Fisher profs win top award for ‘reshoring’ research

(Pictured, middle, is Prof. Gray, co-author Skowronski to his right. Image courtesy @ORMS_Elsevier)

Two professors in the home department of The Ohio State Center for Operational Excellence have taken home a top academic award for their research.

Fisher College of Business Profs. John Gray and Johnny Rungtusanatham received the Jack Meredith Best Paper Award at the 2018 Academy of Management Conference in Chicago this summer. The paper, “Why in the World Did They Reshore? Examining Small to Medium-Sized Manufacturer Decisions,” appeared in the March 2017 edition of the Journal of Operations Management. Co-authors include former Fisher professor Gökçe Esenduran, who teaches at Purdue University, and Keith Skowronski, who earned his PhD at Fisher and is now at the University of South Carolina.

In their work, Prof. Gray and his co-authors explored the decision making of small and medium-sized businesses who were moving operations previously “offshored” to low-cost countries back to the United States. Increasing costs overseas couldn’t fully explain these moves.

Ultimately, the authors determined that reshoring decisions often served as corrections to earlier offshoring moves that overly relied on easily quantifiable measures such as piece price, transportation cost, and tax rate. Companies could find themselves better suited to make the right decision the first time around by using decision-making frameworks that factor in less-quantifiable considerations such as labor force skill, disruption risk, and cultural differences.

“Offshoring and reshoring decisions potentially affect many important and hard-to-measure factors,” said Prof Gray, who serves as an associate director for COE. “We hope our findings help shine the light on the need for better decision-making processes to be developed and widely adopted .”

Gray also received the Distinguished Service to the Operations and Supply Chain Management (OSCM) Division award, recognizing his exemplary performance in leadership roles for the OCSM Division during the past five years.

COE announces 2018 operations, logistics MBA scholarship winners

The Ohio State Center for Operational Excellence is more than just a community for today’s business leaders. It’s a pipeline for tomorrow’s.

COE this spring announced the latest annual round of scholarship funding for high-achieving first-year MBA students at Fisher College of Business who are heading into their second and final year of the program. The $4,000 in scholarship funding is supported by the center and the Department of Marketing and Logistics’ Logistics Scholarship Fund.

Here are this year’s recipients:

  • Jared DeVore (pictured above, second from left), an operations management major, received $500 in scholarship funding from COE. DeVore has worked at companies including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Battelle, and most recently, Huntington National Bank. His post-graduation aspiration is to work for a benefit corporation such as Patagonia, Honest Co., or TOMS to drive operational efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Bhargav Ram Dharnikota (pictured above, far right) received $2,500 in scholarship funding through the William L. Berry scholarship. This honor, endowed by the emeritus professor, is designated each year to a student expected to have an impact in the operations world. Dharnikota, an operations management major, came to Fisher for his MBA after managing end-to-end project operations in an IP consulting firm. This summer, he’ll be participating in Fisher’s Global Applied Projects (GAP) program with Western Digital as well as serving as a summer associate with GEP Consulting.
  • Vimal Gopinathan (pictured, above second from right) received $500 in scholarship funding from COE. The operations major is at Fisher pursuing his second MBA. Upon graduation next year, he plans to leverage his quantitative skills and diverse experiences to build a career in the consulting industry. He’s also participating in the Western Digital team through the GAP program.
  • Praveen Kumar (pictured above, far left) received $500 in scholarship funding from the Logistics Scholarship Fund. The logistics management major will be working in a global e-procurement consulting role for his summer internship. After graduation, he plans to work in inbound logistics, working closely with suppliers and helping them determine their effective logistics strategy.

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!

 

March COE event digs into buzzed-about supply chain trends

If you found yourself finally getting around to Googling “what is blockchain” right before the holidays last year, you weren’t alone.

Courtesy SmartDataCollective.com

Google Trends shows the search term hit peak popularity the week before Christmas after rising dramatically throughout 2017, offering two insights: (1) People are really interested in learning about the emergent technology and (2) Most people still have no clue what it is.

If you’re in either or both camps, COE’s March 23 event is designed specifically for you. We’re partnering with Fisher College of Business’ Operations and Logistics Management Association of MBA students to present Supply Chain 2030, a primer on four much-buzzed-about, but often little-understood, technologies that are poised to drive major transformation in the global supply chain in the coming years – and in some cases, already are.

