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.
Thomas A. Roemer
Holiday greetings from the LGO office!
I hope this message finds you well and that you’re slowly setting into the spirit of the holidays. I hope you’ll have time and piece of mind to reflect on the last year and are looking forward to the New Year.
Here at LGO, we look back at another successful year, with additional high notes in November. Two of our students, Cynthia Lin and Andrew Byron, finished second in the International Case Competition hosted by Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. LGO engineering faculty co-director David Simchi-Levi received the prestigious Wagner Prize for Excellence in Operations Research Practice, while Professors Karen Zheng and Itai Ashlagi both received coveted awards at INFORMS for their respective papers.
Personally, I look back at the most exciting transition in my professional life. I feel blessed to be back at LGO and working with brilliant students, dedicated alumni, world-class faculty and an amazing staff. I am full of gratitude to all who made this transition so rewarding.
As this is the last newsletter of the year, I would like to appeal to your generosity: Long gone are the days that students received 100 percent tuition fellowships or even additional stipends. Currently, our students pay almost half the tuition out of their own pockets, and increasingly their funding depends on the generosity of our donors. The chair of the Alumni Board, Kristin Toth Smith (LGO ‘03), and I are currently working on a strategy to increase giving to LGO, and we soon will contact you with more details on how to give to LGO.
For now, I would like to thank you in advance for your generosity and wish you peaceful holidays and a fantastic new year.
Thomas A. Roemer
Executive Director, MIT Leaders for Global Operations Program
If you’re planning to be in one of the cities below at a time that will coincide with a free evening for first-year students visiting on Domestic Plant Trek, please feel free to contact Josh Jensen ’16 (email@example.com) to arrange an informal meetup.
We are excited about the 15 off-cycle internships for LGO ’16s who are about to move to their new locations. Below is a table of the LGO ‘16s with where they are going. This is a great opportunity to connect with current students. If you live in an area near where the current student will be, or if you know a lot about the industry in which a student will be working and want to connect with current students, please reach out to them! They're looking forward to the opportunity to connect with LGO alums.
The Student Alumni Committee is also working with Josh Jacobs and Alumni Board Chair Kristin Toth Smith '03 to give these off-cycle interns a list of the alums in various geographic regions so they can also reach out to those alums when they move.
|Li & Fung||Hong Kong||David Semkofirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Nike||Portland, OR||Amanda Lurieemail@example.com|
|PG&E||San Francisco||Greg Eschelbachfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Iris Zielske and several of her graduating students in Tanzania.
Just in time for the season of giving, two articles about LGOs lending a helping hand—some in a Massachusetts camp for bereaved children and one in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania—have been published on the MIT Sloan School of Management’s news website. Iris Zielske (LGO '16) received a fellowship from the MIT Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship, while another group from LGO volunteered at a free summer camp for children who have recently experienced the loss of a loved on. Read more...
President/CEO Anuj Bhardwaj (front) and COO Kash Patel (right) of the Ultran Group, which was founded by Anuj’s father Mahesh Bhardwaj, the CTO (left).
One of them is the company’s president/CEO and the other is its chief operating officer—not bad for two guys who graduated from LGO less than five years ago.
Anuj Bhardwaj and Kashyap Patel met as first-year LGO students in 2008 and graduated two years later with MBA and SM degrees (both in mechanical engineering). Patel joined Sears Holdings Corp.’s leadership program in Chicago and eventually became Director of Business Innovation and Transformation, “essentially doing what LGO taught us: looking at a problem and trying to come up with a solution,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bhardwaj, who was a project engineer at 3M before enrolling in LGO, worked for a Boston-area boutique strategic consulting company after graduating. “It was pretty useful going to a small company,” he said. “I had other offers at larger companies, but I felt like I had enough big-company experience and I knew in the back of my mind that I might be getting involved with Ultran.” Read more...
MIT’s team consisted of (left to right) Cynthia Lin and Andrew Byron of LGO as well as Sloan MBA students Rachit Parekh and Katy Shaw.
The MIT Sloan Operations Club team including two LGO students took second prize in the 19th annual International Case Competition hosted by the Operations Management Club at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. Read more...
Three LGO faculty members—David Simchi-Levi, Itai Ashlagi and Karen Zheng—have been recognized for their research by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). Read more...
LGO students at the Taza Chocolate factory in Somerville, Mass.
