IBM and Michigan State's Broad School Form Center for on Demand Supply Chain Research

Lab to Use an Interconnected Grid of Research and Teaching Centers

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EAST LANSING, MI & ARMONK, NY - 26 Feb 2003: Michigan State Eli Broad College of Business and IBM today announced they will establish a center for joint research and study of advanced supply chain practices at MSU's Broad School, one of the world's top schools for supply chain management and logistics.

Through a Shared University Research (SUR) award from IBM -- consisting of IBM software, eServer and storage technologies -- the Broad School and IBM are creating The Center for On Demand Supply Chain Research, a laboratory that will serve as an environment for modeling and analysis of an on demand supply chain. Broad School graduate students and faculty will use the laboratory to study, simulate and test the key relationships in an end-to-end supply chain, focusing on the dynamic flow of information and the resulting interdependencies between them. Their work is expected to help IBM and other companies build dynamic supply chains that can sense and rapidly respond to changing customer demands and market conditions.

Supply chain management has become an area of critical importance to IBM, as the company works to transform itself into the world's premier on demand enterprise. The need for an on demand supply chain has been in large part driven by customers' desire to buy technology solutions consisting of hardware, software and services rather than just piece parts. In 2002, improvements in supply chain management reduced IBM's cost and expense by about $5.3 billion. At the same time, IBM was able to improve efficiency and responsiveness in key areas such as hardware quality, manufacturing time, on-time delivery and customer billing.

"To become the world's premier on demand business, we have to make our supply chain more flexible and efficient to cope with supply uncertainties, more dynamic to be able to adjust our production and inventory levels on the fly, and more variable and resilient by extending our operations across a network of alliances," said Bob Moffat, senior vice president, Integrated Supply Chain, IBM. "By working with the Broad School and the resources of the new center, we will be able to actually simulate and test new processes in a controlled environment, gaining valuable insight about what works before we put them into practice."

After establishing the Center for On Demand Supply Chain Research with the Broad School, IBM plans to link the lab, via an advanced computing Grid, with other leading partner universities specializing in supply chain management. When operational, the Grid of interconnected laboratories -- which would be the first Grid computing research project in supply chain management that IBM has undertaken in cooperation with academia -- would allow these universities to collaborate and conduct joint applied research and teaching across a group of interconnected laboratories.

"We are proud that IBM has recognized the Broad School's expertise in supply chain management," said Robert B. Duncan, the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Dean. "Corporate partnerships such as this offer our faculty unique opportunities for generating leading-edge knowledge and helps our students become better prepared to be strategic change leaders in their future roles."

The Center for On Demand Supply Chain Research also will be supported by IBM software technologies, including Websphere and AIX, which are made available to MSU faculty and researchers via the IBM Scholars program. Information about the Scholars program is available at:

The Eli Broad College of Business/The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management at Michigan State University is consistently among the top-ranked business schools in the country, with more than 6,000 students currently enrolled in undergraduate, MBA, masters, doctoral and executive development programs. The Broad School's mission is to create leading-edge, useable knowledge to develop the competencies of the strategic change leader for the global, multicultural marketplace.

IBM's Shared University Research (SUR) program awards computing equipment (servers, storage systems, personal computing products, etc.) to colleges, universities and institutions of higher education around the world to facilitate research projects in areas of mutual interest, including: Life Sciences, Grid Computing, Autonomic Computing and Deep Computing. The SUR awards also support the advancement of university projects by connecting top researchers in academia with IBM Research personnel, along with representatives from product development and solution provider communities. IBM gives approximately 50-60 SUR awards per year worldwide.

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