Supply Chain Leadership

October 23, 2017 | 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
& October 24, 2017 | 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Lehigh University


Program Overview

Common senior leadership-driven objectives of 98% on-time customer service, 95% capacity utilization, and 10 days of inventory are not only challenging, they may be infeasible for the organization to achieve given the characteristics of the manufacturing and distribution systems. If not addressed, this infeasibility leads to constant internal bickering and the squandering of time and resources. Further, it distracts the organization’s attention away from satisfying customer requirements and staying ahead of its competition.

Supply chains are complex; no single solution exists to resolve all issues that arise. This seminar contains no fads, no silver bullets, no three letter acronyms, and no wishful thinking. Diagnosing supply chain problems, quantifying improvement opportunities, and leading improvement initiatives requires difficult data analysis, tough choices, and hard work. The purpose of this seminar is to simplify the complicated, and explore different approaches for improving business performance.


It is difficult to visualize and understand how supply chains work and evolve over time. It is even more difficult to understand how incentives and decisions in one functional area of a supply chain affect and constrain alternative areas at different moments in time.

To demonstrate these complex relationships we use a case-based, supply chain computer simulation that gives you and your colleagues the opportunity to practice your supply chain analysis and decision-making capabilities. You will manage production, distribution, and sourcing decisions while attempting to achieve stated financial objectives.

You can try out your approaches to forecasting, safety stock calculations, lot sizing, regional distribution strategies, transportation policies, production capacity policies, production scheduling, sourcing strategies, and information system strategies, and see how well they work and result in customer on time delivery, inventories, and overall financial performance.

Just as pilots use flight simulators to develop skills and maintain proficiency, the supply chain simulation gives you the opportunity to apply your ideas, see how others make different decisions, and how your decisions play out in a fun, risk-free environment.

Program Outline

Day One - Foundation

  • Establish essential principles of effective supply chain design, management, and operation
  • Define customer requirements operationally
  • Understand the impact of current business process, decision process, and information flows on operations
  • Identify flawed business and informational processes

Day Two - Trade-offs and System Capability

  • Quantify the customer service, capacity investment, and inventory trade-off
  • Blend make-to-stock and make-to-order strategies
  • Develop an information strategy that supports operations
  • Customize and apply lean production principles to your environment
  • Improve deficient physical processes

Who Attends

  • Senior business leaders that want a broad foundation in how to think about a business as a system
  • Business directors seeking to develop and implement a cross functional Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) process
  • Materials management professionals and planning organizations that want to learn industry best practices
  • Senior managers that need novel approaches to solving pressing supply chain problems
  • Management and information system professionals that are implementing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems
  • Leaders interested in reducing working capital while adhering to customer service objectives

Impact & Benefits

  • Integrate supply chain strategy, planning, and execution
  • Diagnose the root causes of poor supply chain performance
  • Quantify the devastating effects of uncertainty on supply chain performance
  • Develop methods for identifying organizational structure and performance metric disconnects


J. Rappold

P. Rodriguez