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Matthew Carson

Q&A with Matt Carson, MSCM '12

What made you decide to pursue an MSCM?

I had been working as director of supply chain at a hospital for quite some time and wanted to transition to a supply chain or operational role outside of health care. I had an MBA, but needed to develop new tools and skills. I didn't want to be in school for another two or three years, so the one-year program at Ross was a perfect fit. It's also a top business school, so I thought it would be a good place to build my professional network and meet recruiters from top companies. And it is.

Why did you choose Ross?

I liked that the focus was on operations and supply chain. I also liked how integrated the program is with the Tauber Institute. The experience of taking what you learn in the classroom and applying it to a real-world business problem can't be beat. Ross is unique in that regard.

What did you do during your Tauber summer project?

I paired up with another MSCM student to help Chrysler develop a supply chain risk management program. My classmate and I worked closely with Chrysler leadership to develop a methodology that could identify high-risk suppliers by considering factors such as location, margin impact, and complexity. We worked at a very high level, reporting directly to the vice president of supply chain and the vice president of purchasing. It was really challenging, but also a fantastic experience. We had to figure out the ins and outs of risk management and then determine how best to apply it to a company as large as Chrysler in a meaningful way. It really teaches you how to step up and be a leader.

How did your Ross MSCM experience change you?

Before, I was an expert in the health care supply field, but it's not a complex business model. My role was also more administrative. I wanted a deeper understanding of core operations and supply chain that could be applied to any industry or business. Ross did a very good job of preparing me for what I'm doing now. I'm in manufacturing, and we have a global supply chain. When my company makes a decision, I have the skill set now to quickly understand the global implications and offer value. The Ross MSCM gives you a solid tool kit you can apply to the most complex supply chain problem.

How are you using what you learned at Ross in your job?

I apply what I learned at Ross every day. The factory physics class has been invaluable in helping me determine how much inventory to carry and identifying opportunities for improvement within our factories worldwide. I am applying broad concepts like late customization to reduce complexity and I also work to align our global supply chain to meet customer needs. If the customer needs are variable, I know how to make the supply chain more responsive and agile. I have to deal with everything from detailed tactics to strategic vision, and feel the Ross MSCM prepared me well.