Fung Academy Hau L Lee’s case study ‘Everything is Connected: A New Era of Sustainability at Li & Fung,’ won in the category for Production and Operations Management for the Case Centre Awards and Competitions 2018.
Originally put together in 2015 by Hau L Lee, Chairman of the Board at Fung Academy and Thoma Professor of Operations, Information and Technology at Stanford Graduate School of Business along with his co-author, Sheila Melvin, a former case writer at Stanford University, the case study was considered for the 2018 category.
Each year, the Case Centre Awards honor and celebrate worldwide excellence in case writing and teaching. Over 60,000 cases from 31 countries are eligible for 14 awards each year.
The case focuses on how we are managing sustainability along the global supply chain and the challenges we often face in emerging economies.
“I feel very honored for winning this award – I believe that the case is popular because it talks about sustainability which is now a trending topic in production and operations,” said Hau.
The case contextualizes the events that saw Li & Fung (LF) embark on a new era of sustainability. In 2012, a fire broke out at Tazreen Fashions factory which killed more than 100 workers, and in 2013, the collapse of the Rana Plaza building killed more than 1,100 people. Both factories were located on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital city.
These two major tragedies sparked LF to create a new business unit called Vendor Support Service (VSS) in 2014, aimed to help vendors upgrade to better working conditions and increase preventive measures against future disasters.
The study highlights positive effects of well-managed sustainability. Vendors who embrace sustainability are more likely to benefit from productivity, cost savings, happier customers and stronger communities. However, it also touches on underlying challenges – sustainability also requires immense transformation up and down the supply chain in dozens of countries and territories, which means whole production flows need to be aligned with new standards.
In conclusion, the authors say LF is stepping up to the challenge and is committed to engaging with its 22,000 colleagues, customers and consumers along the supply chain to drive significant change.
“The case provides valuable insights and shows the advantages of managing sustainability well, which is a good lesson for business executives,” said Hau.
We are proud that this case has been recognized by Case Centre and is being used in business school curriculums around the globe!
You can download a copy of the case study here or check out all the other winners on the Case Centre website (https://www.thecasecentre.org/educators/casemethod/awards/winners/2018) .
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