Fostering Tomorrow's Supply Chain Leaders

By Stephanie Crowe,
Fostering Tomorrow's Supply Chain Leaders

Given the dynamic complexities of today’s omnichannel environments, businesses need the supply chain tools and resources to respond to the market effectively and quickly. Manhattan Associates is helping to build the supply chain leaders of tomorrow through its work with communities and universities, delivering on the company’s mission of developing superior technology solutions that deliver results for its customers. 

Manhattan’s support of the MIT Supply Chain Masters Program at the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics through its slotting optimization challenge is a great example. Manhattan solves the toughest problems within the supply chain industry, and getting the next generation of the workforce interested and knowledgeable about the industry is a great way to enhance the workforce intellect and move the entire industry forward.

A majority of the courses in MIT’s program are focused on reading and exams, and a valuable supplement to its program is real-life experiences. The one-day program taught by experts within Manhattan Associates looks at the difference between manual slotting (using Excel spreadsheets) and slotting optimization software. Students are given a real problem, such as sorting end-of-season changes for a sports equipment provider who has to account for supporting all teams in a tournament, followed by the 16 that make it to the next round, followed by four in the semifinals and eventually one champion team. 

How can a warehouse respond and be ready to fulfill orders?

  • Where does the person pull the items in the warehouse?
  • Where are they placed? 
  • How heavy is it? 
  • Is the item expensive or cheap? 

All these variables create a highly complex math problem that students have to first solve using pen and paper. Then, the students leverage Manhattan’s Slotting Optimization software, which demonstrates the increased efficiency of using advanced automated intelligence technology in important supply chain tasks. It also reinforces how efficient slotting tasks are connected to a company’s overall business objective of driving revenue. 

According to Stephanie Crowe, senior director of global learning and development at Manhattan Associates, "This is the third year we’ve used a challenge of this kind with students at MIT. This year, we spoke to 130 very gifted masters-level students to highlight how technology and advanced mathematics can be used to solve business problems in ways that the students have never imagined. The gamification process also keeps the students engaged. We’re honored and proud to help educate students on how they can make an impact."

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