Before Duquesne: Karli joins our cohort after completing her undergraduate work in three years at the University of Pittsburgh. Karli was able to major in both finance and supply chain management in three years, while also cheerleading. Karli completed a leadership internship at Target Corporation, a supply chain internship at Westinghouse Electric Company/Toshiba, and a finance internship at Prime Metals & Alloys, Inc.
Why Duquesne: “I chose this program because it will allow me to complete my MBA in one year, and it complements my supply chain management degree.”
After Duquesne: After completing this MBA program Karli will be looking for positions in sustainable supply chain management.
Guest Blogger: Angela Petitto
Every semester, Duquesne University Supply Chain Management majors experience the supply chain in action through the Course Enrichment Program. Last week, Dr. Drake, our operations professor, invited MBA Sustainability students to participate in the visit to the Westinghouse international headquarters in nearby Cranberry, Pa., for an inside look at their supply chain processes.
The visit was led by two Duquesne graduates who work for Westinghouse. The morning began with an explanation regarding how supply chain applies to the nuclear power industry. This was particularly interesting, as the products are customized, which differs from industries normally associated with the value chain.
We also toured the facility – including the receiving area, storage technologies, and quality control department – and learned a bit about nuclear engineering and power plants.
The visit ended with a panel discussion featuring several supply chain managers who offered career advice and stressed the importance of continuous improvement.
It was a great opportunity to see real world application of concepts learned in the Dr. Drake’s class!
Last Friday, Dr. Drake and Dr. Naga hosted “The Beer Game” simulation. Dr. Drake teaches our Value Chain and Operations class, while Dr. Naga teaches Systems Thinking for Sustainability class. Now, I’m sure you are wondering: Why are MBA students playing a beer game in class?
The simulation assigns a role along the supply chain of beer to each student. Roles include factory, wholesaler, distributor, and retailer. The major constraint of the game is that teammates are not allowed to communicate with those assigned to different parts of the supply chain.
What was the outcome? Since communication and collaboration are not allowed among the four supply stages, the simulation illustrates the “bull-whip effect”. Now the concept of the “bull-whip” effect was new to our cohort; however, but it is rather easy to understand. Basically the variation in demand at the customer end of the process causes larger and larger swings to respond to the product demand. Kind of looks like a whip doesn’t it?
So what’s the take-a-way? Communication and collaboration are vital to successful supply chain management. Also, I personally found it encouraging as a MBA student that supply chain managers will also run into the “bull-whip effect” when you take out the communication and collaboration of the various roles!