Center for Supply Chain Management Hosts 4th Annual Symposium

20 years ago, the capabilities and characteristics that would disrupt the supply chain were unpredictable. Yet, we still need to make predictions on what supply chains will look 20 years from now. The Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration Center for Supply Chain Management’s fourth annual symposium, “Supply Chains 20/20”, discussed the complexity of future supply chain capabilities.  

“Changes in distribution, transportation, communication, design, and delivery are raising questions about traditional supply chain models,” says Prakash Mirchandani, director of the Center for Supply Chain Management and professor of business administration, “By bringing together industry leaders and the academic community, we facilitate an environment in which it is possible to engage in networking and knowledge sharing.”

Highlighting several major industries, including publishing, consumer goods, and logistics, the symposium looked at implications of e-commerce and the integration of a physical and digital world as it relates to supply chains.

Some of this year’s topics included forecasting during uncertainty and unpredictability, costs of automation, implications and impact of big data and analytics, and other mega trends driving the future.

Presentations included “The Future of Supply Chain Transformation—Digitization, Analytics, and Automation to Drive a Customer-centric Supply Chain,” “Humanizing Technology in the Supply Chain,” and “Brewing the Supply Chain of the Future.” Discussions were moderated by Paul Page, editor of the Wall Street Journal’s Logistics Report.

Additionally, a student poster session was held, allowing undergraduate and graduate students to take deeper dives into supply chain topics of interest. 

Winners on the graduate-level included:

  • Josh Gaspari, Shubham Kishore, Zach Weinberg -  "Supply Chain (National) Security: How Resilient Supply Chains Play a Critical Role in Defending the Nation;"
  • Kumar Vijayendra - "The Sustainability of Corporate Sustainability;" and
  • Rohit Dubey - "Circular Retail: Future of Fashion lndustry."

Winners on the undergraduate-level included:

  • Brian Walsh - "The Role of Supply Chains in Managing the Triple Bottom Line;"
  • Hannah Baker - "SCM Impact of Big Data;" and
  • Sarah Broughton & Danielle Isenberg - "Holy Guacamole!"

The symposium was sponsored by AmeriGas, Catalyst Connection, Covestro LLC, Prime Vector, Pitt Business: Business Analytics & Operations Area, Real Time Intel LLC, and WCS Consulting.

The Center for Supply Chain Management is sponsored annually by ARMADA, FedEx Supply Chain, Giant Eagle, Honeywell, MSA – The Safety Company, PITT OHIO, UPMC Supply Chain, and UPS Customer Solutions.  

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SCM Symposium