Archived News & Awards for the Supply Chain and Information Systems Department at Penn State University (2011)

Smeal Supply Chain MBA Students Win Competition

A team of MBA students from the Penn State Smeal College of Business won the 2011 Sam M. Walton College of Business International Graduate Logistics Case Competition, held Oct. 28-29 at Sam's Club headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. The Smeal team of Jason Jones, Mehul Pathak, Jennifer Ruelens, Rashmi Sharma, Allison Shauger, and Erlend Weggers beat out teams from nine other leading American and European business schools.

The teams received the case at 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 28 and had just 24 hours to formulate their solution and prepare their presentations. The case involved a collaboration between a retailer and a consumer goods producer in which the retailer wasn't receiving the consumer goods fast enough to keep its shelves full. The teams were challenged to analyze the supply chain and recommend improvements to meet the inventory demands of the retail outlet. To prepare for the contest, the day before the competition the teams visited a Walmart store, a Walmart distribution center, and the regional offices of Unilever. They spent at least two hours at each destination, meeting the store's and distribution center's management teams as well as supply chain and marketing managers at Unilever.

During the first round, the Smeal team was grouped with the University of Arkansas, Texas Christian University and the competition's two-time defending champions from Darmstadt University of Technology in Germany. In the final round, they beat out teams from the University of Maryland and Brigham Young University. Teams from Iowa State University, the University of Minnesota, Rutgers University, and Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden also competed.

"In the finals, our team was outstanding," said Alan Stenger, professor emeritus of supply chain management and the team's faculty adviser. "Not only did they have a good solution to the case, but their presentation skills were impeccable. One of the judges for the finals told me later, 'Your team owned that platform.'" Besides their presentation skills, which they honed in the Penn State Smeal MBA Program's acclaimed communications courses, the team also credited their organizational abilities. During the brief 24 hours they had to research, write and practice their presentation, the Smeal team managed to spare about five hours to get some rest. Above all, though, it was their case analysis that won them the competition. "We took a comprehensive approach to address the issues at hand," said Pathak. "Our solution wasn't just a recommendation, but a well-structured implementation plan, complete with alternative analysis and risk and mitigation components."

In addition to bringing a trophy back to Smeal's Business Building, the team members will split the first place prize of $3,000.

Vidya Mani’s Paper Selected as Competition Finalist

A paper entitled “The relationship between abnormal inventory growth and future earnings for U.S. public retailers” by Vidya Mani and Saravanan Kesavan (UNC Kenan Flagler Business School) received second place out of eight finalists and 42 submissions in the INFORMS Junior Faculty Interest Group Paper Competition. The submissions were reviewed and scored by anonymous judges based on the importance of the topic, appropriateness of the research approach, and the significance of research contribution.

The finalists presented their submissions in the annual INFORMS conference in Charlotte on Sunday, November 13.

Daniel Guide Named Co-Editor-in-Chief of Leading Journal

Daniel Guide, professor of operations and supply chain management and Binder Faculty Fellow at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, has been named co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Operations Management. He will share editor-in-chief duties with Thomas Choi of Arizona State University. The Journal of Operations Management, published by Elsevier, is one of the leading journals in operations and supply chain management. It publishes original empirical research that will have a significant impact on theory and practice. As co-editors-in chief, Choi and Guide will serve as the journal’s principal reviewers, determining the content of each issue. They will focus their efforts on continuing to increase the journal’s quality while growing the scope of its audience. Guide has served on the Journal of Operations Management editorial review board since 1999 and was named the journal’s best reviewer in 2007.

At Smeal, his research focuses on sustainable operations, including the development and control of closed-loop supply chains, time-based models for commercial product returns, remanufacturing, and producer responsibility legislation. His research has been supported by grants from the Carnegie Bosch Institute and the National Science Foundation. Guide has served as a visiting research fellow at INSEAD and as a consultant on closed-loop supply chain problems to several global organizations, including Xerox, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Pitney Bowes, Robert Bosch Tools, and the U.S. Navy. He joined the Smeal faculty in 2002. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Clemson University and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

Smeal Student Society Honors Ed Reutzel

The Smeal Student Society has honored Ed Reutzel by choosing him to be in the Smeal Student Society Spotlight. Stop by the Atrium to see the poster about Ed.

