The Center connected with alumnus Samy Affo to discuss his current job and the impact the Center made on his career.
What is your role and responsibility at Intel?
II am currently a division planning analyst at Intel responsible for supply planning for product families in our Internet of Things (IOT) Business Unit. My responsibilities are primarily supply facing and include but not limited to optimization, coordination, communication and driving execution of engineering/production planning schedules, materials, build plan & capacity requirements, scenario what-if planning and driving continuous process/project improvements.
Could you give us an overview of Intel and its supply chain practice?
Intel Corporation is an Integrated Device Manufacturer (IDM), a world leader in the design and manufacturing of essential products and technologies that power the cloud and increasingly smart, connected world.
Intel’s supply chain has been recognized in the Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 and has been in a top 10 spot for the past nine consecutive years.
Our Global Supply Chain organization is both external and internal facing and encompasses all the functions that support all processes around plan, source, make, deliver, and return. Our supply chain touches every aspect of Intel’s business and here are a few data points: ~ 3,600 supply chain professionals (technical and non-technical), over 13,000 SKUs, 17 distribution hubs, 2,100 customers, 16,000 suppliers.
Why did you choose to pursue a degree at Wisconsin through the Center?
I was working for a CPG company in Northeastern Wisconsin in logistics and I wanted to sharpen my skills in supply chain by pursing an MBA. I found out about the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management which is a non-profit alliance of top-tier business schools and corporate partners. The University of Wisconsin is a founding member of the Consortium and I started looking at various programs offered by the Wisconsin School of Business. I was particularly attracted by the specialization model, the small class size of the program, and the wealth of experience of the faculty.
How did the Center’s curriculum prepare you for your current job?
The Center provided me the foundation to be a well-rounded supply chain professional. The curriculum covered all aspects of supply chain management (logistics, sourcing, ERP, facilities locations, distribution channels). The applied learning provided me hands-on experience and access to industry leaders. The Center prepared me to think critically and solve problems, which are two skills that I continue to hone and apply at Intel.
What do you think are the most important issues and trends influencing supply chain management today?
These are unprecedented times with COVID-19 and supply chains’ resiliency is being tested. I will highlight three issues. The first one is about the supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 that are testing companies’ business continuity plans, resiliency, and the support of their customers’ needs. Another key issue is how companies are maneuvering the digitalization of their supply chains. The third issue is the tug of war between Globalism and Nationalism which is forcing companies to re-evaluate their supply chain networks.
In terms of trends, supply chains that can innovate in the following areas will reap exponential returns: artificial intelligence/machine learning, intelligent edge, 5G/network, supply chain security, and supply chain sustainability.
Do you have any words of wisdom for the current Center students?
First, I hope everyone at the Center is safe and healthy. I will encourage the current Center students to make the most of out of their MBA experience. These times may be uncertain but we will all get through this and it’s important to remain optimistic and maintain a growth mindset. The world is continuing to change and the way we learn and work will change, and the students need to be resilient, flexible, and continue to be lifelong learners. They shouldn’t hesitate to reach out and leverage the alumni network.