EMIL-SCS Class of 2010 Completes Residence V-The Americas

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The Executive Masters in International Logistics & Supply Chain Strategy (EMIL-SCS) class of 2010, which began in October 2008, just completed its fifth and final residence.  Breaking from tradition, the class flipped the order of the residence: They held their first week in Monterrey, Mexico, from February 28, 2010, through March 5, 2010, and then ended the residence on the Georgia Tech campus, back where it all started, in the Industrial and Systems Engineering  Executive Classroom and the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center from March 6, 2010, through March 12, 2010.  During the first week, the residence focused on the four walls of manufacturing, the logistics infrastructure, cross-border logistics, NAFTA-US-Mexico trade agreements, and a look at Maquiladora manufacturing and sourcing strategies for Mexico.  They particularly focused on the recent move towards near-shoring and re-shoring as key strategies to lower supply chain costs. The students began the residence with a deep dive into Factory Physics techniques with the objective of removing constraints, improving throughput, and improving productivity.  The course was taught by Dr. Mark Spearman, founder, president, and chief executive officer of Factory Physics, Inc.EMIL-SCS alumnus Maria Rey (MS IL 2002), executive director, Latin American Logistics Center, provided two half-days of instruction, as well as organizing and facilitating a full-day panel discussion. On her first day of instruction, Rey 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.  On day two, Rey discussed the scope, implemented areas, and pending issues of the NAFTA Agreement, and she also reviewed the benefits of Maquiladoras and the challenges within cross-border supply chains.  For the day-long panel, ten speakers joined Rey in analyzing a beverage supply chain in Mexico focusing on Coca-Cola.  The panelists examined the company’s supply chain strategies from PET packaging, to bottlers, to distribution and the logistics necessary to meet consumer demand in Mexico.Also while in Mexico, the class heard from Eduardo Aspero, general director with Pacer International, who discussed the rail and intermodal industry in Mexico, and Armando Beltrán, vice-president-general manager for Schneider National, Mexico, who discussed trucking in Mexico.  Both speakers focused on how NAFTA, safety concerns, cross- boarder operations, and government regulations impacted doing business in Mexico. Jorge Fares (MS IL 2009), supply chain manager of Oxxo (the largest convenience store chain in Mexico), walked the class through distribution and fulfillment in the retail consumables market in Mexico.  The students saw this firsthand with a tour of the distribution center.  Another EMIL-SCS alumnus, Gabriela Toro (MS IL 2005), distribution supply chain manager with Sunbeam, provided a close look into distribution and warehousing, models within Mexico, and the strategies used to overcome and navigate the import restrictions and penalties associated with importing raw material and finished goods into Mexico from Asia. With this week behind the Class of 2010, the students were a week away from completing their EMIL-SCS program requirements. The next and largest hurdle was to present their Global Projects to the EMIL-SCS staff and advisory board, which they did on days three and four of the second week.  In lieu of a traditional master's thesis, the student executives use this project as an opportunity to gain knowledge through the EMIL-SCS academic curriculum garnered over the eighteen months of the program and apply those resources to a critical supply chain initiative within their respective sponsoring companies.   Additionally, the students received instruction from Shijie Deng, associate professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech, 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.  Jim Kellso, supply chain strategist with Intel Corporation and former EMIL-SCS advisory board chair, gave a presentation on supply chain innovation, optimization/customer alignment, and transformation.  Tom Dadmun, vice-president, project management with Adtran shared his experience with supply chain corporate alignment initiatives, supply chain optimization, and engineering. The final site visit for the class was to Norfolk Southern Intermodal yard in Austell, Georgia, to discuss intermodal trends in the U.S.  Dave Beasley, division terminal manager for Norfolk Southern, led the terminal tour and operations overview.  Aaron Katrancha, assistant manager, national accounts, intermodal marketing, led a discussion on the current state of the rail industry in the U.S. and role of Norfolk Southern’s involvement with development of railroads in emerging markets, capacity and volume constraint issues, capital investment plans for relief efforts, security concerns, and green-sustainability initiatives that are currently underway.Joe Peppard, Professor of Information Systems, and Lee Marston, a research fellow, both with the Information Systems Research Centre at the Cranfield University School of Management, 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.This group will meet once more on May 7, 2010, to participate in spring commencement and receive their degrees from Georgia Tech.  The EMIL-SCS program is extremely proud of the newest group of alumni and is excited about their future, as well as the continued networking and partnership opportunities with both the alumni and their sponsoring companies.  For more about the EMIL-SCS program, visit their website at


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Edie Cohen
  • Created: 03/30/2010
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016


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