EMIL-SCS Class Studies Logistics and Supply Chain Strategy in Asia

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The Executive Masters in International Logistics & Supply Chain Strategy (EMIL-SCS) class of 2012 recently completed their fourth residence, with visits to India, Thailand, Hong Kong, and China.   

The class began the residence in Mumbai, India, a first time stop for the EMIL-SCS program. While in Mumbai, the class met Professor Mark Beeson, Winthrop Professor in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Western Australia and author of Regionalism & Globalization in East Asia, Politics, and Security & Economic Development. Beeson provided the students with an introduction to geopolitics and a macroeconomic overview of Asia with an emphasis on China, Japan, and Korea. 

The following morning, the class met with Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, partner at Media Network of India, for a lessonon the geopolitics, economics, and infrastructure of India.  That afternoon the class traveled to a corporate site visit at The Future Group’s supply chain solutions division, a food and home goods retailer in India, for a discussion on consumer preferences, taxes and regulations, the restructuring of their supply chain, and supplier management. The final site visit for the day was with Tata Consultancy Services, an IT services, business solutions, and outsourcing organization, for a presentation on their outsourcing processes, major services providers, and the logistical challenges they face with providing their services.

The next morning the class visited ThyssenKrupp Industries India Pvt. Ltd. (TKII), a leading supplier of plants and systems for mining, processing, and handling of raw materials and minerals.  The class listened to a discussion about TKII’s inbound logistics regarding domestic transport of key materials to the plant, and out-bound logistics focusing on how projects are delivered to customers in various markets.  Following a plant tour at TKII, the class boarded a bus for Pune, India and headed to Tata Motors Limited, India’s largest automobile company.  The class was given an overview of Tata Motors and the Indian market, and engaged in a discussion on domestic transport of key materials to the plant and vehicle distribution.  The class finished their visit with a tour of the automotive plant. 

On the last day in India, the class met with Jasjit Singh Sethi, CEO of Transport Company of India Supply Chain Solutions, India's leading multimodal integrated supply chain solutions provider.  The presentation focused on doing business in India and the current “status quo” challenges, such as infrastructure, truck sizes, state border taxes, time and delivery challenges, labor unions, and driver issues.  The presentation ended with a discussion of India’s transportation plans for the next five years.  Following the site visit, the class boarded a plane for Bangkok, Thailand, another first-time destination for the EMIL-SCS program.

The first morning in Bangkok, the class met with Dr. Ruth Banomyong, director for the Centre for Logistics Research at Thammasat University, for a discussion on the current state and future directions of logistical integration across ASEAN and the impacts on Western China trade.  That afternoon, the class traveled to Sea Value, a top manufacturer in tuna, sardines, and mackerel, for an overview of the company, and a presentation on their supply chain process from fishing to canning to shipping.  The visit concluded with a plant tour. 

Day two in Bangkok began with an intense discussion on strategic sourcing and procurement strategy with Francis Cherian, supply chain strategy consultant and 2008 EMIL-SCS alumnus.  The lecture focused on how to develop a strategic sourcing methodology, supplier relationship management, supplier rationalization, and enablers, specifically, how to execute strategic sourcing within your company and how to create a framework for initiating strategic sourcing. The class then traveled to Siam Cement Group (SCG) where they engaged in a sharing session with John Vande Vate, Georgia Tech professor and executive director of the EMIL-SCS program, and Kan Trakulhoon, MS Management and MS ME 1986, SCG president and CEO.

For the second week of the residence, the class traveled to Hong Kong for a two day visit.   First, they met with the Hong Kong Logistics Association to discuss logistics infrastructure in Hong Kong, in the Pearl River Delta, and the role Hong Kong will play as China continues their huge development in South China.  That afternoon, the class visited Li & Fung Limited, the export trading arm of the Li & Fung Group, which manages supply chains for major brands and retailers worldwide.  Following the overview and discussion, the class toured Li & Fung’s massive showroom.

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers, and service providers, visited the class the following afternoon to discuss the value of Hong Kong serving as the gateway to China, and the opportunities for investment, trade, and development.  Later that afternoon, the class visited Modern Terminals, an EMIL-SCS tradition, for a class discussion on berth capacity at the port, throughput, yard and terminal storage, yard management system, gate dwell time, peak volume, and the major steamships partners.  The class also toured the port and control tower.

Leaving Hong Kong, the class traveled to Shanghai to begin their submergence into mainland China Logistics.  Hua Li, Managing Director-ASO for Home Depot, visited the class and discussed sourcing strategies in Asia, and provided a comprehensive look at retail in China.  That afternoon, the class met with UPS China Hub to discuss distribution and fulfillment in China, specific to Shanghai, and the Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone (FTZ).  The class learned the distinguishing features of the FTZ, such as the fundamental differences in China versus the U.S. and Latin America, specific China FTZ regulations, and provincial or territorial constraints.  The day ended with a presentation from China Expeditors, a global logistics company, on fulfillment, consolidation and distribution efforts, import flow of raw material into China, export flow of finished goods out of China, and customs regulations and restrictions.

On the last day in Shanghai, the EMIL-SCS program co-hosted a conference with Manhattan & Associates titled, “Future of Retail in China.”  The conference was by invitation only and featured presentations from Gary Tilson, EMIL-SCS 2006, director of aftersales operations, supply chain, logistics, and service for General Motors, and Joe Shearn, EMIL-SCS 2012, vice-president of distribution for Tiffany & Co.  Ray Tien, chief operating officer for Carl’s Jr. China, also presented at the conference.  In the afternoon, the EMIL-SCS class met with Martin Winchell, managing director for Schneider Global Logistics Tianjin, for an overview on trucking in China.  The discussion points were the fundamental differences between China and the U.S., provincial and/or territorial constraints, road infrastructure, and driver availability/professional training certification. 

While the EMIL-SCS class was meeting with Schneider Trucking, conference guests were given a tutorial on the retail financial supply chain connection, presented by Maria Rey, senior lecturer for custom programs at Georgia Tech and advisor for FinListics Solutions.  The conference provided a unique opportunity to share the EMIL-SCS program with executives who may consider joining the EMIL-SCS program in the future.

The next destination for the EMIL-SCS Class of 2012 is Residence V which will be held May 13-25 in Louisville, Kentucky, Montreal, Canada, and Atlanta, Georgia. 

For more on the EMIL-SCS Program, contact Erin Howlette at or visit


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