Behind-the-scenes tours of manufacturing facilities all over the world are one of the coolest parts of the LGO experience, but one recent local tour was sweeter than any other.
Nine members of the LGO Class of 2016 made an ad hoc visit to Taza Chocolate in Somerville, just a couple of miles from the MIT campus, to get an in-depth look at chocolate-making operations. Taza makes stone-ground organic chocolate using molinos (hand-carved granite millstones) in a former factory after starting its existence in founder Alex Whitmore’s kitchen.
Taza is pretty small compared to other companies that students visit during their two years at LGO, but it’s resourceful—most of their equipment had a long and colorful history before it was repurposed for making chocolate, and it has a fairly broad product line.
“I expected Taza to have just a couple of products, but was surprised at all of the different ingredient combinations that they came up with, such as chocolate-covered roasted cacao nibs,” said Jeff Schacherl.
Another nice thing about the Taza tour for visitors: it’s a little easier to hold the company’s product in the palm of your hand than it would be at, say, Boeing or Caterpillar—and it tastes better, too.
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.
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:
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:
Ideal candidate profile:
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, email@example.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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, email@example.com.
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:
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.
Knowledge and experience required:
Contact: Mary Mangovski
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:
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:
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 focused on improved lead-times and visibility in the planning and execution of operations. The first project was done by Andreas Christogiannis at ABB to improve the sales and operations planning process within the context of an engineering-to-order environment. The second project was done by John Marsh at UTC-Sikorsky to reduce production lead time by improved visibility into long-time drivers.
If you have companies or areas of research you are interested in having highlighted in the monthly news, please contact Ted Equi (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This project takes a pragmatic approach is taken at analyzing and improving sales and operations planning in a project-based, engineer-to-order product line. Variability of product and components configurations and long lead times of the sales process and of material procurement during project execution place additional planning challenges in comparison with a standardized high-volume product business. Christogiannis focused his study on improving the visibility on future customer orders and on reducing the procurement lead-time of project material.
Due to the nature of the market and the customers of the studied product line, incoming orders timing is very uncertain when viewed on a project-by-project basis. However, there is a specific dynamic when the sales pipeline is analyzed on aggregate: tenders that end up converting into customer orders will do so sooner rather than later. Christogiannis used this observation to propose a probabilistic model that connects today’s open tenders to the expected new business out of these tenders. The organization is able to use this model to estimate what the current activity of the sales force can produce in terms of new business. The expected benefit is that the organization can act proactively if a reduction is expected in incoming business from a specific region or major customer. It can also make targeted efforts to increase sales activity towards that region or customer.
To increase its competitiveness when bidding for new projects, the organization has embarked on an effort to reduce the overall project execution lead -time. A significant portion of this lead-time is waiting time for project specific material, which comprises the biggest part of the BOM in money terms. Using a critical supplier as a case study, Christogiannis proposed a supplier flexibility scheme, under which a material order is placed in two phases: first the desired delivery time and the component size are specified, and later on the exact specs are given to the supplier. I also propose an optimization model that utilizes the above concept and offers the organization an optimal way to plan the project material procurement, given a desired reduction in procurement lead-time.
The expected benefit is that there is a justified and optimal method to reduce procurement time without building excessive material stock; it also sheds light to the “constraints” (specific materials or suppliers) that need to be lifted for further lead time reduction.
Helicopters are complex machines consisting of tens of thousands of parts and assemblies. Due to the special engineering requirements, processes and materials, the lead time for many of the parts can be several months, resulting in a long aircraft lead time. During periods of high demand, long aircraft lead time is less of a concern since helicopter manufacturers often have a large backlog that is greater than the lead time of the aircraft, allowing them to build the helicopters to order. However, during periods of low demand, manufacturers may need to forecast demand for the helicopters and make the decision to start building aircraft before having a committed customer order. In this case, reduction of lead times allows for better forecasting and gives the sales team more time to find a customer to purchase the aircraft before build begins. Shorter aircraft lead times also have the added benefits of increasing flexibility in production and capacity planning and lowering inventory holding costs and work in process.
The focus of this project is to develop a robust process that systematically applies lead-time reduction strategies to parts in order to have the greatest impact on reduction of aircraft lead time.Approach:
During the internship period, there was a significant reduction in average lead time for the eight aircraft studied by following the established framework and processes.
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.
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 email@example.com 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-253-2959).