Tauber Institute envisions "Operations 2030"

November 8, 2019
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Ann Arbor, MI - The 13th Annual Global Operations Conference, hosted by the Tauber Institute for Global Operations at the University of Michigan, brought together leaders in industry and academia to envision “Operations 2030: the next evolution of technology, sustainability, supply chain, and customer behavior.”  Held November 7-8 at the Michigan Ross School of Business, the 2019 conference featured keynote addresses by forward-thinking leaders planning for the decade ahead, plus a series of industry panels comprised of operations professionals representing a wide range of perspectives, moderated by University of Michigan faculty from the Ross School of Business and Michigan Engineering.

The Global Operations Conference allows Michigan students and busy professionals to evaluate industry trends and examine new ideas in a compressed timeframe. The conference commenced Thursday evening with a keynote dinner, followed Friday by a keynote breakfast, a full morning of panel discussions, concluding with a keynote luncheon. Participants also enjoyed opportunities to network and to view finalist submissions to the annual Global Operations Case Competition that runs in conjunction with the conference.

Bob Karschnia, VP/GM of Wireless - Emerson Automation Solutions, opened the conference with his keynote address on "Digital Transformation" in Operations. A thought leader in the industry of gaining business value through employing new technology, Karshnia's current role includes coordination Emerson's Industrial Internet of Things initiatives.

When asked about how a digital transformation affects today’s students as they come out into the market place, Bob replied, "I would say one of the biggest things you should consider as you’re moving into these kinds of roles, is the change that will require in a company is pretty dramatic. And to be an agent of change is actually pretty complicated. You have to have a lot of conviction, you have to be convinced that you are on the right path because for sure you’re going to get knocked down ten times. You got get up dust yourself off and do it again. But if you do, you can fundamentally change the way a company operates and performs and as a result of that you can make a huge difference.”

Friday sessions kicked off with Andy Storm, President & CEO -  Eckhart, Inc., who envigorated the breakfast crowd with Operations solutions featuring autonomous vehicles and collaborative robots as he spoke on "Leading the 99% via an Industry 4.0 Revolution." Michigan faculty moderated robust panel discussions on "Technology Trends - Industry 4.0 in the Coming Decade," "Sustainability Through Innovate Operations," and "Global Factors Influencing Supply chains of the Future" featuring industry professionals on the front lines of Operations developments at Amazon, Amyris, Anaplan, Andonix, Bain & Company, Boeing, Deloitte, Ford, Emerson, Microsoft, and Oracle.

Discussion of dozens of panelist ideas continued into lunch, closing with inspiration from Kim Westenskow, VP of Fabrication - Boeing Defense, who concluded the conference with her thoughts on "Timeless Leadership - Passion." When asked what is the one message you could give to the team that could not attend, she said, “to remember every day, that critical thinking, problem-solving and being passionate about whatever you do is the most important thing that you can do every day”

The Global Operations Conference included a Case Competition. 40+ teams from top US business schools, competed in multiple rounds over 3 weeks. The teams worked to solve a Fortune 50 company’s real-world operations issues, interacting and presenting before global supply chain leaders at the annual Tauber conference. The team, 360 degrees consulting (Elizabeth Cullen, Karthik Rai, Amritava Dasgupta, and Sanchit Jain) took the $1000 second-place prize. The first-place prize of $4000 went to the team MSCM 20 (Hari (Hariharan Ganesan) G, Hannan Chishti, Sukhman Preet Singh, and Anhad Malhotra).

Global Operations Conference event photos. 
2019 companies in attendance.
More info on 2019 conference speakers, panelists, and events.

About the Tauber Institute for Global Operations

The Tauber Institute for Global Operations is a joint venture between the Michigan Ross School of Business and Michigan Engineering, working together with industry partners to facilitate cross-disciplinary education in global operations management. In addition to a broad array of core and elective courses, Tauber Institute’s 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 by addressing substantive operations challenges at top global firms.

Learn more at tauber.umich.edu.