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Building Supply Chain Responsiveness through Flexibility

Module Details
Audience: Senior Executives
Duration: 4 hours
Location: Miami Herbert Business School, University of Miami


All organizations face risks simply by operating in an uncertain world. Growth brings added risk as a result of the increased uncertainties that come with new products, customers, geographies, or strategies. As companies are looking for opportunities globally and stretch their supply chains around the world, they are exposed to even greater risks in these longer and more complex supply chains.  Whether it is an issue caused by low-cost suppliers from developing countries, by rapidly-evolving demand in the global marketplace, or by ever-changing global economic conditions, companies need to improve how they deal with risks in complex supply chains in order to prosper in the face of turbulent change. Companies can cultivate such resilience by designing a responsive supply chain that can deal with the associated operational risks.

In this module, we will discuss various ways of achieving responsiveness through operational flexibility, ways beyond the common strategies that rely on redundancy (e.g., keeping excess inventory or capacity).  The first half of this seminar will explore operational flexibility in product design, process design and sourcing strategies. Specifically, we will discuss:

The second half of the seminar will be devoted to an experiential game, in which each group will implement the strategies discussed and manage a global supply chain for two models of mobile phones.

Activity: Playing the Global Supply Chain Management Simulation to understand how to create a cost-effective and flexible supply chain.


Sammi Tang

Professor Sammi Tang is a faculty member in the management department at Miami Herbert Business School. Her primary interest is in understanding various ways to plan for and respond to supply chain risks. She also studies socially responsible sourcing, outsourcing and procurement strategies, and information sharing in supply chain management. Her research has been published in top operations management and supply chain management journals such as Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, and Production and Operations Management.


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