Deborah Lentz Featured in CSCMP Supply Chain Quarterly

The last issue of CSCMP Supply Chain Quarterly includes a column on opportunities for women in the field of supply chain management. The article highlights Deborah Lentz (PSU, Business Logistics 83) and follows her career at Kraft Foods from 1983 to her current position of senior vice president, customer service and logistics for Kraft Foods North America. 

SC&IS Programs Earn Top Marks from Industry

The Penn State Smeal College of Business undergraduate and graduate programs in supply chain management are No.1 in the country, according to a new report from Gartner. The technology research firm asked more than 400 supply chain practitioners and academics to rate U.S. supply chain education providers based on industry value (40 percent), program size (20 percent), and program scope (40 percent). Respondents were asked to assess how well familiar providers meet the changing needs of supply chain professionals and how efficiently research and innovations reach the student population. Gartner also factored in information provided by the schools regarding enrollment numbers, programs, and faculty size.

"The Smeal supply chain faculty's leading-edge research combined with our industry partnerships allow us to keep our classrooms reflective of the latest trends and developments in the supply chain industry," said James B. Thomas, the John and Becky Surma Dean of Smeal. "It's nice to be recognized for these efforts by our peers and the industry leaders surveyed by Gartner."

The Gartner study is a continuation of the 2009 ranking of supply chain education providers published by AMR Research, which was acquired by Gartner that same year. Smeal was ranked No. 1 in the 2009 results as well. In this year's report, the firm published separate lists of the top 25 colleges and universities in graduate and undergraduate education. Smeal topped them both. The university rankings are part of Gartner's larger research project identifying skill and talent gaps in the supply chain industry. The results were unveiled at the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference this month in Scottsdale, Ariz., and a more complete report from Gartner is forthcoming.

“The Chief Supply Chain Officer Report 2011” also identified Smeal’s SC&IS program as one of the best hunting grounds for supply chain talent. The report by Hau Lee (Stanford University) and Kevin O’Mara (Gartner) in SCM World was based on a survey of more than 750 global supply chain executives.

Smeal offers supply chain programs at every educational level. For undergraduates, the college offers a bachelor's degree in Supply Chain and Information Systems. At the graduate level, the Smeal MBA Program offers a concentration in supply chain management and, together with Penn State World Campus, Smeal offers an online, 30-credit professional master's program in supply chain management. The college also offers a Ph.D. in supply chain, and Smeal's Center for Supply Chain Research and Penn State Executive Programs offer three certificate programs in supply chain management. For more on Smeal's supply chain offerings, visit http://www.smeal.psu.edu/scis and http://www.smeal.psu.edu/cscr/edop.


SC&IS Faculty Receive Recognition

Christopher Craighead’s article “The severity of supply chain disruptions: design characteristics and mitigation capabilities” (Decision Sciences, 2007) has won one of the prestigious Emerald Citations of Excellence Awards. It has been chosen as one of the top 50 articles from the top 300 management publications worldwide that have had proven impact since their publication date (2007 in this case to allow for citation impact to be accurately measured).

Brent Moritz’s research titled “Cognition and Heterogeneity in SCP - A Study of Inventory Decision Making” was selected as one of the top 3 dissertations and earned “Honorable Mention” by the 2011 CSCMP Doctoral dissertation committee. Entries this year came from six different countries, and covered varied topics from sustainability, humanitarian issues, SC relationships, and definition of SC construct.

