Marshall holds summit on supply chain management

Business leaders of Fortune 100 and Fortune 1000 companies convened in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center Friday to network and discuss industry practices during the third annual Global Supply Chain Excellence Summit hosted by the Marshall Center for Global Supply Chain Management.

Nick Vyas, director of the Center for Global Supply Chain Management, said that this event was the summation of his vision for what he wanted to accomplish when he initially created the center.

“When I cofounded the Center for Excellence at the Marshall School of Business [of which the Center for Global Supply Chain Management is a subsidiary], the goal was to have multi-pronged strategy to engage industry with our school, give students the opportunity to engage with industry, as well as create the brand awareness in the global supply chain community by creating this research and network opportunity,” Vyas said.

The event featured many concurrently running lectures held around the Campus Center that featured both members of Fortune 500 companies and USC staff as speakers and panelists. Panels covered a wide variety of topics such as the future of digital distribution, healthcare, manufacturing and technological innovations. Chris Kearns, vice president of key account management and sales  for Taylored Services, was particularly impressed by the diversity of the panels.

“[The panels have been] very diverse. It’s been hard to choose which forum to attend. So the diversity has been very well done, and it’s been a good opportunity to attend and have the type of choice that’s been presented at the summit,” Kearns said. “There’s a lot of great speakers, and it’s been something that’s just been educational for me and for us as a company.”

Blair Thoman, a sophomore and student volunteer studying arts, technology and the business of innovation, thought that the event was beneficial for the students in attendance.

“It’s really geared toward our students, both MBA’s and master’s of global supply chain management, and I think the really great thing about it is that it offers them face time with some really prominent people who have found success in the fields these students are interested in,” Blair said. “It’s a really great way to show the real world application of what they’re learning, as well as connecting them with people who could be really beneficial in furthering their careers later on.”

The event was primarily staffed and organized by student volunteers as well as corporate sponsors including Destination Luxury.

Chirag Sagar, COO of Destination Luxury, said his firm helped with preparation for the summit.

“We were hired by USC through the Global Supply Chain team to help coordinate their VIP reception and help them put together the event today. So we did a lot of their event planning,” Sagar said.

Sagar said he enjoyed being back at USC to network at the event.

“I went to USC, I’m a former Trojan, and I’m a big fan of operations. So for me it was meeting people, it was networking, and there are a lot of business development opportunities here.”

The level of volunteer support USC students provided was another aspect that impressed Kearns.

“The summit has been put together fantastically, and just looking at the type of volunteer support by the students at USC has been impressive as well,” Kearns said. “So it’s been pulled together in a very collaborative way and it’s been interesting to see that as well.”

Ryan Zhang, an MBA student graduating in 2016, felt that networking at the event was very beneficial for him as well as his classmates.

“It’s an amazing conference,” Zhang said. “Lots of professionals are gathering here from different cultural backgrounds, different industry backgrounds. It’s really amazing. My classmates that are here have already learned a lot from the professionals.”