EMIL-SCS Class of 2012 Graduates after Final North American Residence

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After 18 months, five residences, and one global supply chain project, the Executive Masters in International Logistics & Supply Chain Strategy (EMIL-SCS) class of 2012 graduated on August 3 with a master’s degree from Georgia Tech. Over the course of the program, residences included destinations to four continents, including North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia.  Most recently, the class completed its fifth and final residence, May 13 - 25 in Louisville, KY, Montreal, CA, and Atlanta, GA.

This final residence focused on manufacturing, logistics infrastructure in the Americas, and NAFTA-US-Canada-Mexico trade agreements.  The students began the first week in Louisville, KY with a two-day course taught by Mark Spearman, founder, president, and chief executive officer of Factory Physics, Inc.  The course covered Factory Physics, Inc.’s techniques within the four walls of manufacturing with the objective of removing constraints, and improving throughput and productivity. 

On day-two, the class visited UPS Worldport Hub where UPS-SCS presented an overview on their global service capabilities, and air cargo security.  Once that portion ended, UPS-SCS provided a tour of their End of Runway fulfillment and pharmaceutical/health care distribution.  Lastly, the class began a tour of UPS Worldport HUB.   Worldport serves all major, domestic, and international hubs, and tours can only take place between midnight and 2:00 a.m. to view and understand the operational footprint of an integrated carrier-forwarder involved in the domestic and international movement of small package, parcel, hundred weight, palletized heavyweight, and ground freight.   

From Louisville, the class boarded a plane for Montreal, Canada.  There they met with Allan Smith,CEO of BCG Logistics, who lectured on Canadian NAFTA Trade Relations with the U.S. and Mexico.  Afterwards, Tim Trempert (MS IL 2012), assistant vice president of operations for Pacer International, and Peter Ladouceur, assistant vice president for International Canadian Railroad, held a discussion on International Canadian Railroad Infrastructure NAFTA Rail Trade.  Following the discussions, the class boarded a bus for a site visit and distribution center tour with Pfizer Montreal.  In preparation of the visit, Pfizer requested the EMIL-SCS students prepare and participate in a benchmark discussion on inbound freight management, strategic sourcing, outsourcing of services, best practices in manufacturing efficiencies, reducing costs through operational excellence, and best practices in distribution discussion.

The next day in Montreal, the class visited Canadian Tire, one of Canada’s most-shopped general retailers with 1,700 retail and gasoline outlets across the country, for an overview of the retail sales and distribution industry across Canada supporting the automotive, sports recreation, apparel, and the house/home market segments.  Afterwards, the class visited the ALDO Group, a privately-held company which operates over 1,600 retail stores, approximately 1,000 of which are under the ALDO banner. ALDO specializes in the creation of high-quality fashion footwear, leather goods and accessories. The class was given an overview of their direct to consumer distribution channels, and a tour of the distribution center.

The week ended with a unique site visit to Cirque du Soleil, a Quebec based company recognized around the world for high-quality, artistic entertainment. The company has 5,000 employees worldwide, including more than 1,300 artists.  There are close to 2,000 employees at the Montreal International Headquarters alone.  The class was given this special opportunity to learn about the logistics and distribution network strategy used to support the global operations of Cirque du Soleil.  Concluding their site visit, the class toured their facility, and was treated to Cirque’s newest attraction Amaluna.       

The class returned to the Georgia Tech campus to complete the final course work of the program and receive instruction from:

  • Shijie Deng, associate professor in the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering(ISyE), who provided the students with a general introduction into the concepts of risk management in the financial and operational aspects of logistics and supply chain management; 
  • Maria Rey (MS IL 2002), executive director of the Latin American Logistics Center, who provided a close look into the Mexican consumer, current geopolitical issues influencing and shaping logistics and supply chain management in Mexico, the current economic climate in Mexico with special attention on near-shoring and the migration of manufacturing back into Mexico, Mexico’s role in Central and South America, and risks and promises of doing business in Mexico;
  • Jim Kellso, supply chain strategist with Intel Corporation and former EMIL-SCS advisory board chair, who gave a presentation on supply chain innovation, optimization/customer alignment, and transformation;
  • John Campi, managing partner with Genesis Management Group LLC, who presented global sourcing strategies to mitigate and reduce risk in the supply chain; and
  • Lee Marston, a research fellow with the Information Systems Research Centre at the Cranfield University School of Management, who gave a review of supply chain technology, highlighting how to build IT/SCM organizational capability, IT-enabled SCM innovation, and the future of logistics and SCM technology.

Culminating their EMIL-SCS experience, the class presented their global supply chain projects to the EMIL-SCS staff and advisory board. In lieu of a traditional master's thesis, the student executives participate in a team based global supply chain project.  Participants are encouraged to tackle projects with a minimum impact of $1,000,000.  The projects give students an opportunity to gain knowledge through the EMIL-SCS academic curriculum garnered over the 18 month program and apply those resources to a critical supply chain concern specific to their sponsoring companies.    

For more about the EMIL-SCS program, visit their website at


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    Ashley Daniel
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    Fletcher Moore
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