Knowledge transfer with MBA SCM Alumni
04.10.2016 | MBA SCM Alumni
Von: Frank Nungesser
Lifelong learning sounds like a buzzword in many cases. At MBA SCM alumni we take it seriously. On Sep 22nd 2016, one of our Knowledge Transfer events took place which are an integral part of our yearly agenda beside company visits and monthly afterwork drinks.
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Globalization, outsourcing of non-core activities, specialization and application of lean management principles are just a few trends which occurred in the recent years within the manufacturing industry. Although such initiatives are necessary and advantageous for daily operations, they increased supply chain complexity and eliminated reserves which used to prevent companies from negative effects upon disruptions. As a consequence this led to increased vulnerability of supply chain disruptions what could cause operational and financial exposure.
That’s why we organized a session about “Supply Chain Risk Management” at the premises of Geocom (member company of Esri) in Zurich Altstetten, a partner of experience for geographic information systems in the utility, industrial plant management, and transport and logistics markets.
Supply chain full of challenges
Dr. Kamil Mizgier, Senior Researcher at ETH Zurich’s Chair of Logistics Management, laid solid ground for this topic with a presentation about his latest findings. Value-at-risk might sound familiar to those working in finance industry such as insurance or investment. However, applying this financial method to evaluate exposure and dynamics of disruptions within a complex supply network is uncommon. Using the example of a real business case it became apparent how active risk management can identify vulnerability and support strategic decisions by upfront simulation and assessment.
Following Dr. Kamils lecture, the second part focused on practical solutions and our host Geocom Informatik demonstrated the functions of their innovative tool for supply chain visualization and analysis. Mapping its global footprint can already be an eye-opener for relevant stakeholders in any industry, regardless if data includes captive manufacturing sites and warehouses only, or if additional effort is put in place and tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers are included, as well. Taking also the topological connection between the single locations into account, effects within the whole network can be examined in case of an event. Fed by live-stream data, any political uncertainty, weather warning, breakdown of logistical infrastructure, is available together with general hazard data and can trigger an alert system.
Intense debates and active apéro
The subsequent discussion expressed the high interest to the topic. Participants with various professional background contributed lively to the debate about practical relevance, cost-value ratio, management reporting and actual benefits. Practitioners from industry already anticipated discounts from their insurance contribution which has immediately been replied and put into relation from those alumni which are working for large insurance companies and brokers. Obviously, focus on supply chain risk management, as well as the value of location and tools, will gain more and more importance in the future. Accelerated cooperation across firms within the supply network to increase transparency is likely and will support measures for risk mitigation. Prerequisite is openness to share data and how to transfer risk between manufacturing, insurance and reinsurance companies. The academic input, practical context and engaged discussion reminded many of us of former lectures as students.
The event finished with a vibrant apéro, networking and continuous exploration of the topic.