Graduate students from the Master of Industrial Distribution Program at Texas A&M University visited Norway and Sweden Oct. 13-18. 

The 36 students are working professionals from various channels with an average of 15 years of work experience each. The visit is part of the Global Distribution course that involves experiential learning with live projects with SKF, the global manufacture of bearings and Dahl, A Staint-Gobain distributor of plumbing and HVAC products.

On Oct. 14, the students met with National Oilwell Varco (NOV) in Norway to discuss the oil and gas market and the distribution business in Norway. NOV designs, manufactures and sells the major mechanical components for both land and offshore drilling rigs, as well as complete land drilling and well servicing rigs.

The students visited SKF in Gothenburg in Sweden Oct. 15-16 and met with Dahl, A Saint-Gobain Company, in Sweden Oct. 17.

Seven teams will work on the following distribution focused projects during the semester and provide solutions and recommendations by end of November. The results will be presented to SKF management and Dahl management via webinar.

  • Changing International Distribution Models
  • Integrated Supply
  • International Channel Compensation
  • Managing Core Customers through Distributor Alliances
  • Managing the Product Lifecycle in International Relationships
  • Supply Chain Integration
  • Supply Chain Services

MID Class of 2014 President Jonathan Gaffney said, “The MID program establishes a network of peers across the world that can be a resource and support system as individuals grow both as professionals and individuals."

Josh Litzman, MID student and vice president of supply chain for Kass Building Supply, said, “The two most memorable experiences of the trip that were extraordinarily educational were seeing the two distributors (Tools Momentum and Dahl) and how they have embraced best practices. It was interesting to see that even though the geography and culture were very different from here in the United States that these principles that we are learning in the program, when implemented, can breed tremendous success.”

Global Distribution Course & Projects
Photo of ID in Sweden, classroomGlobalization influences all distribution channels. International firms face many challenges and opportunities but even local distributors are challenged with international sourcing and global competitors. This course examines global competitive issues in sourcing, operations, and sales. Global networks of facilities, human resources, inventories, and supplier relationships are examined together with legal issues and logistics. The Global Distribution course features "real-time" case studies with distributors and their suppliers provide a problem environment for students to work on supply chain solutions. An international trip to the supplier's and/or distributor's operation is included in the course. Past trips have involved Mexico, China, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Brazil. Each year, new case studies are prepared for a new location with new problem environments to reflect the changing challenges facing global distribution. For 2014, the class will visit India.

About Master of Industrial Distribution
The Master of Industrial Distribution (MID) Program is a 21-month distance education graduate program specifically designed for working professionals. The program is designed to serve the needs of working professionals who require flexibility in their schedules and location. Courses have been developed specifically to maximize web-based learning advantages. The program dramatically increases the participant’s ability to think globally, integrate trends, acquire knowledge and act strategically. The rigorous and interdisciplinary degree ensures that students are well equipped to handle both the demands of daily business as well as the unique challenges of doing business in a global economy. The MID program is the largest distance based graduate program at Texas A&M University College of Engineering. The MID Program will also begin a Middle East cohort in Fall 2014. The Residency Week will be conducted at Texas A&M University at Qatar in Doha.

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