Purdue News

February 1, 2005

Krannert global supply chain conference puts out call to locals

Ananth Iyer
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Corporate executives and Krannert School of Management experts will discuss supply chain issues at a Feb. 16-17 conference at Purdue University.

Sponsored by the Global Supply Chain Initiative, Coordinating the Global Supply Chain is open to managers at area companies interested in discussing issues in getting the right parts and products to the right places at the right time all over the world.

"We're learning what it means to manage global supply chains," said Ananth Iyer, the director of the Global Supply Chain Initiative and the Dauch Center for the Management of Manufacturing Enterprises, both at the Krannert School.

"Among the supply chain issues we will be discussing at the conference on Friday are logistics, intellectual property protection, risk management, radio frequency identification (RFID), legal issues and strategy."

Companies represented at a series of panels in the Purdue Memorial Union South Ballroom include Cummins Inc., Rolls-Royce, Delphi, Kimberly-Clark, General Motors Corp. and Phillip Morris. The first panel starts at 10:30 a.m., and the panels wrap up at 5 p.m.

Stephen Akard, Indiana Economic Development Corp. director of international development, will be the keynote speaker at Stewart Center's Fowler Hall at 7 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 16) The title of his free and open-to-the-public talk is "Managing Risks in the Face of Global Competition."

A complete schedule can be found online. Free registration is available by contacting Karen Pulliam at (765) 494-4322, kp@purdue.edu.

Iyer said the global supply chain is made up of complex networks of suppliers, manufacturing facilities, distribution centers and customers in a virtual 21st century assembly line that stretches all over the world.

From a corporate point of view, a supply chain for an automobile manufacturer, for example, includes both getting parts from suppliers in many different countries to its plants on a just-in-time schedule, as well as delivering finished vehicles to showrooms, corporate fleets and car rental companies in the speediest fashion possible.

From management's point of view, supply chain management is a hypercompetitive game of time and money. Speed and cost control are essential, but the supply chain industry leaders — Wal-Mart and Dell are often mentioned — have a strategy and execute it so managing the supply chain drives the whole enterprise to a competitive advantage. However, many companies lag in strategy or execution or both.

The conference also will include concurrent undergraduate and graduate case competitions that begin at 8 a.m. Friday (Feb. 17) in Rawls Hall, Rooms 2077, 2079, 4054 and 2058, 2070, 3058 and 3082, respectively. Kimberly-Clark is sponsoring the undergraduate competition with $6,000 in prizes. The Krannert School, the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California and Bose McKinney and Evans LLP are sponsoring the MBA competition with $12,000 in prizes. Teams of four students from the nation's top operations-supply chain universities will compete. The undergraduate student teams will include both industrial management and industrial engineering students.

The final case competitions take place in the Memorial Union South Ballroom at 5:30 p.m. Friday (Feb. 17). Dinner follows at 6:30 p.m.

Amanda Thompson, assistant director of the supply chain initiative, said this conference offers operations and logistics personnel from area manufacturers the opportunity not only to meet fellow practitioners but also to avail themselves of Krannert School resources.

"We're interested in hearing about supply chain and logistics ideas and problems from central Indiana manufacturers," she said. "We have resources to offer them in terms of the expertise of our professors and good students for internships and employment.

"We're also interested in managers as speakers in our classes and lecture series. Our scope is global, but in our view it all starts as local."

Writer: Mike Lillich, (494-2077, mlillich@purdue.edu

Sources: Ananth Iyer, (765) 494-4514, aiyer@purdue.edu

Amanda Thompson, (765) 494-2860, amthomps@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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