Located close to Silicon Valley—arguably the technology capital of the world—the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) is well known for developing leaders in the field of technology and for its tech investment. However, the GSB is not as well known for its investment in resources dedicated to the manufacturing sector, which include the Global Supply Chain Management Forum.
The Global Supply Chain Management Forum is a research institute that partners with industrial organizations and researchers at the GSB. By collaborating with 20 affiliate companies, including Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Nokia, Ryder Supply Chain Solutions and Safeway, the forum is “actively engaged in identifying, researching, developing, and disseminating best practices in supply chain strategy and execution within the context of a dynamic and increasingly global business environment,” declares its Web site. The forum sponsors workshops, meetings and conferences throughout the year to fulfill this goal. In March 2013, it hosted a one-day event titled “Inside the Data and Analytics-Driven Organization: Technology, Analytics, People and Processes,” which featured speakers and panelists from such companies as Oak Ridge National Lab, Hewlett-Packard, Sony Electronics, Target Corporation, eBay, Sears Holding Co. and Intel. Other such programs have included a European Supply Chain Forum workshop in February 2013, which examined the topic of “Managing Scarcity Risks in Supply Chains,” and a discussion on “Enabling Electronic Commerce: Social, Local, Mobile” in the fall of 2012.
In March 2012, the forum also sponsored the Stanford Initiative for the Study of Supply Chain Responsibility Consortium Meeting, at which researchers from Stanford presented early-stage research on what the forum’s Web site describes as “supplier social and environmental (SER) maturity and supply chain performance.” The director of the forum told mbaMission that as of May 2013, the researchers were “in the midst of conducting quantitative research on the relationship between supply chain responsibility and business performance.” They expect to publish their findings in the fall of 2013, in time for the Socially and Environmentally Responsible Supply Chains Conference planned for February 2014. The forum’s site describes the daylong conference as “bring[ing] together supply chain executives, nonprofit leaders, policymakers, and academics to examine strategies companies can utilize to take supply chain responsibility to the next level.”
The 2012 Socially and Environmentally Responsible Supply Chains Conference was open to the public and examined SER practices and how they are changing business models for companies. The event featured the executive vice president of the Coca Cola Company and the associate research and development director for Procter & Gamble as keynote speakers. Other presentations included panel discussions and “low keynote” speeches on such topics as “Maturity in Supply Chain Responsibility,” “Slavery in our Supply Chains” and “Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Developing Economies: Mountain Hazelnuts in Bhutan.”
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