Course Spotlight: Michigan Ross MSCM Students Deliver Actionable Solutions and Recommendations to Global Organizations for Supply Chain Consulting Studio 2022
From process improvement to analytics and sustainability, the 16 high-impact consulting projects for companies around the world taken on by students in the Master of Supply Chain Management Program at the Ross School of Business covered every aspect of the supply chain this year.
In fact, the 2022 edition of the Supply Chain Consulting Studio course had the largest number of projects assigned to student teams since its launch four years ago as the signature action-based learning component of the Michigan Ross MSCM curriculum. Each project is advised by two Ross faculty members who meet with teams weekly to ensure they are hitting project milestones.
“When we added the Supply Chain Consulting Studio to the Michigan Ross MSCM Program in 2018, we wanted to provide an innovative action-based learning experience that would give MSCM students the opportunity to work with diverse stakeholders at real organizations on complex projects,” said Hyun-Soo Ahn, the course’s lead faculty member and professor of technology and operations at Michigan Ross. “Even with the increased number and diversity of projects this year, students did exceptionally well and each one had a really good result.”
The course’s goal is for the student teams to contribute the equivalent of $250,000 to the sponsoring companies for each project. Ahn said nearly every team met that mark this year.
“As a faculty member who advises students each year, you can see the growth of the students from the start of the course to its finish,'' he explained. “At the end of their projects, they transform into competent business professionals who take away valuable skills on how to navigate ambiguity and communicate with all stakeholders, including executives, who they often present their final recommendations to.”
Many MSCM alumni-sponsored projects
Along with the record number of projects, this year’s Supply Chain Consulting Studio also had the most alumni-sponsored projects. Those alumni included Nithin Karunakaran, MSCM ’19, senior program manager at Amazon; Ruoxi Li, MSCM ’17, future of supply chain workstream lead at General Motors Corp.; Sushrut Sardesai, MSCM ’20, senior global supply manager at Lucid; and Sumanth Kanreddy, MSCM ’19, inbound operations manager at Chewy.
"As an alum, deciding to sponsor a Supply Chain Consulting Studio project was an easy decision,” said Karunakaran. “Knowing the Michigan Ross MSCM Program, the rigor of the curriculum, and faculty advisors, I knew I could expect a quality deliverable out of it while giving my team access to great talent."
Li said he also had a very positive experience being a part of the Supply Chain Consulting Studio this year.
"It’s been a wonderful time working with MSCM students,” he said. “Their dedication to the project, pursuit of excellence, and abilities to comprehend new knowledge were very impressive. As an MSCM alum, I certainly look forward to working with fellow students on other projects in the future."
What students did this year for the Supply Chain Consulting Studio
Jiaying Peng, MSCM ’22, worked on a global purchasing project for General Motors to help the automaker increase the location accuracy of its assets at the suppliers' facilities.
“The part that I enjoyed most was quickly learning and utilizing a new data visualization tool called PowerBI,” said Peng. “The most difficult part was getting the data to analyze the current situation and quantify the impact of our solutions.”
Peng’s teammate, Gaoyuan Ji, MSCM ’22, said he served as the project manager and coordinated with various stakeholders to analyze GM’s pain points through site visits, interviews, and process mapping.
“After a thorough analysis, our team provided an improved process and a new operating mechanism that was able to significantly improve GM’s current operations and reduce costs,” said Ji. “Our sponsor was very satisfied and grateful for our accomplishment and would like to continue working with Ross MSCM students in the future.”
Arani Basu, MSCM ’22, participated in a project for Lucid Motors to develop a purchasing dashboard to enhance visibility of operational metrics.
“Using my previous procurement consulting experience at McKinsey, I played the role of a client relationship manager and provided recommendations on the operational metrics to be displayed and reported on the Tableau dashboard we created, along with shared best practices for data governance with senior leadership,” said Basu. “I also put into practice the theoretical knowledge I gained in courses like Operations Management, Global Supply Chain Management, Logistics, Applied Business Analytics, and Strategic Sourcing and Procurement Management.”
What students learned through their projects
For Bhumika Das, MSCM ’22, and her team, their project for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi Inc. gave them an opportunity to work in a new industry on a challenging objective: To streamline the service part production process of the Toyota Corolla, a top-selling vehicle model produced at the plant.
“The pace, complexity, and scale of the production facility were both exhilarating and unnerving for all of us,” said Das. “That is when our advisors, Ross Professors Damian Beil and Joline Uichanco, helped us to understand the objective and mold our approach so that our recommendations would be relevant and make implementation of them easier. The challenges of working in a factory, frequent travel, and shift work hours taught us the importance of teamwork and the strength of developing an emotional quotient.”
Working for a company like Microsoft has always been a dream of Deepank Mangal, MSCM ’22, so taking on a project for the company provided him with insight into working there.
“I was able to understand their functionality as being a part of the company,” said Mangal. “Moreover, understanding the supply chain of one of the world's biggest cloud providers, and using various analysis methodology and visualizations to make the understanding of this supply chain easier, was a very good experience.”
Mangal also said the project will help him be successful after graduation. “I believe it is very important to understand the practical importance of anything we learn in the classroom,” he said.