Our key areas of focus span the four key supply chain processes (plan, source, make, deliver) and cover artificial intelligence, blockchain, additive manufacturing, and drones. Speakers include Waseem Shaik, Practice Lead IoT Analytics, Teradata’s Think Big Analytics; Adam Winter, CFO of Clarus Solutions; Dr. Ed Herderick, director of additive for the Ohio State Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence; and Uday Bauskar, drones program head for Tata Consultancy Services NA.

Throughout the morning event, you’ll have the chance to network with other COE members and Fisher MBA students, learn the basics on these topics, and engage in Q&A with all the speakers. When you walk out, you’ll have the grasp of the basics for each – and a better picture of where they’re taking the world of supply chain management.

Registration is open now for this members-only COE event.

CEO offering insights on op-ex push at Lancaster Colony in Feb. 9 keynote

You might not know the name Lancaster Colony, but you almost certainly have one of its products in your refrigerator or freezer right now.

Lancaster Colony is the company that owns and makes the market-dominating Marzetti salad dressing and dip brand along with other products such as Sister Schubert’s homemade rolls and New York Brand Bakery Texas toast. It’s a $1.2 billion-a-year company based in Columbus, part of the Center for Operational Excellence since 1998 – and starting a brand new chapter in its corporate story.

Lancaster Colony Corp. President and CEO David Ciesinski

David Ciesinski, who joined the company as COO in 2016 and took over as CEO last year, will be highlighting that new chapter in a keynote address he’s delivering to close out COE’s first members-only session of the year: A Feb. 9 networking and learning event at the Blackwell on the campus of Fisher College of Business.

New to Lancaster Colony, Ciesinski is a seasoned veteran of the packaged food industry who’s served in leadership roles at well-known brands such as H.J. Heinz Co. and Kraft Foods. He’s a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.

In his new role with Lancaster Colony, he’s said he’s making continuous improvement a central focus of the company’s forward momentum, leveraging a multimillion-dollar project portfolio and growing team of Black Belts to cut expenses in products’ journey to the shelf and eliminate waste along the way. More importantly, Ciesinski said he’s working to create a culture in which employees are driven by purpose and data-centric decision making.

That sense of purpose and data-rooted decision making will both prove critical in the years ahead for Lancaster Colony, which is dealing with unprecedented change in consumer preferences that are shaking up the restaurant industry (the company supplies a number of top chains in addition to brand-licensing deals on their own products) and grocery aisles (the company’s biggest customer is Wal-Mart). Lancaster Colony itself, though, is no stranger to change. The company was formed in 1961 when several glass and housewares makers merged and went public in 1969, when it bought T. Marzetti Co.

In the subsequent decades, the company grew as a conglomerate, selling a wide range of products. As recently as 2003, its glassware, candle and automotive businesses made up more than 40% of its sales. Since then, the company has made a concerted move to sharpen its focus on its food brands, becoming exclusively so by 2014.

In his presentation, Ciesinski will offer a candid look at his lessons learned in this new era for a company with a more than half-century legacy.

This session is available for in-person attendance and via livestream for members. Registration is available here.

COE keynote, supply chain expert joins latest ‘MFG TMW’ podcast

The Ohio State University Center for Operational Excellence’s partnership with the Ohio Manufacturing Institute continues with a new podcast featuring recent event keynote and supply chain expert Robert Handfield.

Handfield (pictured, right), who spoke at COE’s Oct. 20 Supply Chain Symposium, sat down with MFG TMW podcast host Kathryn Kelley while in town for the event. Handfield is the Bank of America University Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management at North Carolina State University and director of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative who also co-authored the recently released book The LIVING Supply Chain.

Listen to the 17-minute interview here or check out MFG TMW’s nearly three-year archive on iTunes.

In the interview, Handfield tackles the changes he’s witnessed in his decades studying the global supply chain, chief among them an explosion of data that’s creating serious opportunity – and serious challenges – for companies.

Leveraging that data with today’s technology, Handfield says, can bring real-time visibility that can offer critical insight in an unpredictable world. To get true value from these tools, though, suppliers and customers throughout the chain need to learn how to coexist, Handfield tells Kelley.

