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Economics & Strategy Podcast
32 minutes | 18 days ago
Episode 014: Bradley Lerner, Equipment International
In this episode, we are joined by DePaul MBA Alumnus and COO of Equipment International, Bradley Lerner. In Feb 2020, Bradley had recently stepped into his role as the operations leader for a Chicago based firm that sells and services industrial laundry solutions. He began surveying the lay of the land and developing a strategic plan… and then the lockdowns began. One year later, Bradley talks with us about his experience balancing the responsibilities of crisis manager and strategic leader.
44 minutes | a month ago
Episode 013: Tom Lubinski, adidas
In this episode we are joined by DePaul Triple Demon Tom Lubinski, Product Manager at adidas. As you might expect from the competitive nature of sports, the sports apparel industry is similarly competitive. Jobs at firms are coveted by sports lovers, so high performance expectations tend to be intrinsically built into company cultures. This permeates into the everlasting chase of identifying new trends across cultures, sports, and market segments, which must be drilled down into the products Tom builds.
42 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 012: Kirsten Ahlen, Ahlen Consulting
In this last episode of 2020, we speak with Double Demon, Kirsten Ahlen. Kirsten is a musician turned consultant that specializes in strategic management for Associations. She talks with me about the interesting industry landscape for Associations as well as the challenges of creating differentiated value. Associations have been forced to adopt technology solutions a much quicker pace as the industry begins to accept that our definition of normal is quickly becoming thing of the past.
42 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 011: Brian Raff, American Institute of Steel Construction
Steel Construction is at the heart of infrastructure level projects. Brian Raff speaks with me about how his industry works with firms and governments to advocate for legislation that achieves its intended purpose while still encouraging a level playing field. Brian talks with us about growing environmental awareness that has led to a more regulated steel construction industry. He describes how his industry is supportive of legislative goals, some misconceptions about steel, and about areas of innovation.
49 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 010: Dan Ludovisi, Sargent & Lundy
The energy industry is a complex network of power production, distribution, and delivery that cooperates across boundaries to support both our present and future economies. Dan Ludovisi, Mechanical Engineering Manager & Consultant with Sargent & Lundy, talks with me about the challenges faced by our society as we recognize the importance of moving toward to sustainable energy sources while our overall demand steadily increases. There’s no quick fix, but there are some interesting disruptions on the horizon.
39 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 009: Maggie McHenry, Florence Crittenton Services
Maggie McHenry is the Director of Development at Florence Crittenton Services, a nonprofit that supports teen mothers & their children. Maggie describes how she approaches strategy from a nonprofit perspective while leveraging the frameworks that might seem more suited to for-profits. There are differences between these two models, but the underlying purpose of strategy remains the same: Find a unique & sustainable way to create and capture value in a challenging industry & dynamic competitive landscape.
32 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 008: Sarah Wojtowicz, ITW
This month I had the pleasure of speaking with Strategic Sourcing Specialist, Sarah Wojtowicz. Procurement roles can sometimes be thought of as simply a business function that looks for the lowest price, but Sarah tells me about how much care and strategy is involve in every negotiation. Having a strong understanding of your industry, competition, the firm you’re negotiating with, and even the individual across the table can all affect the ultimate outcome of buyer/supplier relationship.
34 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 007: Casey Hartman, FedEx Express
“Last mile” delivery is the most salient portion of the supply chain industry, but it is also the most complicated and costly part. In the past, the US has only really relied on UPS, USPS, and FedEx. However, the growth in scale and scope of Amazon, rapidly changing that landscape. What’s it like to compete in this industry? How will it change in the coming years, especially with our increasing reliance on those firms during the pandemic? It's big topic that Casey offers some wonderful insight into.
37 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 006: Erin Jordan Spanski, Walker Sands
On May 20th, we spoke with Erin Jordan Spanski, VP and Partner at Walker Sands, a premiere B2B marketing agencies. Marketing is already a challenging discipline because one must understand a plethora of complex interactions and motivations between the firm’s marketing mix and consumer. B2B marketing agencies have 2nd and 3rd orders of complexity. This bodes the question: how do you create value in a complex and opaque value chain?
36 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 005: Kristy Nitskoff, Vista Consulting Group
Kristy Nitskoff is the Director of Talent Consulting at Vista Consulting Group and is a DePaul Alumnus with concentrations in Business Strategy & Decision-Making, as well as Leadership & Change Management. Filling open positions at any company can be quite stressful. There are important trade offs between filling the role quickly versus filling the role with the right person. Kristy talks with us about how she helps firms develop strategies to not only hire the right person, but do to so efficiently.
35 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode 004: Brian Thompson, DePaul University
In this episode, we speak with Clinical Professor of Economics at DePaul and Principal at Black & Essington Solutions, Brian Thompson, about the behavioral components of decision-making and strategy. Cognition plays a massive role in how individuals and firms make decisions that ultimately might be suboptimal. With daily updates about the impact of COVID-19 on people, organizations, and the economy at large, we discuss how a couple of industries might experience pivots in the coming year.
44 minutes | a year ago
Episode 003: Raffaele Colucci, Mediterranean Shipping Company
In this episode, we speak with Raffaele Colucci about the ocean shipping industry. Raffaele is the Deputy Sales Director for the Mediterranean Shipping Company. His role requires a bird’s eye view of his entire line of business, so having a clear perspective on how the industry evolves is extremely important for strategic planning. There are many ways to analyze an industry, but one of the more popular and effective frameworks is with Michael Porter’s Forces. Raffaele walks us through a Forces’ analysis to give us some insight into his highly competitive industry.
42 minutes | a year ago
Episode 002: Dan Clark, Navigating Knowledge
Dan Clark talks with us about his roles as Senior Manager at the e-commerce platform Shop Your Way and as Founder of Navigating Knowledge, an Ed-Tech startup focused on creating a new way to learn through spatial mapping. At first glance, the Retail and Education industries don’t seem to have a lot in common. However, Dan has found that his experience with information and how we process it, can have implications across the boundaries of what we’d normally see has two vastly different industries.
30 minutes | a year ago
Episode 001: Aksh Gupta, Occasion
This month, we are joined by DePaul Alumnus of the Economics & Policy Analysis Masters Program, Aksh Gupta. Aksh is the Cofounder & CEO of Occasion, a startup dedicate to solving tech challenges of experiential businesses. Occasion addresses a common problem in such disparate industries like nail salons, live theatre, and pilates studios: A better reservation system. Now, reservation systems aren’t novel, and its apparently very a crowded industry. So what will be the key to Occasion’s success?
1 minutes | a year ago
Economics & Strategy Podcast Introduction
DePaul University’s Economics & Strategy Podcast is a monthly conversation with individuals who use frameworks discussed in Economics and Business Strategy & Decision-Making. The interviewees will represent multiple industries and institutions, and hold various roles within their organizations. The premise of the podcast is to examine how economics and other related strategy frameworks are practically applied in real-world situations.
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