Doctoral Students Land Faculty Positions at Leading Research Universities

Andrew Davis accepted a position at the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. Starting July 1, 2011, Andrew will be the Suk Y. Cha '84 MBA Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow and Assistant Professor of Operations Management at the Johnson School. Andrew uses an experimental methodology in his research to study how human behavior impacts supply chains. His areas of expertise include supply chain contracting and procurement auctions. Andrew will complete his PhD during the summer of 2011.

Justin Jia will take the position of Assistant Professor in Operations Management in the Krannert Graduate School of Management at Purdue University in August 2011. Justin is finishing his Ph.D. in Supply Chain and Information Systems at Penn State. He conducts research primarily on auction models and applications, supply chain procurement designs, and stochastic inventory models. Justin will complete his PhD by spring 2012.

2011 R. Hadly Waters Supply Chain Symposium

The 21st Annual R. Hadly Waters Supply Chain Symposium, Leveraging Logistics for Customer Value, was held on April 21, 2011, at the Penn State Conference Center Hotel, University Park, PA, with approximately 150 supply chain professionals in attendance.
This year the keynote address was given by Mary Leonard, the chief performance officer of Coinstar, owner of Redbox. Her presentation focused on how Redbox services thousands of video kiosks around the country to make sure consumers have the latest videos to rent. The presentation focused not only on the complex supply chain that is necessary to accomplish this but also on how logistics manages the forward and reverse flows of videos to achieve consumer satisfaction and retention. Leonard’s presentation was exciting and certainly set the tone for the concurrent sessions that followed during the day.
The luncheon keynote address was given by Pamela Erb, the vice president of supply chain for Wegmans. Her presentation focused on how Wegmans uses its cold supply chain to deliver freshness in all of its temperature controlled products. Since Wegmans trademark in the grocery industry is freshness, Erb was able to highlight how the logistics operation at Wegmans provides a competitive advantage in the market by creating value for the consumer.
This year the 2011 Pashek Award for Supply Chain Excellence was presented to Sharon Piciacchio, the vice president of Chlor-Alkali Marketing, Services and Cal Hypo, and the global supply chains for PPG Industries. Piciacchio is a graduate of the Penn State logistics program and epitomizes the essence of the award – logistics professionals who have made significant contributions to the practice and development of the logistics discipline.
Mark your calendar for the 22nd Annual Waters Symposium to be held on April 19, 2012, at The Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel, University Park Pennsylvania.

SC&IS Welcomes New Faculty Members

Veronica Villena, Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management, graduated in May 2011 with a Ph.D. in Business Management with a major in Operations Management and a Minor in Organizational Behavior from the IE Business School in Spain. She was a visiting doctoral student this past year at the W. P. Carey School of Business and CAPS Research, Arizona State University. Dr. Villena’s research interests include investigating supply networks, open innovation, and sustainable supply chains. Her paper (with Fabrizio Salvador, IE) titled "Mitigating Supplier Integration's Challenges in NPD: The role of Modular Design Competence" was selected as one of the best papers for presentation at the Academy of Management meeting in San Antonio in August 2010.

Vidya Mani, Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management, graduated in May 2011 with a Ph.D. in Operations, Technology, and Innovation Management from the University of North Caroline, Chapel Hill. Dr. Mani’s research interests include retail operations in Supply Chain Management. Her previous work experience includes understanding the current supply chain of customers and interfacing manufacturing, resource planning and revenue management modules with Oracle projects at Oracle India Pvt. Ltd.

Art Jones, Lecturer in Management Information Systems, completed his Ph.D. in Information Sciences and Technology from Penn State in 2010. He has previously taught courses as an adjunct instructor for the SC&IS Department in Management Information Systems as well as for the College of Information Sciences and Technology. He also served as Senior e-Business and Information Technology Specialist/Project Manager for the Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program (PennTAP).

Zan Huang Promoted to Associate Professor

Congratulations to Zan Huang upon promotion to Associate Professor with tenure.