“Companies need to work with their partners to solve problems collaboratively – and that’s the only way we’re going to survive,” he says.

COE regularly partners with OMI to bring speakers to Manufacturing Tomorrow. Past COE collaborations have resulted in podcasts interviewing Snap-On Inc. CEO Nick Pinchuk, Executive Director Peg Pennington, and more.

COE in 2017: The Year in Review

18 events. More than 60 presentations, workshops, tours and benchmarking opportunities. Countless “a-ha!” moments.

The Center for Operational Excellence’s 25-year milestone was its busiest ever, and plans are in the works for another exciting year of programming designed to connect our members to the latest best practices in process excellence. With the new year just days away, we’re offering a look back at some of our event highlights from 2017 …

hban benchmarking
Attendees of the January benchmarking session, which represent roughly a dozen COE member companies.

January 2017: COE started and ended its year with member Huntington National Bank opening its doors to share how it’s driven transformational change.  Huntington hosted the first of four “grassroots” benchmarking sessions, where leaders from more than a dozen COE member companies meet quarterly at a host company to share best practices on a specific topic. Interested in joining the group? Contact session moderator and COE Executive Director Peg Pennington at pennington.84@osu.edu.

April 2017: For its fifth-annual summit Leading Through Excellence summit, COE took hundreds of members to seven different tour sites across the state of Ohio. Here, leaders from member Engineered Profiles show tour attendees best practices in leader standard work, a tour being offered again during the 2018 summit.

April 2017: Buckeyes Football Coach Urban Meyer kicked off the third and final day of COE’s Leading Through Excellence summit, sharing insights from his personal journey and encouraging attendees to always keep a look out for the next great idea: “Always learn. There’s always someone out there doing a great job with something.”

June 2017: How can lean principles apply to a nationally renowned startup culture? And what can big companies learn from it? COE’s popular I.T. Leadership Network series returned with a presentation from Nate Lusher (pictured, left) and Rick Neighbarger from Columbus-based healthcare software company CoverMyMeds. COE is offering a tour of CoverMyMeds’ award-winning headquarters during its 2018 Leading Through Excellence summit.

June 2017: Paula Bennett, CEO of women’s apparel retailer J.Jill, spoke to an at-capacity crowd for COE’s Women’s Leadership Forum series. Bennett, a graduate of Fisher College of Business, recently took the company public, staking out rare territory in the IPO scene: Research has shown that only about 3% of IPOs in the past decade have been led by a female CEO.

talent war wide shot
COE’s collaborative session in July drew nearly 140 attendees seeking insights on “winning the talent war.”

July 2017: A pair of summer sessions COE presented in collaboration with three other centers at Fisher kicked off in July with a look at the “talent war,” featuring a presentation from the Brookings Institution on changing workforce dynamics and a wide-ranging panel discussion with human resources leaders from Cardinal Health, Marathon Petroleum, Nationwide and Wendy’s. COE’s collaborative summer sessions will return in 2018 on June 27 and Aug. 8. Stay tuned for programming details.

Cisco’s Jeremy Aston

August 2017: COE’s summer sessions continued with a look at the “Digital Vortex” and how disruptive competitors are shaking up the business landscape for even the most established companies. Cisco’s Jeremy Aston (pictured, above) kicked off the session with a keynote on the company’s research, which has found that, while executives are expecting digital disruption, too few are actively preparing for it.

 

brutus buckeye peg pennington
Brutus Buckeye stopped by COE’s 25 anniversary celebration to ring in the occasion with Executive Director Peg Pennington.

September 2017: COE formally celebrated its 25th anniversary on Sept. 15, ringing in a quarter century of driving a culture of continuous learning in the broader business community, complete with a visit from Brutus Buckeye.

September 2017: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. executive Billy Taylor (pictured, above) closed out COE’s anniversary celebration by sharing insights on how companies can drive change by engaging their people.

COE offers opportunities for students and members to connect at all of its events.

October 2017: COE’s semi-annual Supply Chain Symposium series held its second event of the year, connecting center member companies with Fisher MBA students pursuing careers in the field. Author and North Carolina State University Prof. Robert Handfield keynoted the session with insights from his latest, The Living Supply Chain.

