Zaragoza, May 29, 2015
Procter & Gamble (P&G), the US-based consumer goods company, and Zaragoza Logistics Center, a research hub promoted by the Government of Aragón in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), have signed a Framework Collaboration Agreement. This alliance will enable the two organizations to strengthen their relationship with regard to research, education and assessment.
P&G, which the consultancy firm Gartner recently ranked alongside Apple as one of the two best companies in terms of supply-chain management, has signed a number of such agreements with universities and research centers around the world, thereby recognizing them as experts in a specific field and granting them priority status for the company’s numerous collaborative projects. ZLC now joins Virginia Tech University in the United States, and Kühne Logistics University in Germany as a benchmark center in logistics for P&G.
“Procter & Gamble is very demanding and selective when it comes to signing Framework Collaboration Agreements. For us, it is a major achievement to have joined this select club”, explained Carolina Ciprés, the Director of Research Programs at ZLC.
“We have been partnering with ZLC for a few years now on different projects and capacities exchanging knowledge and challenges for mutual benefit. The signing of this agreement is built on the recognition of an already fruitful relationship and is meant to facilitate an even closer cooperation in the future”, says Sergio Barbarino, Research Fellow, Supply Network Innovation Center at Procter & Gamble.
Under the terms of the agreement, specific activities can be carried out in three broad areas: research, by identifying areas of shared interest or investigating the possibility of working together on certain projects; education, by (for example) providing executive training to the company’s employees; and assessment, a field in which ZLC will enjoy strategic partner status. The first cooperation stipulated under the terms of this new agreement is the sponsorship of a doctoral student, to begin his studies next academic year at MIT. He will focus his doctoral thesis on the mitigation of supplier risk.
“This agreement places us in a strategic position for strengthening our relationship with P&G”, Ciprés declared. “We recognize that this type of agreement represents a new direction for ZLC’s relationship with the business world. It opens the door to even closer relationships with companies and will help us find strategic partners, leading companies in the logistic and supply-chain fields to become strategic partners for ZLC”.
Since its creation, Zaragoza Logistics Center has prioritized close collaborative relationships with the business world. For this reason, it places special value on what this new relationship model can bring. “For a company like Procter & Gamble to recognize us as a key partner living proof of the international profile of our work. For a leading company, which is recognized for its excellence in supply-chain management, to also identify us as “excellent” represents a new challenge for ZLC, and it is one that we are capable of rising to, given that we are accustomed to operating within this type of international environment”.
Following its agreement with P&G, ZLC has now established a partnership with another corporate giant: the American company Entercoms, one of the most renowned providers of solutions for supply-chain management. Under the terms of the agreement, ZLC and Entercoms will work together on a one-year research project focusing on planning for the spare-parts market.
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The commencement speech was given by Ralph T. Keck, Director – Product Supply – GTM Innovation, Procter & Gamble (P&G), worldwide company serving 4.6 billion consumers to deliver a broad range of products including 50 leadership brans all over the world.
During the ceremony, the President of the Zaragoza Logistics Center Foundation and Advisor for Industry and Innovation of the Government of Aragon, Arturo Aliaga, presented the Best Master Thesis Award to the students Edson Guimarães and Arturo García, ZLOG (MIT Zaragoza Master of Engineering in Logistics and Supply Chain Management), and Jesús García and Nieves Herrero, MDSC (Máster en Dirección de Supply Chain). Also, the Deputy Director of the University of Zaragoza, Fernando Beltrán and Professor Yossi Sheffi of MIT, presented the awards for Best Academic Achievements to Vincent Chong, ZLOG and José Ignacio Marcén (MDSC).
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