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November 18, 2019 7:51 AM

Supply chain research centre celebrates second anniversary

A celebration held at the John W. Tibbits campus in Waterloo on November 7 recognized the second anniversary of Conestoga’s Magna Centre for Supply Chain Excellence (MCSCE). The event attracted representatives from the manufacturing, logistics, transportation and warehousing, food service and education sectors as well as members of local and provincial government.

“On October 1, 2017, the Magna Centre for Supply Chain Excellence was launched thanks to a generous donation from Magna International. For the past two years the MCSCE has focused on laying a strong foundation by taking action toward four strategic initiatives,” explained Brian Watson, MCSCE director, as he welcomed guests.

The centre works with government and industry partners to address Canada's productivity challenge and the urgent need for skilled supply chain specialists to meet current and emerging business needs. It focuses on addressing the shortage of skilled supply chain specialists; closing the supply chain system thinking knowledge gap; applied research, knowledge creation and innovation; and collaboration and knowledge dissemination.

Watson shared an overview of MCSCE activities and achievements from the last two years and highlighted the overwhelming success of the Value Stream Mapping capstone course. In the course, students learn to create, develop, and recommend an improvement plan for a real-world organization using modern value stream mapping analysis tools and lean techniques. The practical solutions developed by students help organizations deliver increased customer value, improved productivity and improved operational and financial performance.

According to Watson, students have completed 27 industry projects over the last four academic semesters that have resulted in a positive financial impact of more than $60 million. Another five projects are underway this semester and an additional 25 projects will be completed during the winter 2020 semester.

“You may be aware that our Supply Chain and Operations Management program enjoys a strong reputation in business and industry,” added Watson. “Our graduates are known for their ability to hit the ground running and deliver immediate value to their organizations.”

In addition to its applied research activities, other MCSCE initiatives include partnerships with Supply Chain Canada and the Canadian Institute of Traffic and Transportation to grant Conestoga supply chain program graduates improved advanced standing toward their professional designations.

MCSCE has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Automotive Industry Action Group to collaborate on education and applied research in the auto sector, and is also collaborating with Wayne State University (WSU) to develop articulation agreements for Conestoga supply chain graduates to complete auto sector-specific degrees at WSU.

In addition to holding a national supply chain educators summit at Conestoga next spring, Watson indicated MCSCE has also initiated a partnership between Conestoga, Wilfrid Laurier University and Supply Chain Canada to host the Canadian Supply Chain Student Case competition. The first competition will take place at the college on March 14, 2020.

Conestoga's supply chain management programs have a proven track record in developing skilled supply chain specialists. Program graduates are well-positioned to add value to firms that hire them, contributing to improved productivity, operational and financial performance.

Visit the Magna Centre for Supply Chain Excellence for more information.

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