Jeff Sturm, executive vice president and chief continuous improvement officer at Huntington National Bank, kicked off COE’s final event of the year with a keynote on how the organization is driving cultural change.

December 2017: How can we drive cultural change by changing the questions we ask our people? Opening up COE’s final event of 2017, Huntington National Bank EVP and Chief Continuous Improvement Officer Jeff Sturm showed how the organization has instilled leadership behaviors that are helping sustain a years-long cultural change effort. Sturm’s session, along with that of afternoon keynote Tim Judge, is available to stream in full-length and “ShortCut” versions on our members-only website.

Next year … COE already has a number of events listed on its website. Check out our roster – and grab your seat soon for Leading Through Excellence 2018, April 10-12!

LeanCor CEO: Collaborative ‘ecosystem’ perspective critical to business success today

When Robert Martichenko isn’t running his company, LeanCor Supply Chain Group, he’s probably thinking about lean. And when he’s thinking about lean, he’s probably writing about it, too.

While his passion for storytelling might be a source of productivity and relaxation, Martichenko also says it’s a key leadership capability that’s too often overlook or underdeveloped.

“As leaders, we have to work harder to tell stories,” he told a crowd of nearly 200 at the Center for Operational Excellence’s 25th anniversary celebration. “Anybody can put 10 bullet points on a slide and build 50 slides. What’s the story? Why are we doing this? What’s important? We have to become closer to the narrative.”

‘We are a business, we are a system’

Martichenko kicked off COE’s fall seminar and quarter-century celebration with a compelling narrative of his own: Where he sees the future of lean thinking and lean management in a business world changing by the minute – and leaving some destruction in its wake.

“Fundamentally, we’re going to have to do something differently,” Martichenko said. “At this point, what’s happening on the outside is happening faster than what’s happening on the inside.”

Martichenko’s insights for how companies can leverage lean concepts to survive and thrive in a disruption-rich world are rooted in his personal journey as a business leader. He began his career in the transportation and warehouse industries, where he identified a need to integrate lean principles and techniques across the entire value stream. He founded LeanCor 12 years ago to meet that need and has grown the business into a leader in advancing the world’s supply chains. Just two years ago, Martichenko was honored with the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ Distinguished Service Award, the industry’s highest honor.

A supply chain-based “ecosystem” perspective is what Martichenko sees as a foundation for survival and growth today.

“The next frontier … is not about technology, or about apps – this is about core processes and functions and saying, ‘We are a business, we are a system, and as a system we need to manage it together,’” he said. “Do you really want to fail instead of getting three executives together and saying, ‘Can you please start collaborating?’”

What’s preventing leaders from the four core business processes — strategy, product life-cycle management, sales and marketing, supply chain operations — from doing this? Martichenko says it’s often a bias around our area of the business that skews our perspective and limits our ability to make the best decisions for the broader ecosystem.

“If you’re willing to step outside your safety zone, it will be amazing what you see,” he said.

Creating a culture with greater visibility and better alignment, Martichenko said, ultimately will generate the kinds of feedback systems that can enable the agility and flexibility businesses need today.

“All the technology we need for the supply chain to go from the supplier to the end customer is there,” he said. “What we don’t have is an equal amount of momentum from what actually happened back to the people in the business.”

Robert Martichenko was a featured keynote at COE’s fall seminar along with Goodyear executive Billy Taylor, who stressed the importance of people-inclusion processes in transformational change.  

A 15-minute recap and full-length recording for each session are available in the Digital Content Archive on COE’s members-only website (authenticated member account required).

DHL Supply Chain riding digital wave with ‘smart glasses’ pilot

The digital wave continues to wash over the global economy, and it’s making a big splash at a Center for Operational Excellence member company.

dhl supply chainMember DHL Supply Chain this month announced that it has completed a pilot of a new augmented reality addition to its warehouse picking operations, equipping employees with “smart glasses.” By wearing these glasses, employees have instant access to visual displays that give picking instructions, along with details on where the item is located and where it should be placed on carts.

