This August, the Supply Chain Management Department faculty were invited by two Michigan State supply chain management alumni Todd Scott, Executive Director of Global Purchasing Supply Chain and Logistics at General Motors, and Mike Graham, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain and Manufacturing at Meijer, to visit the General Motors Lansing Grand River plant and the Meijer complex on the west side of Lansing.

The first stop of the day was at the General Motors Lansing Grand River plant. The visit was set up by MSU Materials and Logistics Management alumni Todd Scott, Executive Director Global Purchasing Supply Chain and Logistics. Scott has spent 32 years at General Motors in roles ranging from logistics, supply chain operations, manufacturing, and sales/marketing. He has also had the opportunity to work globally in Brazil and China for the company.

While at the facility, the faculty took a tour of the plant and participated in a Q&A session. The group also had an opportunity to breakout into smaller groups based on areas of interests such as: operations, logistics and procurement in order to learn more specifics about each section of supply chain at GM. The GM plant in Lansing currently produces the Camaro and Cadillac CTS/ATS. Todd ScottWhen asked about why it was important to have the faculty visit General Motors Scott said, “We currently have 400 supply chain graduates working at General Motors. Half of our supply chain employees will be eligible to retire over the next five years, because of this, we are looking to hire at least 50 full time employees each year and hope to hire around 25% from Michigan State. Because of this growth, it is important to us to have a strong relationship with faculty.” Scott also went on to say, “General Motors is an enormous global company, it is important for graduates to be globally savvy and be able to collaborate internally and externally. The supply chain program at Michigan State prepares students to think on a global scale, which is important to our business.” The final reason for having MSU faculty was to discuss the current corporate social responsibility issues facing supply chain and how to bring this issues into the classroom.

Mike GrahamAfter the General Motors visit, the group headed to the west side of Lansing to visit the Meijer complex and join MSU Supply Chain Management alumni Mike Graham, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain and Manufacturing. Before taking on the role of SVP at Meijer, Graham spent eight years at HEB as the Senior Vice President of Supply Chain and Logistics. Prior to that, Graham spent seven years with Tractor Supply as both the Director of Distribution and Vice President of Logistics and Supply Chain and 12 years at General Motors, working his way up to Retail and Supply Chain Manager for Saturn.

The faculty had an opportunity to tour the complex and received briefings on purchasing strategy, networking strategy and internal logistics. When asked about having Michigan State faculty visit the facility Graham said, “It was great to have the SCM faculty tour our distribution facilities recently. They were able to see our application of the latest technology and the automation the market. They were able to see the Meijer Quality System (MQS) in action.”

The two visits offered faculty members a great opportunity to network with world class Michigan headquartered companies and their supply chain management alumni. Thank you Todd and Mike for having our faculty at your facilities!