsch

Title: Crystal Ball Planning for Analytical Technology Implementation in ASM

Amgen’s drug substance manufacturing plant in Singapore is implementing an advanced manufacturing network that is highly productive, cost effective, modular and flexible. This will require new control strategies and quality control systems that allow for flexibility and efficiency. A fundamental shift for process development will be to design in-process quality check during development and manufacturing rather than relying on quality assessment at the end of production. However, in the process of designing and implementing these new quality control technologies, several gaps were identified, including gaps between independently established manufacturing process and in-progress analytics initiative, gaps between the technical advancement achieved in the analytics initiative and implementation feasibility in the current drug commercialization process, and gaps between long-term technical development process and short-term window for technology implementation in Singapore.

This project is designed to resolve these gaps and proceeds in four phases: current status analysis, systematic risk evaluation, mitigation of the highest risks and an implementation plan at Amgen Singapore site.

The current status analysis phase begins with connecting with major stakeholders involved in the project, including the operation group, analytics group, commercialization group, filing group and technical development group. This phase includes interviewing those stakeholders, learning the manufacturing process and quality control process for a specific drug that will be manufactured in Singapore, and understanding the analytics technologies in the current practice and in the development phase. Based on the information collected in the first phase, the project proceeds with building a risk evaluation model by analyzing risk causing factors, defining risk levels, and applying this model to the analytical technologies that will be implemented in Singapore. After identifying high risks using the model, the project will follow up on those risks, analyze root causes and propose corresponding solutions. The project moves into the third phase with a risk mitigation plan for analytical technologies with high risks, which will be integrated into the implementation process in the Singapore site. Specifically, alternatives will be evaluated for testing of liquid media by identifying options, conducting preliminary assessment of utility, documenting costs, benefits or values and eventually making a recommendation on how to mitigate risks. Last but not least, the project is finalized with an implementation plan to move analytical technologies from R&D environment to the manufacturing floor.

Due to the time constraints, this project will only include analytical technologies that are going to be implemented at Singapore site once the construction starts in 2013. It will not include analytical technologies that are still in early-phase development at Amgen, or the in-detail analysis of filing strategy.


If you have companies or areas of research you’d like to see highlighted in the monthly newsletter, please contact Ted Equi (tedequi@mit.edu).

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.

LGO intramural soccer: LGO ’15 vs. LGO ’16 (plus LGO’s director Thomas Roemer) on a perfect fall day in New England.

Videos on MIT TechTV

Videos of current students, LGO webinar 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.

SDM

Please visit the website of the MIT Systems Design and Management program to learn about their upcoming events, including Systems Thinking webinars.

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).