DHL Supply Chain in a press release said it’s seen boosts of productivity of up to 15 percent during pilot tests in the U.S. and in Europe, CIO and COO Markus Voss calling the digitalization “not just a vision or a program” but “a reality for us and our customers.”

DHL Supply Chain is one of many companies grappling and experimenting with the role of digital technology in legacy business models that, in some industries, haven’t seen radical disruption in generations. The challenge of digitization was the subject of an event just this week at The Ohio State Univeristy, where COE partnered with three other Fisher centers to address challenges and opportunities in this area.

In the opening keynote, Cisco executive Jeremy Aston shared research from the company’s Global Center for Digital Business Transformation showing that in just two years, companies’ perspectives on digitization have shifted drastically. In 2015, only 15 percent of surveyed companies told Cisco and its partners that digital disruption was already occurring in their industry. That number jumped to 49 percent this year. At the same time, roughly one in three of the executives surveyed told Cisco that digitization would have a transformative impact on their industry. Just two years ago, that perspective was shared by one in 250 surveyed executives.

DHL Supply Chain hinted that the “smart glasses” picking pilot is just the start, with plans to look at leveraging this technology in training and maintenance functions, among others.

Global sourcing projects offer chance to connect with Fisher students

One of the best ways to unlock the value of your company’s membership in the Center for Operational Excellence is engaging with students at Fisher College of Business.

Prof. John Gray

Once again, COE is offering member companies the opportunity to partner with groups of students on projects designed to give them real-world experience – and give you real value at no cost. COE Associate Director John Gray is seeking interested companies to host a group project for his second-year MBA and junior/senior undergraduate “Strategic Global Sourcing” classes for autumn semester 2017.

To indicate your company’s interest, just fill out a quick survey by Tuesday, Aug. 8. If your project is selected, you’ll work with Prof. Gray in August to create a more detailed project scope, which will be presented to students at the start of the academic year.

In these projects, students take what they’re learning in class – make-vs.-buy decisions, location decisions, supplier management, and more – and apply it to a real-world problem-solving need at your company. By opening up your doors, providing data and committing to roughly one call per week, your company receives up to three hours of work per week per MBA student along with a written deliverable, which can include analyses conducted through the project.

Check out the “Student Engagement” section of COE’s website for more specifics on recommended project scope and more.

Many COE member companies take advantage of project opportunities as a way to network with students and build relationships that ultimately could open doors to internships and/or job opportunities. Projects also offer the chance for concrete ROI – the “I” being solely your company’s time and commitment.

Looking to engage more with the global sourcing community? Join Prof. Gray’s LinkedIn group. If you have questions or would like more details, contact him at gray.402@osu.edu.

Fisher Prof. Craig wins ‘best paper’ honor for retail industry research

A professor in the academic department closely affiliated with the Center for Operational Excellence is part of a team that took home a top research award for a recent paper on the retail industry.

nate craig fisher
Prof. Nathan Craig

Fisher Assistant Prof. Nathan Craig traveled to Washington, D.C., last month to accept the Ralph Gomory Best Industry Studies Paper Award, given annually by the Industry Studies Association. Craig and co-authors Nicole DeHoratius (University of Chicago) and Ananth Raman (Harvard Business School) clinched the honor for their paper “The Impact of Supplier Inventory Service Level on Retailer Demand,” published last year in Manufacturing and Service Operations Management.

The journal where Craig’s work was published was one of seven in a pool of contenders for the prize, which was judged by top researchers at universities in North America and Europe.

The winning paper breaks new ground in the field of retail research, which largely has examined business-to-consumer relationships in the past. Craig and his co-authors moved upstream in the supply chain to focus exclusively on the relationship between supplier service levels and retailer demand. By conducting a field experiment at Hugo Boss, Craig and his team were able to quantify the impact of a supplier boosting its fill rate, or the percentage of a customer order satisfied by a shipment. Specifically, an increase of only 1% in supplier fill rate lead to an 11% increase in retailer demand.

What does this mean for suppliers to retailers? Even the best ones, Craig and his team found, can fuel substantial increases in retailer demand by working toward incremental service-level gains. And those who ignore this link are missing out on a prime opportunity to boost profit and grow market share.

Check out the Management Sciences research portal for more on the latest work from Fisher’s top-ranked operations faculty.