Stella Bi

MSCM '13

Global Commodity Manager

BorgWarner Inc.


Q:  Why did you choose the University of Michigan and the Tauber Institute for Global Operations?

A: I had 10 years of working experience in logistics and wanted a program to enhance my capability by supplementing my fundamental knowledge in supply chain. Tauber’s down-to-earth team projects in the real business world attracted me very much. I actually turned down an MIT offer for this Tauber opportunity. And I was very happy that I made a great choice.

Q: How did your experience at Tauber impact your career? 

A: My Tauber team project was with one of the BorgWarner BUs in Germany. It provided me not just very great global exposure, but it also gave me great practical experience in a real plant. This experience of looking at the supply chain from the manufacturer side changed my perspective and broadened my views on how supply chain works as a whole. When I thought back on some debates I had with my previous customers, I started to appreciate those decisions and constraints better. And, I also got to know my employer well and finally got a chance to work for BorgWarner in a global supply chain role now.

Q:  What is the scope of your responsibility at BorgWarner Morse Systems?

 A:  My responsibilities in my current role as Global Commodity Manager are to lead the development, execution, and maintenance of Global Strategic Commodity Business Plans. I also am responsible for delivering budgeted/forecasted Cost Reductions, maximizing the leverage of global strengths, and tracking of Supplier Performance including Quality, Delivery and Cost by the assigned specific products and commodities. After earning my Master of Supply Chain Management at Ross, and achieving status as a Tauber fellow, I’m seeking a broader view in supply chain management. Thus, strategic sourcing management is a significant area that I’m interested in developing. This experience could support me to become a more complete expert in supply chain.  

Q: What is your management style or philosophy?

A:  I would like to say I do believe continuous improvement is always possible. So I would never easily give up even if life had roadblocks sometimes. I just want to put in more effort to improve the processes or systems, collaborate more with functional experts so as to get the issues solved. I feel very excited when issues are eventually solved and goals are met with my continuous persistence.

Q:  What is the biggest challenge your company is currently facing? 

A: This would be my own view and I’m still new in this organization, but I would say the biggest challenge is to be more effective and efficient in all operational areas, not limited to product leadership and quality (areas which BorgWarner is leading in the market), but also including lean operations, supply chain, and financial optimizations which have become more and more significant in the auto industry in recent years.

Q: What do you do when you are not working?

A:  I became a vegetarian a few years ago, so I spend time researching and trying to cook different veggie foods. I also like to read novels and watch movies. I spend lots of time touring the world as well. By now, I have been to more than 20 different countries across 4 continents. It’s a very great life experience, seeing different people, trying different foods, and learning different histories and cultures.