IBM, Michigan State Form Center for Supply Chain Research

MSUÕs Broad School lab to use interconnected Grid of research and teaching centers

East Lansing, MI and Armonk, NY Ñ February 27, 2003 Ñ 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 Ñ consisting of IBM software, eServer and storage technologies Ñ 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. According to the university, Broad School graduate students and faculty will use the laboratory to study, simulate and test the 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 supply chains that can sense and respond to changing customer demands and market conditions.

According to IBM, supply chain management has become an area of critical importance to the company. The need for an on demand supply chain has been in large part driven by IBMÕs customersÕ 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 said it was able to improve efficiency and responsiveness in areas such as hardware quality, manufacturing time, on-time delivery and customer billing.

After establishing the Center for On Demand Supply Chain Research with the Broad School, IBM said it plans to link the lab, via a computing Grid, with other partner universities specializing in supply chain management. When operational, the Grid of interconnected laboratories Ñ which would be the first Grid computing research project in supply chain management that IBM has undertaken in cooperation with academia Ñ 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 Duncan, the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Dean. "Corporate partnerships such as this offer our faculty unique opportunities for generating 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.

According to the university, 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.

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