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Fashion company, Kit and Ace, used MBA intern Kate Hyde's logistics model to decide where to set up their next global shop.

 
thechallenge

Canadian apparel brand Kit and Ace launched its first store in Vancouver in 2014, but its popularity and need for growth was an almost instant side effect. It currently has 30 stores almost exclusively throughout North America. The Kit and Ace team were ready for international expansion, but the question remained: where was the best spot to set up shop to serve their customers?

Identifying the best placements for new distribution centres was the first thing needed in these future markets, so UBC MBA student Kate Hyde was brought on board through an internship facilitated by UBC Sauder’s Hari B. Varshney Business Career Centre to devise a universal logistics model the company could use to select its future locations.

thepersonality

Many people may not think that a background in fine arts and a love for logistics could go together. But they make sense to Kate Hyde as both require a serious attention to detail.

katehydequote

At art school she was a printmaker—meaning she transcribed images or text onto a surface such as a metal plate or a silk screen and printed repetitiously on paper or material.

“It was very mechanical,” details Hyde. “You have to like to do the same thing over and over again but with small changes.”

It’s the same for manufacturing logistics or supply chain design. They are systems that are used over and over again all over the world, but require the flexibility to make tweaks to get the best possible outcome.

For her, there is a sense of mystery to the whole supply chain, “a hidden network that supports an international consumer society,” she describes.

“There’s this idea that items in our closets or on shelves appeared out of nowhere, but there’s a system that brought them there,” says Hyde. “It’s almost like seeing behind the curtain of a play.”

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theexperience

Robert Adamovsky, Kit and Ace’s head of Strategy and Integrity and a UBC MBA alumnus, decided they needed a fresh pair of eyes on their international challenge.

“We knew we needed someone that could take a deeper dive into it. We wanted someone with a background in logistics to help model out financial scenarios and look at multiple ways of thinking about the problem,” says Adamovsky. “So we went straight to Sauder.”

With two months to complete the task during her internship, Hyde set to work on developing a logistics model that could be used to assess Kit and Ace’s global expansion strategy.

“I created a framework that helped make the decision of where to locate,” she explains.

Hyde analyzed multiple angles like port infrastructure, airport and seaport capabilities, world rankings, general logistics capabilities, and ease of doing business in a particular country. The information was then copied into a matrix and the different options ranked from most favourable to least.

thechange

Kit and Ace executives were presented with the model at the end of Hyde’s two-month placement and the outcome was universally positive.

“We were really happy with Kate’s model,” says Adamovsky. “In fact, we sent out a survey after her time with us and the stakeholders said that they felt engaged in the process and were very satisfied with the work that went into it.”

The former printmaker has left her mark on the company, notes Adamovsky. Her logistics model will provide the framework for Kit and Ace’s international expansion.

For Hyde, she says the internship experience was invaluable.

“I’m looking at the world in a different way,” says Hyde. “I look at these systems that work together and I like that.”

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Hiring a UBC Sauder MBA intern delivers tremendous value to your specific business needs. The Hari B. Varshney Business Career Centre offers full service support and industry expertise to match you with candidates with the skills to move  your business objectives forward.

Recruitment is underway 
MBA candidates are available from May to August, for 8-16 week projects.

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Find out more about recruiting MBA interns at 
sauder.ubc.ca/bcc/mba-internship
 or contact the Business Career Centre at 604.822.6479 / careercentre@sauder.ubc.ca.

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