We are looking forward to our international plant tour to Shanghai and Seoul. We will see a number of alumni throughout the trip, and appreciate the help of several alums in particular in arranging visits: Manish Bhatia and Kris Wilburn at SanDisk, Grace Overlander at GM, Wondong Do at LG, Aaron Raphel at Apple, Brian Feller at Dell, and Denise Johnson at Caterpillar.
I very much look forward to seeing a significant number of you at the alumni conference in San Francisco on May 1-2 and the conference in Boston on May 15-16.
Donald B. Rosenfield
Senior Lecturer, Sloan School of Management
It's official! San Francisco will be hosting this year's LGO Alumni Conference from May 1-2. In keeping with the locale, this year's conference will be tackling "Innovation in Manufacturing and Operations." We have a great set of speakers lined up from academia and industry. Presentations and panel discussions will cover contemporary operations issues from a number of angles, including emerging technologies, the role of entrepreneurship, and the ever-present human factor. Join us to discuss the latest in operations management, reunite with old friends, and make some new alumni connections.
Women of LGO will kick things off with a happy hour on Wednesday, April 30. More conference information is available here: http://lgo.mit.edu/alumni/conference/2014/
Watch for updates and book soon! Conference spots and local accommodations will fill quickly. If you have any questions or comments, contact the organizers.
Don Rosenfield, LGO
Please save these dates for a celebration of Don Rosenfield's career since 1988 at MIT LGO. Registration and lodging info will be sent to you in the next week.
Thursday, May 15—Reception at EMC Club at Fenway Park
Friday, May 16—Conference at MIT celebrating Don's contributions in such areas as operations research, the creation and evolution of LGO, partnerships between academia and industry, educational innovation, and the future of manufacturing and operations education. There will be speakers and panelists drawn from LGO alumni, current and former faculty, and industry. MIT faculty participants will include Steve Graves, David Hardt, Tom Magnanti, former industry co-director Bill Hanson, and LGO faculty co-directors Georgia Perakis and David Simchi-Levi. For more information, please contact Josh Jacobs.
Augusta Niles, Yannai Golany and Nicola Tan '14 during
last year's Lion Team project at Cisco China
First-year LGO students have started their spring semester classes, and for many of them, that includes one or more MIT Sloan Action Learning Labs—courses in which they'll use their classroom knowledge and (in most cases) on-site work to develop practical solutions faced by organizations around the world.
MIT Sloan offers 13 Action Learning Labs, some of which are open to all MIT graduate students. Several LGOs including Nicola Tan (LGO '14) are taking GlobalHealth Lab, where teams of students partner with an organization in sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia to help solve problems that limit the delivery of health care to the people who most need it. The class includes two weeks of fieldwork in March. As she writes in her blog, Tan's group is working with a social enterprise company called Dimagi and will be traveling to Zambia to survey community health workers on mobile technologies and offer recommendations on how to generate end-user demand for Dimagi's products.
Cynthia Lin, another GlobalHealth Lab student from LGO, is looking forward to applying what she's learned in operations and logistics classes to the health sector. Her team's project will focus on operations at a South Africa clinic that deals with chronically ill patients.
"There are many structural and logistics challenges in getting medication to people who most need them, and I think there are opportunities for people with business and engineering training to provide different perspectives to overcome these challenges," Lin said.
The LGO webinar series returns this spring with sessions led by faculty and LGO alumni. These webinars are offered as a benefit to our alumni and extended community. We hope you will participate and suggest any further topics to Josh Jacobs.
Prof. Tauhid Zaman
Speaker: Professor Tauhid Zaman, MIT Sloan
Topic: "Dynamics of User Behavior in Twitter"
Date: Friday, March 7, 2014
Time: Noon –1:00 p.m. EST
Tauhid Zaman is an Assistant Professor of Operations Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His research focuses on social data analytics. He is interested in utilizing large-scale data from online social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to optimize business operations, design effective online advertisements and product recommendations, and develop new predictive models of user behavior. You can view Professor Zaman's recent video interview on his efforts to model tweet performance.
Professor Zaman received his BS, MEng, and PhD degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT. Before returning to MIT, he spent one year as a postdoctoral researcher in the Wharton School's Statistics Department at the University of Pennsylvania.
Heath Holtz, LGO '05
Speaker: Heath Holtz (LGO '05), Nissan
Topic: "Career-building in a non-U.S.-based Global Company"
Date: Friday, April 4, 2014
Time: Noon–1:00 p.m. EST
Heath Holtz is Vice President, Supply Chain Management–Europe for Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK). He leads the Nissan team responsible for all supply chain activities within Europe and Russia. In seven years with Nissan, Holtz has risen through supply chain executive roles at Nissan North America, Nissan Motors in Japan, and now Nissan UK. He has sponsored two LGO internships within the Nissan North America Logistics organization.