2022 Supply Chain Consulting Studio projects
Student team: Gaoyuan Ji, MSCM ’22; Feiran Jiang, MSCM ’22; Girish Kumar, MSCM ’22; Jingxuan Mu, MSCM ’22; Jiaying Peng, MSCM ’22; Liao Wang, MSCM ’22
Project: Develop a comprehensive plan and processes to deploy 30,000 to 50,000 RFID tags on vendor tools in 2022 and beyond.
Student team: Zhuoyan Bai, MSCM ’22; Linda Ivanovic, MSCM ’22; Deepank Mangal, MSCM ’22; Shawn Wang, MSCM ’22; Tingting Xie, MSCM ’22; Xiuge Yu, MSCM ’22
Project: Create a visual map from the perspective of a server/rack as viewed by the eyes of a supply chain planner.
Student team: Arani Basu, MSCM ’22; Bonnie Fang, MSCM ’22; Yuetong Liu, MSCM ’22; Zachary Mansour, MSCM ’22; Daokun Shang, MSCM ’22; Xinyu Tong, MSCM ’22
Project: Build a functioning purchasing dashboard with a mechanism for sustainability.
Student team: Pranav Gala, MSCM ’22; Becky Li, MSCM ’22; Chloe Su, MSCM ’22; Liang Su Amanda Tsai, MSCM ’22
Project: Formulate a network strategy for Amazon's Global Cross Dock network, which consolidates, stores, and transforms inventory for cross-border movement from manufacturing hubs to destination marketplaces.
IEWC Global Solutions
Student team: Shraddha Batra, MSCM ’22; Siddhant Behera, MSCM ’22; Saideepa Chama, MSCM ’22; Junho Cho, MSCM ’22; Yash Mehta, MSCM ’22
Project: Map out and create a standardized sales and operations planning process.
Student team: Wenxin Cui, MSCM ’22; Jackson Jiang, MSCM ’22; Joost Plaetinck, MSCM ’22; Steve Song, MSCM ’22; Tianchi Wang, MSCM ’22
Project: Develop a comprehensive analysis of the customer order payment process, including its supply chain and financial impact, along with a process enhancement recommendation.
Student team: Erik Ball, MSCM ’22; Irem Erdogan, MSCM ’22; Fou He, MSCM ’22; Edwin Sungkono, MSCM ’22
Project: Evaluate the applicability and viability of receive/inbound cross dock facilities for the Chewy fulfillment network.
Student team: Andrew Denk, MSCM ’22; Aditya Kapoor, MSCM ’22; Samaakhya P, MSCM ’22; Dipesh Patel, MSCM ’22; Sangya Rai, MSCM ’22
Project: Develop and refine a sourcing strategy for critical semiconductor components for automotive parts.
Student team: Hong Chen, MSCM ’22; Yuki Huang, MSCM ’22; Xiang Li, MSCM ’22; Jier Qian, MSCM ’22; Arjav Tolia, MSCM ’22; Zijian Zhao, MSCM ’22
Project: Develop a model of a bank strategy for international materials shipped to North America.
Student team: Isabella Case, MSCM ’22; Zheyu Chen, MSCM ’22; Jing Huang, MSCM ’22; Natalie Montas, MSCM ’22; Yusha Zhou, MSCM ’22
Project: Create an optimization plan considering factors like branding strategy, inflationary environment, and supply chain risks.
Student team: Matt Frey, MSCM ’22; Daniel Hult, MSCM ’22; William Miller, MSCM ’22; Bharat Radhakrishnan, MSCM ’22; Melissa Warshauer, MSCM ’22
Project: Provide recommendations to help solve problems associated with sourcing glass cullet (crushed, recycled glass) for home insulation products.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi Inc.
Student team: Ruiji Cai, MSCM ’22; Bhumika Das, MSCM ’22; Jian Ding, MSCM ’22; Mrunalini Nalla, MSCM ’22; Minjie Zhu, MSCM ’22
Project: Provide a detailed analysis of service parts to understand the process flow from body welding to painting, and then packaging and shipment.
Student team: Ankit Banerjee, MSCM ’22; Sara Dwivedi, MSCM ’22; John Nixon, MSCM ’22; Tia John Ramapuram, MSCM ’22; Melvin Wang, MSCM ’22
Project: Determine a more effective process to reclaim assets assigned to third-party vendors at the end of production.
Student team: Alexander Fedje-Johnson, MSCM ’22; Alvin Hermiz, MSCM ’22; Zhaoxuan Shi, MSCM ’22; Jonas Taghavi, MSCM ’22; Henry Wang, MSCM ’22
Project: Formulate a roadmap to halve emissions from the supply chain by 2030.
Student team: Evelyn Cai, MSCM ’22; Eric Liang, MSCM ’22; Lianna Lin, MSCM ’22; Chung Ling Tao, MSCM ’22; Nanyu Zhang, MSCM ’22
Project: Develop a dynamic emissions dashboard for e-commerce fulfillment.
Little Caesars Enterprises
Student team: Griffin Baker, MSCM ’22; Yuchen Gu, MSCM ’22; Sun Kim, MSCM ’22; Mingjian Liu, MSCM ’22; Sara Wujciak, MSCM ’22
Project: Assess the need and feasibility for adding additional distribution center locations.