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A distinctive feature of the Ross MSCM Program is the integration of the paid summer project into the curriculum. The Tauber Institute for Global Operations plays a key role in this initiative, working with corporate partners to develop consulting-level projects that help you develop expertise in supply chain management.

Each MSCM student will be part of a team executing a 14-week in-company assignment. Students generally are paired with candidates in the school's Full-time MBA Program and the U-M College of Engineering. This interdisciplinary collaboration allows students to tap diverse skill sets as they tackle genuine operations issues in real time. Faculty advisers support student teams as they undertake everything from strategic analysis and distribution challenges to supply chain audits and design issues.

Throughout Winter Term, students prepare for the assignment in order to arrive at the consulting site as a cohesive team. During the summer, each team leaves the classroom to work on site at the respective sponsor’s location. Upon project completion, all teams deliver their analyses and recommendations to the corporate sponsor. Past experience shows that firms often implement student plans to tremendous operational benefit and cost savings.

Back on campus, student teams finish out the experience by competing in the annual Spotlight! competition, sponsored by the Tauber Institute. Each team presents its summer project results to an audience of corporate representatives, students, alumni, and faculty. Industry judges evaluate projects on the basis of scope, implementation, impact, overall presentation skills, and other criteria to determine the winners. Winning teams receive stipends to offset tuition.

This distinctive element of the MSCM Program allows Ross students to develop a holistic understanding of supply chain management while demonstrating their skills on the job and establishing relationships with potential employers.

MSCM students in the Class of 2012 accepted summer projects at:

  • Amway (Ada, MI)
  • BASF (Wyandotte, MI)
  • BorgWarner (Ithaca, NY - Italy, France, Germany)
  • Cardinal Health (Waukegan, IL)
  • Chrysler (Auburn Hills, MI)
  • ConAgra (Omaha, NE)
  • Cooper (Atlanta, GA)
  • Ford (Dearborn, MI)
  • General Motors (Kaiserslautern, Germany)
  • General Motors (Russelsheim, Germany)
  • Grainger (Lake Forest, IL)
  • Great Giant Pineapple Company (Lampung, Indonesia)
  • Masco (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • OfficeMax (Chicago, IL)
  • Whirlpool (Tulsa, OK)

Click here for a complete listing of the 2012 summer projects and executive summaries of the project content/deliverables.

Examples of past projects include:

  • Ametek Inc. – San Diego, Calif. The Tauber team performed a make-versus-buy analysis and compared different sourcing options to position Ametek to leverage a significant cost-saving opportunity. Students built a cost model and identified the true cost for sourcing and manufacturing the product. Then they evaluated suppliers based on factors such as cost and supply chain risk. The team also recommended and initiated Ametek’s transition to a new supply chain configuration and developed a risk mitigation and implementation plan.
  • Aramex International – Amman, Jordan Aramex needed a concise, effective set of key performance indicators (KPIs) to provide instant, easy visibility into the current state of its operational processes. Tauber students proposed a new set of KPIs for operational processes and customer relationship management, performed a gap analysis against existing KPIs and industry benchmarks, and recommended criteria for a dashboard implementation. Additionally, using value stream mapping, students presented an implementation plan for efficiency improvement in ground operations.
  • Hallmark Cards Inc. – Kansas City, Mo. Hallmark tasked its Tauber team with developing strategies to achieve a lean supply chain. The goal was to reduce lead time, inventory levels, discards, and total cost while increasing revenue potential and inventory turns. The team’s recommendations included ordering for demand during lead time, reducing make-ready costs, creating cells in pre-production, and reducing estimated spoilage. The team also suggested new metrics of supply chain cycle time, total supply chain cost, order variance, and stock-outs.
  • Intel Corp. – Chandler, Ariz. Intel’s team of Tauber students incorporated the company’s existing metrics for responsiveness, reliability, and cost into an agility measurement capable of operating at the product level. This gives Intel a holistic assessment of past supply chain performance as well as an interpretive tool to evaluate future scenarios. Intel will use the tool to evaluate the tradeoffs among cycle time reductions, strategic inventory positioning, and customer service levels to improve its supply chains.
  • Ryder System Inc. – Novi, Mich. Tauber students studied current inventory analysis capabilities at Ryder, met with internal experts to understand their vision of a new service, and interviewed existing Ryder clients to understand their needs. Based on these studies, the team designed an inventory analysis tool for inbound components at a warehouse or plant. They also developed a market entry strategy for the service that is expected to generate additional revenue from current accounts.
  • Steelcase Inc. – Grand Rapids, Mich. To help Steelcase drive lean principles through the extended value stream, the Tauber team evaluated options for improving flow and eliminating waste. The team focused on production schedule leveling, layout of distribution facilities, and options for product shipping. They made several recommendations and also created a decision tool for determining which products would be good candidates for partially assembled shipment to minimize the amount of shipped air.

Review detailed descriptions of 2009 summer projects

Review detailed descriptions of 2010 summer projects

Review detailed descriptions of 2011 summer projects




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  • Mike Duffy
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    of Global Manufacturing & Supply Chain

    Cardinal Health

    "The MSCM Program delivers candidates who learn to think and act like general managers. Having leaders with both supply chain expertise and strong business acumen is critical for us to deliver on our goals and strategies."

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  • Kevin Harrington
    VP of Global Business Operations

    Cisco Systems Inc.

    "By contributing to the Corporate Advisory Council, I get to know the MSCM students firsthand. It’s a great opportunity to watch students perform and develop, which greatly informs hiring decisions."

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  • Suresh Krishna
    VP of Global Operations and Integration

    Polaris Industries Inc.

    "Working with faculty and students on Tauber projects is a great way for me to tap some tremendous expertise and generate results in a very, very short period of time. That connection between industry and academia is a unique cornerstone of this program."

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  • Sanjay Ramaswamy
    Chief Information Officer, Supply Chain

    Johnson & Johnson

    "There’s an incredible openness on the part of the Ross faculty to invite industry leaders’ ideas about what is most relevant to the work we do. By shaping the curriculum, CAC members help make sure MSCM students hit the ground running."

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  • Samar Sarma
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    "As an alumnus, I feel the one-year format is perfect for the person who is sure about a career in supply chain management. You get into industry quickly and see a fast return on your investment. I enjoy sharing my perspective as a member of the CAC."

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