Jim Kellso Reflects on a Decade with EMIL-SCS

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Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering
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For the Executive Masters in International Logistics & Supply Chain Strategy (EMIL-SCS), 2010 marks its 10th anniversary as a successful program in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) at Georgia Tech. Throughout its first decade, Jim Kellso, Senior Supply Chain Master at Intel Corporation, chaired the program's advisory board, a role from which he stepped down this past May.

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  • Jim Kellso (r), former EMIL-SCS advisory board chair, with John Vande Vate (l), EMIL-SCS executive director Jim Kellso (r), former EMIL-SCS advisory board chair, with John Vande Vate (l), EMIL-SCS executive director
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  • Jim Kellso instructing 2010 EMIL-SCS class during Atlanta residence Jim Kellso instructing 2010 EMIL-SCS class during Atlanta residence
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For the Executive Masters in International Logistics & Supply Chain Strategy (EMIL-SCS), 2010 marks its 10th anniversary as a successful program in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) at Georgia Tech. Throughout its first decade, Jim Kellso, Senior Supply Chain Master at Intel Corporation, chaired the program’s advisory board, a role from which he stepped down this past May.

As EMIL-SCS looks toward its second decade with two new co-chairs -- Gene Long, a director in Deloitte’s Strategy & Operations consulting practice, and Richard L. “Dick” Hunter, a retired Dell executive -- the program acknowledges Kellso’s years of service and for sending18 Intel executives through the program to date.

 Reflecting on the program’s first decade, Kellso said that there are three key accomplishments of which he is most proud:

  • The development of a robust process that is repeatable year to year and maintains quality (continuously improving) and relevance (constantly changing) to meet the times
  • The consistent participation of many key companies over the years
  • The movement of the program from an international logistics focus to additionally a true supply chain strategy focus

With Georgia Tech recognized as the “undisputed number one” in industrial engineering, Kellso points out that the advantages of the EMIL-SCS program is its international residences that provide opportunities for those who have never been overseas or at least have never operated in the supply chain activities overseas a chance to see, understand, and get a true flavor of the differences in operation, culture, and key issues from one geographic region to the next.  According to Kellso, this is manifested in two ways:  the actual time overseas, which Kellso sees as a great learning opportunity, and the international flavor of the participants, which Kellso says provides a daily opportunity to gain multiple perspectives for the attendees as they go through the classes. This diversity allows students to learn a great deal from one another in addition to class material and to build a network of close contacts that would not be possible any other way. Further, Kellso states that “the opportunity to engage in this program; get a full, regular master’s degree from Georgia Tech; and only be gone from your job for five, two-week sessions is truly unique in the education industry.”

Kellso’s enthusiasm for the program underpins his commitment.  With eighteen of its executives having completed the program thus far, Intel has consistently had its EMIL-SCS graduates perform very well after their engagement in the program. “The real key,” Kellso states, “is that most of our EMIL-SCS graduates have continued to thrive in our highly competitive environment and have had their careers enhanced by their engagement with EMIL.” Kellso explains the program further educates, refines rough edges, and provides cross-organizational and cross-geographic exposure so that the candidates selected can fulfill their promise of success.

 As an example of fulfilling one’s promise of success, Kellso cites one Intel executive who started in Materials (purchasing). She moved to Transportation and participated in the EMIL-SCS program, from which she received, according to Kellso, “very good grounding and cross-geographic experience.” She then moved back to Materials and was named a -Supply Chain Master. After being selected to work on a highly visible strategic program, she moved back to the Planning and Logistics group to lead the next round of implementation of a totally new supply chain for Intel.  Kellso states, “this is certainly a success story by any measure.”

 Generally, Kellso said that employees who go through the program immediately bring practical skills back to the company, including modeling, financial analysis, understanding of international trade practices, and a heightened familiarity with how different companies solve common problems. These are all insights that the students can bring immediately back to their work. “Furthermore, the actual project that they do is a tactical benefit during and immediately after the program concludes.”

 The project to which Kellso is referring is the hands-on Global Supply Chain project, which students complete in lieu of a traditional master’s thesis. As Kellso describes it, the difference between the Global Project and a traditional master’s thesis is that there are typically students from several companies working together to collectively solve a real- world problem. This brings an intelligence and diversity of backgrounds that cannot be gained in a single thesis or even in a project comprising a single company.  The results are always richer with multiple company backgrounds and capabilities represented.

 Looking ahead, Kellso said that he hopes to see the EMIL-SCS program  achieve general recognition as a supply chain program for executives, not simply a logistics program.  Although the program has done this to a large degree with its curriculum, Kellso said that he looks forward to EMIL-SCS achieving this status in world-wide recognition and perception of the program. “Hopefully what will happen,” Kellso adds, “is that the program will thrive and become the ‘gold standard’ program for supply chain executives.”

 Though Kellso has stepped down as chair, he maintains a strong support for the program and anticipates continued involvement with EMIL-SCS through the advisory board and teaching.

Additional Information

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H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISYE)

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Engineering
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Keywords
EMIL, isye, Kellso
Status
  • Created By: Edie Cohen
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Mar 23, 2010 - 11:37am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:05pm