2017 Dell Technologies Team Project


The Challenge:
As part of their commitment to ocean health outlined at the 2017 United Nations Oceans Conference, Dell pledged to source and incorporate 10 times their current ocean plastic usage into their packaging (up to 160K pounds cumulatively) by 2025. In 2016, Dell conducted a pilot in Haiti to source and incorporate 16K pounds of ocean plastic into a packaging tray for Dell’s XPS-13” notebook; this Tauber project adapted the Haiti pilot to South Asia to capitalize on regional economic advantages and target the world’s leading source of ocean plastic.

The Solution:
The Tauber team first defined a cost-effective supply chain for ocean plastic that could be scaled to meet growing demand. The team then identified and recommended that Dell certify three Indonesian and Indian partners as viable sources of ocean plastic and co-locate packaging manufacturing in these countries. Co-locating manufacturing with sourcing also reduced manufacturing costs by 54%, saving Dell more than $350K. At the conclusion of the project, the Tauber team successfully delivered an innovative supply chain capable of delivering scalability and cost-effectiveness to both Dell and other like-minded companies.

Read the 2017 Dell Technologies Team Project Executive Summary in the 2017 SPOTLIGHT! book.

Student Team:
Dan Partin–MBA & Master of Environment and Sustainability
Allison Ward–EGL (BSE Materials Science Engineering & MSE Industrial & Operations Engineering)

Project Sponsors:
Piyush Bhargava–VP Global Operations
Adam Bushong–Project Manager, Ocean Plastics Initiative
Oliver Campbell –Director of Procurement and Packaging

Faculty Advisors:
Ravi Anupindi –Ross School of Business
Steve Skerlos –College of Engineering

About Tauber Team Projects:

The 2017 Tauber Team Projects resulted in $575 million in savings according to sponsoring company calculations, an average of $18.5 million per project over 3 years.

Each two to three person Tauber Team consists of graduate engineering, MBA, and/or MSCM students. Along with receiving high-level corporate support from the sponsoring company, each team is advised by a College of Engineering and a Ross School of Business faculty member and overseen by a Tauber Institute Co-Director. The projects begin on-site in May and continue for 14 weeks.  Students present the results of their projects and compete for over $40,000 in scholarships at the U-M Tauber Institute's annual Spotlight! event, held each September in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Spotlight! provides outstanding opportunities for students and corporate partners to establish relationships while exploring innovations in operations and manufacturing.
Access Spotlight! book for project details.
2017 Dell Technologies team
2017 Dell Technologies team
2017 Dell Technologies team