Previously, Holtz was a materials manager at Dell, and prior to completing the LGO program he was a captain in the U.S. Air Force. He is an operations research graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and holds a master's degree in operations research from Georgia Tech.
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) contact Brent Gibbons.
Head of Operations UK — London, UK
This new leadership role has been created to bring the UK Operations organization to a new level of performance and productivity, underpinning Amazon.co.uk's rapid and continuing growth. The Leader, Operations UK will hold a key leadership position within Amazon worldwide and will drive growth not only in the UK but also neighboring markets served out of the UK with plans for further substantial growth in the region. Today, Amazon runs eight fulfillment centers across the UK. While their sizes vary, in a mature state, fulfillment centers are targeted to have a permanent workforce of 1,500 to 3,000 at peak times during the fourth quarter of a year. As a company, Amazon continues to substantially grow revenues and volumes, which puts constant pressure on its operations and delivery capabilities. The operations mode of Amazon sites is deeply anchored in systematic deployment of lean concepts to core processes and in ensuring a high degree of automation of such processes. Where adding value, working standards follow Six Sigma and Kaizen methodologies. The Leader, Operations UK is pivotal to the business, delivering growth projections, and more importantly, its outstanding customer promise. Maintaining the strongly customer-centric culture of Amazon will be key, translating into consistent degrees of high customer satisfaction through on-time delivery. The ideal candidate is a strong business builder who knows how to structure and develop organizations to accommodate very large growth rates for the next several years. This leader will have exceptional strengths in defining business direction, driving innovation and growth, and running day-to-day operations. Infused in those areas will be an innate customer intuition and focus that serves as the basis for all business decisions. Contact for this position: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leader of Global Infrastructure Operations — Seattle, WA
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 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 of Emerging Regions ACES — Seattle, WA
Amazon is seeking a Director of Emerging Regions ACES who will build and lead ACES teams for Emerging Markets. ACES (Amazon Customer Excellence System) is Amazon.com's innovative program for driving process and customer experience improvement. ACES brings together the tools of Lean, Six Sigma, technology, and Amazon's customer-obsessed culture to drive continuous customer experience improvement.
The Director of Amazon Customer Excellence System (ACES) is responsible for implementing the ACES system enabling Amazon Emerging Regions Fulfillment Operations to benefit from the productivity gains available via Lean Six Sigma.
In this role you will develop and lead a team of senseis who identify, create, develop and integrate innovative solutions and programs that lead to improvements in our Emerging Regions ACES Programs. This highly visible position has primary leadership responsibility for implementing continuous improvement, standardization and best practice development across operations at multiple locations around the world. This position reports directly to the Director, Emerging Regions and must exercise considerable judgment in the identification and execution of strategic continuous improvement plans and the tactical project implementation and completion process.
Director, Emerging Regional Operations — Seattle, WA
Amazon.com's success is built on a foundation of customer obsession, and the Director, Emerging Regional Operations will lead multiple Amazon Fulfillment Centers, which are the last Amazon touchpoint in the customer experience. The Director, Emerging Regional Operations is an extraordinarily complex leadership role, requiring an executive to balance flawless daily execution with the long-term development of a team. The role requires a detailed understanding and ability to balance every operational component of multiple facilities from employee needs to IT and from process technology to process improvement. A successful executive will be able to provide strong vision and direction for the team while fostering bottoms-up input and participation in process improvement from all levels of the organization. This role will serve as the face of the organization to thousands of employees across North America. Amazon's Director, Emerging Regional Operations will manage Fulfillment facilities globally which consist of 200,000 to 1 million square feet with 500 to 1,500 full-time hourly and salaried employees. At peak these numbers will increase to 2,000 to 4,000/facility. The role will have a budget responsibility of $1.5B+.
Director, Operations Engineering, Emerging Regions — Seattle, WA
The successful candidate will lead the Operations Engineering team for our Emerging Regions. The Operations Engineering Emerging Regions team works with the Global Fulfillment Design and Engineering groups in the development, selection, construction, facility design and layout, capital equipment budget and selection, advanced mechanical engineering and software development for Global Fulfillment Center Execution in Emerging Regions. The team provides global business expertise to exceed customer expectations while minimizing end-to-end supply chain costs. This is a highly visible position that is critical to the company's operations management and forward capability. The fast-paced growth and scaling of our fulfillment network relies on the innovation and operational excellence of this impactful leader.
