EMIL-SCS Class Studies European Logistics in Europe

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The students enrolled in the Stewart School of ISyE's Executive Masters in International Logistics & Supply Chain Strategy (EMIL-SCS) program spent the summer trailblazing through Europe. In June, our Class of 2010 completed their third residence.

The European residence kicked off in Amsterdam, which was a first-time visit for the program. Professor Andreas Staab, Director of the European Policy Information Center and author of The European Union Explained, provided a historical overview of European integration with the objective of helping the students understand the historical, political, and cultural factors that shaped the integration and the evolution of the relationships among European countries and between the European Union and its members. While in Amsterdam, the class also visited Schiphol Airport and met with the Port of Rotterdam Council to learn about operations and future growth for one of the largest ports in the world.

From Amsterdam the class traveled by train to Stuttgart, Germany, where they became heavily engaged in a combination of theory and site visits. Bublu (Sarbani) Thakur-Weigold, Project Manager with Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and an EMIL-SCS alumna, presented the integration of Europe and the recent accession of 10 countries in Eastern Europe, differences in labor costs, changes in the ownership and structure of transportation, energy costs, and how environmental concerns have had a profound impact on the structure of European distribution networks.

The class then heard from Dr. Peter Klaus of Fraunhofer University, who presented an overview of the 3PL Industry in Europe and the world. He also discussed the impacts of structural changes like privatization, deregulation, and the participation of "national" players from postal services, rail roads, and financial organizations. He reviewed the relationship between large pan-European providers and small local companies, and presented a comparison of logistics services in Europe versus the United States.

While in Stuttgart, EMIL-SCS visited an ANZAG Pharmaceutical distribution center. With healthcare being a high priority in the lives of all people, experiencing the logistics of this DC became a shared interest among all of the students. In Europe, pharmacies do not hold medicines in stock. A customer will visit the pharmacy with a prescription and then will be told to come back in two hours. The pharmacy then places an order to its distribution facility that makes several runs a day to the store with the most current orders. It is a mammoth operation that functions within a very short timeframe, and the system has a 97% accuracy rating in its ordering, pulling, and shipping. Healthcare is managed through the German government; therefore, the distribution center is a government subsidized facility.

The class's favorite corporate visit overall was Daimler Service Parts Distribution for Mercedes-Benz. The distribution facility has implemented every aspect of Six Sigma and Lean Logistics, making it the most efficient warehouse any of the students had ever visited. The facility is so large that it does not have any air conditioning or heat. It takes three days for the outside temperature to affect the inside of the building. Conversely, the building just shifts with the natural weather patterns.

The next destination for the EMIL-SCS class was Krakow, Poland. Professor Andreas Staab met the class for a second time to respond to questions that had arisen during the course of the European residence and to address issues unique to Central and Eastern Europe. The class also visited United Technology Corporation in Rzeszow, Poland. The class spent the day learning about how this facility transformed from a government run MIG engine factory during the Cold War to a private enterprise that manufactures engine parts for Pratt and Whitney. The dedication and determination of the company owners to work through communism-controlled operations to a private entity emerging during a terrible depression was very moving. Despite being a large corporation, UTC is tied to the local community and has hopes to grow that region of Poland into an "Aviation Valley," which they anticipate will help the economic situation turn around in the coming years.

Paris was the last stop during the European residence and another first-time visit for the EMIL-SCS program. While in Paris, the class heard from Owen Darbishire, Rhodes Trust University Lecturer in Management Studies at Oxford University. His focus was on discussing various strategic advantages of different labor models around the world and how to manage effectively under constraints on labor.

The class also heard from Pascuale Pettoruto, Europe Region Brokerage & Customs Affairs Manager for UPS. He provided an overview of how customs operates in Europe, introduced the 27 different Customs administrations that implement the Customs Union, and discussed the challenges for both the Customs administrations and international trade. The class explored some of the differences that naturally arise among the different administrations of any such system.

And finally, the class sat in a discussion with Michiel Doorn from Arcadis Environmental Company, a consultant firm that provides engineering and management services in infrastructure, environment, and buildings to enhance mobility, sustainability and quality of life. His discussion focused on developments and trends in Environmental and Sustainability policy, especially highlighting how European companies are adapting their supply chain management needs. It was a high note to end the residence with ideas of environmental sustainability. These are challenges all corporations are faced with and are consistently looking for creative solutions. The class left this residence feeling empowered and ready to implement many of their lessons learned within their own corporate supply chains.

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


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Barbara Christopher
  • Created:09/02/2009
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016