AI, Data & Tech

Master knowledge in the reality of supply chain

November 21, 2014 | 2 min read

In December, fourteen MOS-participants achieved their Executive Master of Operations and Supply Chain Excellence. Just after the successful thesis defense of three of them, we asked them two questions: "how will the company you work for benefit from your thesis" and "what, during your study, has had the biggest impact on you".

Philip van Dueren den Hollander is Global Vendor Manager at Ericsson. His thesis discusses the far-reaching cooperation between two internal and international departments, field services and spare parts management.

"At present, these departments are practically autonomous and the field services organisation has set up their own spare parts network, locally. By standardizing processes and centralizing management, Ericsson can achieve savings on operational costs and warehousing costs. In my thesis, I conduct a detailed analysis for a field services organisation. Using this data, complemented with peer reviews and literature, I made a design for the strategy, organisation and the logistical network. The research concluded with an implementation plan for the transformation on a global scale." 

The Master has given me a huge amount of knowledge and inspiration about supply chain management. In all, outside of the aforementioned thesis, I wrote eleven papers on different aspects of the supply chain. I can apply each of the subjects to my current working environment. The analyses and results of these papers, I often use in my daily work. That is what makes this Master so useful, the theory can be applied directly to the practice."

Martijn Pietersen works at Webasto, a family business that globally supplies heating and cooling systems for the automotive and marine industry. Webasto has over 24 subsidiaries worldwide. Martijn's thesis was on the standardization of intercompany warehouse management.

"Exception excluded, a family business will think differently about profit. If business is not doing so well for a year, this is sometimes reflected directly in less efficient processes. Because the focus is different, these type of gaps are less noticeable and in the long term, can grow into money-devouring monsters. A shame, because solutions are actually obvious.

What impressed me most about the program, was how deep we explored subject matter and of course, the study trip to Cape Town. Think of using phone credit to make payments, as it done there... how effectively is it then for a telecom provider to derail the banks?"

Alex Vijverberg is the brand new Global Buyer Innovations at Heineken. From the department of Global Procurement, he scouts suppliers for innovation and contracts them, in order for Heineken to innovate faster by building relationships with suppliers.

"I was surprised and amazed about what I learned of theory, models and other students, and how applicable all that information was. In the class room, it all seemed theoretical, but the knowledge turned out the be relevant for every day problems, very quickly. Fellow participants come from different businesses, which is educational in itself, because the same theory is applied to different backgrounds. 

My thesis is about a theoretical organisation model, that is used to practically explain how commerce, marketing, suppliers and logistics can cooperate. This is, in fact, what I do in my new job. The model explains that close cooperation between those disciplines, enables optimization of the end-to-end supply chain and decrease costs. This creates more opportunities for the organisation, in the sense that it contributes to more new products in the stores. I expect to see result within the year; that we can show the first examples of new products."




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