Fulfillment Center General Manager — multiple U.S./international locations
Amazon.com's success is built on a foundation of customer obsession, and the GM of an Amazon Fulfillment Center is the last line of defense in the customer experience. The Fulfillment Center GM is an extraordinarily complex leadership role, requiring an executive to balance flawless daily execution with the long-term development of a team. The role requires a detailed understanding and ability to balance every operational component of a facility from employee needs to IT, from process technology to process improvement. A successful executive will be able to provide strong vision and direction for the team while fostering bottoms-up input and participation in process improvement from all levels of the organization. The Fulfillment Center GM serves as the face of the organization to potentially thousands of employees and the entire community where the center is located. Our corporate leadership depends upon the fulfillment centers to deliver the ultimate in customer experience and satisfaction, and it is a role that is taken extremely seriously throughout the company.
Amazon's field leadership roles manage 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: email@example.com.
Senior Manager and Senior Program Manager, Worldwide Engineering Services — Seattle, WA
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, Project Planning and Project Management, and 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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's newsletter will feature two projects done at Boeing evaluating the automation within their factories. The first project was done by Bryce Durham '14 at the 787 factory in Charleston, SC, and the other project was done by Conor Frackleton '14 at the 737 factory in Renton, WA.
Name: Bryce Durham
Supervisor: Jeremy Stewart
Academic Advisors: Charles Fine, Julie Shah
Title: Determining Appropriate Levels of Robotic Automation in Commercial Aircraft Assembly
The aircraft industry has long been dominated by manual fabrication and assembly methods. Variability in human skill results in defects and rework; ultimately, variability also decreases production throughput. In turn, the expectation of rework reinforces the acceptance of variability. Reducing variability can require significant resource investments of time, effort and money. One approach to reduce variability, decrease cycle time and increase throughput is to implement robotic automation for various assembly tasks.
The low volume of aircraft production has made it difficult to justify large investments in robotic automation. Decreasing costs and increasing accuracy have made investment more palatable for the highest volume commercial aircraft programs. The excellent repeatability of robotic automation can significantly reduce individual task times for a wide range of operations. Standard automated task times are 60-85% lower than standard manual task times for drill and fasten operations. Drill and fasten operations represent the greatest opportunity for cycle time improvements because typical aircraft assembly requires tens of thousands of holes.
The total cost of automation depends on the impact to facilities, tooling, and support personnel as well as reductions in labor. The optimal level of automation is a balance among decreasing manual touch time, improving production capacity, and increasing automation costs. A semi-automated solution is shown to reduce total touch time by 30% and manual touch time by 70% for a commercial aircraft engine nacelle inlet. This solution results in present value savings of $250M for the program lifetime.
Name: Conor Frackleton
Company: The Boeing Company
Supervisor: Clinton Woo
Academic Advisors: Roy Welsch, Daniel Whitney
Title: Technology Maturity Analysis for Assessing Capacity and Schedule Risk of Future Automation Programs
The 737 Advanced Manufacturing Team currently uses a decision matrix method for evaluating responses to Requests for Quotes. The decision matrix is typically populated by assessments of capital expenditures, recurring costs, compliance to bid specifications, and an assortment of risks. While vendors supply specific cost figures for equipment and tooling, the remaining fields of the decision matrix are completed subjectively by a team of subject matter experts. This evaluation process has significant room for improvements in analytical rigor. The goal of this project is to provide analytical methods for risk assessment to replace the existing subjective methods, specifically focusing on capacity and schedule risk during the pilot stage.
The proposed solution for assessing capacity risk relies on assigning risk adjustments to the cycle times quoted in each vendor response and using these adjusted times to calculate risk adjusted equipment utilization. Vendor cycle times for each of the system's functional steps are input into a sequential build model that computes the baseline system utilization. Next, risk adjustments are assigned to each cycle time on the basis of the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) framework developed by NASA. The risk-adjusted times are used to construct a confidence interval around the baseline system utilization. This approach is founded on the assumption that the likelihood that a vendor meets its quoted cycle time is related to the technological maturity of the vendor's solution.
The proposed solution for assessing schedule risk relies on two factors, both of which are derived from the same TRL ranks used for assessing capacity risk. First, each vendor is assessed based on the mean TRL rank across all system functions. Second, each vendor is assessed based on the lowest TRL rank for an individual function. This approach is founded on the assumption that a project can be delayed due to an overall system immaturity or a single function that lags the rest of the system.
The project was piloted on a wing assembly automation project. At the conclusion of the pilot implementation, the team assessed the analysis tool's performance and recommended further improvements.
If you have companies or areas of research you'd like to see highlighted in the monthly newsletter, please contact Ted Equi (email@example.com).
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.
Paul Meggs '14 about to run across the frozen
Charles to MIT
Photo by Rachel Meggs
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.
Please visit the website of the MIT Systems Design and Management program to learn about their upcoming events, including Systems Thinking webinars.
Log in to the Virtual Community to see LGO alumni information, find other alumni, update your information, or find theses. If you have trouble getting in, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or use the "forgot password" button. If the email address you submit is in our system, your username and password will be sent to you.
Josh Jacobs, LGO Director of Operations and Partner Integration (email@example.com, 617-253-2959)