Tauber’s 2014 Global Operations Conference Works Out The Customer Equation

November 21, 2014

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The Eighth Annual Global Operations Conference (GOC), organized by the Tauber Institute for Global Operations at the University of Michigan, brought global leaders in industry and academia together to focus on the most important factor in business – the customer. Centered on the singular concept of exceeding customer expectations, several high-level executives shared, debated and strategized about how to advance the worldwide practice of operations.

Held on Nov. 13-14, 2014 at the Michigan Union, the conference featured panel discussions and keynote addresses which highlighted innovative methods that various companies are adopting in order to achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction.

Read MBA Blog here.

Keynote speaker Jonathan Freeman, Vice President, Supply Chain & Industrial Strategy for the Building Materials Group, Owens Corning, shared his knowledge on operations strategy at the GOC kickoff ceremony, energizing participants for the panel discussions to come. They included:

Customer Loyalty
Using operations as a differentiating factor to gain customer loyalty

Moderator Professor Kanishka Misra led panelists from a cross section of industries through a discussion on how every company -- from a Michigan brewery to global aerospace supplier -- can earn the diehard loyalty of their customers.

Mobile World
Using mobile platforms and technology to improve back-end operations

Moderator Professor M. S. Krishnan asked questions about using technology to beef up operations success in industries like industrial supply distribution.

Speed to Delivery
Shipping operations are changing to accommodate faster delivery of products

Moderator Professor Ravi Anupindi directed the discussion among five high-level panelists representing Cisco Systems, BorderFree, DISH Network, Amazon and Chrysler – all of whom shared their company’s ideas on shortening delivery time.

Customer Data
Operational and customer data can be used to optimize service levels in real-time

Professor Amitabh Sinha facilitated the panel discussion and Q&A from the audience regarding the use of operational and customer data. Representatives from Deloitte Consulting, Owens Corning and Cummins provided insight on the topic.

View photos from the Conference

Reuben Slone, a 1994 graduate of the University of Michigan and the Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Management at Walgreen Co., closed the 2014 GOC event with his remarks on the challenges and potential for the future of operations and logistics in this global marketplace.

Case Competition Results

Each year at the GOC, Tauber has the pleasure of announcing the participants and winners of the annual Case Competition. Always related to operations management, the competition themes have ranged from detailed process flow improvements at a facility to high-level, strategic recommendations.

This year’s case competition consisted of a two-round format in which 45 collegiate teams submitted entries with five teams being chosen for final round: University of Michigan; University of California, Los Angeles; Penn State University; University of Southern California; and University of North Carolina.

The final round team presentation was held Nov. 13 in Ann Arbor. Congratulations go out to the first place team, OpEx from Penn State University, and the second place team, Lean Wolverines from the University of Michigan.

For more information on Tauber’s Global Operations Conference in 2015, visit the GOC page.

About Tauber Institute for Global Operations

The Tauber Institute for Global Operations is a joint venture between the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the College of Engineering, and many industry partners to facilitate cross-disciplinary education in global operations management. In addition to a broad array of core and elective courses, the innovative LeadershipAdvantageSM Program provides students with the tools to ascend to major operations leadership roles. Well- designed and managed team projects form the cornerstone of the Tauber Institute experience and allow students to apply their knowledge to real world settings.