Christopher Craighead Selected as ISM Senior Fellow

Congratulations to Christopher Craighead on being selected as an Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Phase 3 (Senior) Fellow it its new Academic Research Support Program. The goal of this program is to increase academic leadership within the supply management profession. The Program is designed to acknowledge and support dedicated researchers that center their efforts on significant procurement, sourcing, and supply management issues. Christopher was chosen based on his teaching and research record, evidence of significant academic leadership, and evidence of significant contribution to the profession of supply management. The ISM research funds will support Christopher’s research on “Building Global Supply Resiliency to Natural Disasters.”

Doug Thomas Selected to Serve as MBA Faculty Director

Congratulations to Doug Thomas on being selected to serve as Faculty Director of the Smeal MBA program. Doug will focus his efforts on the academic side of the program, working with faculty members, alumni and student leaders to maintain and continuously improve the MBA program’s curriculum. He will be the chief liaison to the program’s faculty for implementation of new initiatives and enhancements. He will lead the execution of the Smeal Honor Code in the MBA program and counsel students on integrity and other academic issues. He will direct the program’s course scheduling and manage the accreditation process.
Doug has served on the Smeal faculty since 1999, after earning his Ph.D. in industrial engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has taught supply chain at the undergraduate, graduate and executive levels, and he currently teaches elective courses in the Smeal MBA Program, where he has received several MBA Excellence in Teaching awards. His research interests lie in inventory management, production planning and coordination, and sales and operations planning. In addition to his Ph.D., he also holds a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech and a bachelor’s degree in operations research and industrial engineering from Cornell University.

Supply Chain Class Featured in Journal of Commerce

The Supply Chain Program at the State College Area High School has been featured in the Journal of Commerce. The program was designed by Sarah Griffith, a teacher at State High, and Bob Novack, associate professor of supply chain and information systems. Currently, more than 40 students are engaged in the program. 

Students Compete in Boeing Competition

The fourth annual Boeing Case Competition took place this spring with Theresa Piazza, Courtney Powell, Ashley Weller, and Paul Lerew taking first place. This competition provides Supply Chain and other business students an opportunity to apply classroom instruction to real world problems. Groups of four students, typically three supply chain and one finance or accounting student, use their knowledge of LEAN concepts to determine an optimal solution to a Boeing problem. Students have Boeing mentors to contact and answer any questions. Senior Boeing executives judge the 15 minute presentations and then drill the teams with a variety of questions. Seven teams competed to win $2,000 in prize money provided by Boeing. The kickoff dinner and presentation dinner hosted by Boeing in the Business Building added to the professional experiences for these students.

MIS Students Attend Conference

Four MIS students took part in the Association of Information Technology Professionals National Collegiate Conference in March in Orlando, Florida. The students who attended the conference were Alex Bram, Tien Nguyen, Chris McHattie, and Katie Becker. During the conference the students participated in many contests such as Microsoft Office Solutions, Database Design, and Systems Analysis and Design. From this conference, the students were able to link what they learned in the classroom and apply it to a case that they received during the competition. The students concluded it was a very valuable conference as they were able to interact with other schools and share their ideas regarding the Information Technology field. The MISA club hopes to be able to send some students next year to the 2012 conference in San Antonio, Texas.

SC&IS Faculty Earn MBA Teaching Awards

Congratulations to John Jordan and Doug Thomas on being chosen for MBA teaching awards. The MBA teaching award program had a new format this year: two winners were chosen from professors of 1st and 2nd-year students in four categories: most interesting, most challenging, most entertaining, and best. Doug Thomas shared most entertaining for 2nd-year students, and John Jordan shared best for 2nd-year students.

SAP Student Interest Group Members Looking for Input from Alums

The SAP Student Interest Group is looking for alumni in industry to help build up their alumni network. The Group is especially looking for alumni to come back to Penn State for information sessions or host tours at their facilities (preferably companies using SAP or other ERP systems).

