EMIL-SCS Class of 2012 Completes Residence II in Europe

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In June, the Executive Masters in International Logistics & Supply Chain Strategy (EMIL-SCS) class of 2012 ventured off to Europe for their first international residence.  The residence began in Cologne, Germany where they met with Professor Andreas Staab, director of the European Policy Information Center and author of The European Union Explained.  Staab provided a historical overview of European integration discussing 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.

The next day, Professor Owen Darbishire, from Pembroke College in Oxford, lectured on different labor and employment models in the United States, European Union (EU), and Japan, with a focus on the various constraints they impose and opportunities they create.  Specifically, he lectured on the labor policies of the EU, such as what managers should consider when establishing human resource policies for their companies.

The class then visited the Port of Duisburg, the world’s largest public inland port located on the confluence of the Rhine and Ruhr rivers, and received an overview of rail infrastructure across the EU.  That afternoon, the class traveled to Borgholzhausen to visit Kraftverkehr Nagel, a German family-owned food logistics company.  There they discussed over-the-road transportation and cold chain in Europe, focusing on the competitive landscape including national carriers and European players in Central and Eastern Europe.

On the last day in Cologne, the class met with Mathias Paul, vice president of strategy for DB Schenker, to discuss rail cargo operations in the EU.  Following Mr. Paul’s discussion, Jan Bender, head of foreign trade compliance for Air & Ocean Transport of Dachser, met with the class.  Dachser is an international freight and logistics service provider, headquartered in Kempten (Allgäu/Southwest Germany).  Bender gave an overview of how customs operates in the EU including the Customs Union, the 27 different Customs administrations that implement it, and the challenges this raises both for the Customs administrations and for international trade.  The class explored some of the differences that naturally arise among the different administrations of any such system.  After an intense morning, the class boarded a train for Munich, Germany.

The first morning in Munich, the class met with Egge Haak, consultant partner of Involvation, a supply chain management consulting firm based in the Netherlands.  Haak led the class in an intense and interactive session of Fresh Connection, a web-based role-playing simulation game developed by Involvation.    EMIL-SCS Teams were formed and challenged to collaborate and employ a supply chain strategy to rescue a virtual fruit juice manufacturer from its downfall.  Using the knowledge gained through Residence I, they were to return this company to sound financial performance. 

Later that afternoon, the class traveled to Audi in Ingolstadt.  There the class learned about how Audi ‘enthuses’ its customers worldwide, with particular focus on their many customized customer programs.  The class had been informed prior to the visit that they too would provide similar examples from their companies.  This made for an engaging afternoon of ideation and creative brainstorming.  Following the discussion, the students toured the plant and took pleasure in viewing Audi’s most luxurious automobiles on the assembly line. That evening, the class was treated to an authentic Bavarian dinner at Munich’s famous Augustine-Keller restaurant.  Dating back to 1812, the restaurant serves hearty and Bavarian specialties like knuckle of pork, potato dumplings, and weiner schnitzel. 

The next morning, the class met with MAN Truck & Bus Group, the largest company in the MAN Group and one of the leading international providers of commercial vehicles and transport solutions, for a site visit, supply chain discussion, and factory tour.  While there, the class also met with FAUN, a customer of the MAN Truck & Bus Group.  FAUN is the most successful, privately owned, manufacturer of waste disposal vehicles in Europe.  Dr. Armin Vogel, FAUN’s managing director, led a discussion on the environmental regulations and compliance policies within the EU. 

Over the weekend, the class traveled to Krakow, Poland and visited Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum.  The class toured the Nazi concentration and extermination camps built and operated in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during World War II. It was the largest of the German concentration camps, consisting of Auschwitz I (the base camp), Auschwitz II–Birkenau (the extermination camp), and Auschwitz III–Monowitz, also known as Buna–Monowitz (a labor camp).

In Krakow, Dr. Staab re-visited the class for a recap and Part II discussion of the EU financial crisis, sovereign debt issues, as well as other political and economic issues.   That afternoon, Philipp Holzer, regional manager of sea freight from KUEHNE + NAGEL in Eastern Europe visited with the class to present a brief overview of the state of the ocean cargo industry, particularly of the EU based carriers, along with an overview of distribution and fulfillment operations within the EU.

The next day, the class took a train to Rzeszów, Poland to visit WSK, "PLZ-Rzeszów" S.A, one of the leading players in the Central Europe aerospace industry. They presented an overview of one of the most remarkable stories of enterprise transformation and leadership – the evolution and restructuring of WSK, "PLZ-Rzeszów" S.A from the Solidarity movement of 1980, and the subsequent break with Soviet Union through today.   They also discussed the development of the Aviation Valley in Southeastern Poland. 

The last two days of the residence in Poland brought multiple visiting speakers from Russia with an expertise on ‘How to do Business in Russia’ from a supply chain perspective.  The class first met with Elena Panfilova, general director for the Center for Anti-Corruption Research and Initiative Transparency International in Moscow. Ms. Panfilova provided an in-depth overview of how corruption impacts business, and presented solutions on overcoming these challenges.  Following that presentation, the class met Dr. Nikolay Selishchev, senior specialist of the part development team at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Russia.  Dr. Selishchev presented Hyundai’s sourcing and procurement strategy in Russia and the former Soviet Union.  Bernd Eikens, senior vice president of UPM Kymemme and EMIL-SCS Class of 2011 alumnus, provided an overview of the commodity sector in Russia.  Additionally, two members of the class provided an overview of doing business in Russia from their company’s perspective.  Class member Rebecca Lehlbach, senior manager of Americas Logistics for Dell, brought in a local expert, and class member Joe Shearn, vice president of distribution for Tiffany’s & Co., provided an overview of their company’s experiences in Russia. 

This trip proved to be an expansive lesson in history, and how history has greatly impacted business today in Europe. The students left Europe having had a rich experience, both from a corporate and a cultural perspective.

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


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