2017 Dow Chemical Team Project


The Challenge:
Supply chain disruptions such as port strikes, natural disasters, and system outages are costly and cause a great deal of impact. These types of disruptions have been difficult to predict, leaving supply chains in a reactive operating mode with high latencies in response time. Dow wants to leverage real time monitoring, big-data analytics, and machine learning technology to increase the predictive and communicative power of their existing supply chain.

The Solution:
The Tauber team’s goal was to devise a digital transformation strategy for bringing together the right technology, automated work processes, and organizational structure to build the value proposition for employing a real time event management service. The team recommended the implementation of a supply chain control tower, a centralized, cross-modal platform, enabled with visibility and analytic capabilities to detect and manage events in real time. As per industry research, a control tower solution is expected to reduce the overall response time by 40%, thus enabling Dow to avoid the surge in freight cost associated with delayed and suboptimal shipments. To build implementation momentum, the Tauber team developed a roadmap for launching a control tower pilot which identified the minimum investment requirement. The roadmap included a resourcing plan, potential technology platforms for collaboration, and the control tower engagement model.

Read the 2017 Dow Chemical Team Project Executive Summary in the 2017 SPOTLIGHT! book.

Student Team:
Peter Callahan–Master of Business Administration
Prerna Dean–Master of Supply Chain Management

Project Sponsors:
Tom Ammerman–Global Supply Chain Director, Dow Automotive Systems
Mitch King–Supply Chain Director, Global Logistics and Supply Chain Improvement
Jeffrey Tazelaar–Global Leader, Supply Chain Innovation

Faculty Advisors:
Yan Huang–Ross School of Business
Siqian Shen–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 Dow Chemical team