Global Logistics and Supply Chain - Global indeed!

By Reita Hutagalung, Global MBA student 2012-2013, Indonesia

Being a person with a Finance background, I found logistics and supply chainto be completely different ball game. Having had an Operations Class in Term 2, I found it was mind opening to see how the supply chain strategies could highly impact a company’s financials. Moreover, this Global Logistics and Supply Chain course was taught by a visiting professor from University of Tennessee, Prof. Matthew Myers. So I made up my mind and chose this elective, with a target to gain a holistic view of running a business.

Now, I have never thought that a singer could have an impact on a company’s strategy. However, I found out that there is such thing as the "Madonna Effect" in supply chain. This is a strategy related to product categorization or coding when a company is engaged in export or import transactions. The key is to understand your trade law and trade organization laws; and seek the benefits that your company can obtain from the law. Again, as my previous experience was from finance industry, this is new information that is enriching. Another thing that was interesting for me was the Beer Simulation Game. This simulation showed how in reality the bullwhip effect could take place, and therefore, the importance of information and data at point of sales to avoid too much inventory at stock companies along the supply chain. We also did an activity to see and get information of supply in retail stores and the effect of 'out of stock:' going to supermarkets or hypermarkets to look for several specific items. This activity was quite funny when at debriefing time we shared information: some teams could get answers from the employees while others were looked at suspiciously.

As the electives term takes the form of one week courses, this course was done after one week. It was great to have Prof. Myers here at ESSEC, who made learning supply chain to be fun, and we know there is still much to be learned that could not be done in a week. Well, the week did not go in vain; those catchy terms and main points are in our heads for good!

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