Dan Guide to Serve as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Operations Management

Dan Guide has been selected as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Operations Management. His term begins on July 1, along with Thom Choi (ASU). The Journal of Operations Management is a premier peer-reviewed journal which has the highest five-year impact rating among the SC&IS Department’s A journals. Dan is one of the leaders in the area of green and sustainable operations.

Paul Avampato Receives Smeal Undergraduate Distinguished Achievement Award

Congratulations to Paul M. Avampato (1982, Business Logistics), Vice President Process Design / Kraft Foods, on receiving the Smeal Undergraduate Distinguished Achievement Award. Paul has been active with the Department of Business Logistics and the Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems since his days at Nabisco (since acquired by Kraft). He was also a leader in developing and managing internship and full time recruiting of Business Logistics and, now, Supply Chain majors for employment at both Nabisco and Kraft. Paul has spoken several times at our Hadly Waters Supply Chain Symposium. Paul is also a speaker in our Supply Chain Executive programs. Paul was honored at the Smeal Alumni Society Board Awards Program and Hammond Society Recognition Dinner on April 1, 2011, at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Susan Xu Wins Best Published Paper Award

A paper co-authored by Susan Xu, professor of management science and supply chain management at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, was recently chosen for the Wickham Skinner Award for the best published paper in Production and Operations Management in 2010.

The award honors “Dynamic Assignment of Flexible Service Resources,” co-authored by Xu, Yalcin Akcay of Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey and Anant Balakrishnan of the University of Texas at Austin. The authors will receive the award at a ceremony in Reno, Nevada next month.

Their paper generalizes a classic problem in operations concerned with the optimal commitment of dedicated and flexible resources to orders that arrive sequentially at a service facility over time. They focus on the workplace training industry as a motivating application, providing both an important contextual anchor for their analysis as well as developing important managerial insights and usable rules for this industry.

Xu joined the Smeal faculty in 1987 and currently serves as director of the Ph.D. programs. She held visiting positions at several universities including Chinese University of Hong Kong, Georgetown University, the University of California at Berkeley, and the National University of Singapore, among others.

She received a master’s degree and Ph.D. in operations research and statistics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.

Marilyn Blanco Recognized at Luncheon

Marilyn Blanco was recognized at a First Year Experience Faculty Appreciation Luncheon for having a positive impact on first-year students as they make their transition from high school to university life. Faculty that are recognized are chosen by first-year students.

Bob Novack Awarded Paiste Learning and Teaching Fellowship

Bob Novack has been awarded the Paiste Learning and Teaching Fellowship. This fellowship rewards past teaching performance and promotes future advancements in teaching and learning.

Daniel Guide Receives Research Fellowship

Daniel Guide, professor of operations and supply chain management at Smeal, has been named the Charles and Lillian Binder Faculty Fellow in Supply Chain and Information Systems. The Binder Fellowship is named for Charles Binder, who graduated from Penn State in 1912 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, and his wife, Lillian.
Guide has been on the Smeal faculty since 2002. His research explores ways to create industrial systems that are both environmentally and economically sustainable, particularly in the context of the design, management, and control of closed-loop supply chains. His research has been published in such journals as Management Science, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, and Harvard Business Review. Guide has served as a visiting research fellow at INSEAD and as a consultant on closed-loop supply chain problems to several global organizations, including Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Pitney Bowes, Robert Bosch Tools, and the U.S. Navy. He currently teaches undergraduate, graduate, and Ph.D. courses in manufacturing and service strategies, manufacturing systems production planning and control, and sustainable operations.

Penn State’s MIS Programs Ranked #2

According to a recent survey by The Wall Street Journal, Penn State ranks as the top institution in the country among recruiters from leading companies, nonprofits, and government agencies. Recruiters were asked to identify schools “whose bachelor degree graduates were the best-trained and educated, and best able to succeed once hired.” MIS was ranked second as part of the best composite score that included Accounting (5th), Finance (6th), Computer Science (7th), Engineering (9th), and Business/Economics (11th).