Degree: MS, Supply Chain Management
Class Year: 2021
Position and Employer: Senior Business Analyst, PECO
Hometown: Troy, PA
Right now, everything is going according to plan for Dan Butcher, Senior Business Analyst at PECO and a student in Drexel LeBow’s MS in Supply Chain Management and Logistics program.
Drawing inspiration from Negotiations for Leaders, a management course taught by Professor Jonathan Ziegert, Butcher is in the midst of a five-year plan for himself and his career.
“Professor Ziegert told me to set very attainable goals and to know what they are and try to achieve them,” he says, noting that he took this course as an elective. “It was such an awesome class – I think everyone should take it.”
Though Butcher had previously considered MBA and operations management programs, he found he was able to customize LeBow’s Supply Chain program in a way that met his needs and broadened his horizons.
“I wanted something that would be a game changer for me – something that would utilize my math and analytics background to differentiate myself in the marketplace.”
Through a combination of classes in supply chain management, as well as electives from the MBA and Executive MBA programs, Butcher has built a custom experience that has given him ideas that he’s excited to put into practice.
“I’m happy with the choice and with this path,” he says.
Not long after starting in the Supply Chain program, Butcher won an internal innovation contest open to all employees at Exelon, PECO’s parent company; this earned him $300,000 in funding to develop a pilot program for his idea: a business-intelligence based solution for power restoration after a storm. “We interconnect all these systems on a BI platform and allow senior management to have visibility into the high-level analytics as well as to drill down into the specific problems,” he explains.
After a year, Butcher made the pitch for a second year of funding – an additional $300,000. “I said, here’s what we got done, and here’s what we can do,” he says. “Now I’m leading it as an innovation person, people recognize me for my innovation, not just my day-to-day.”
The award brought national recognition as well: An article in Fortnightly, a national magazine for the public utility industry, as one of 12 leading innovators, and a video shoot and press release by Qlik, the software company whose business-intelligence platform Butcher uses for the storm-recovery project.
All of this innovation-centered work, along with his studies at LeBow, are happening outside of his full-time job in financial forecasting, what he calls “a very analytical role that has high visibility to senior management.”
His coursework, he finds, is shifting his thinking and opening him up to new insights: “As you gain this knowledge, you’re looking through a different lens. Now I have a concrete way to approach specific problems and I see the problem through what I’ve learned.”
Though the demands of Butcher’s role require him to take a different track from other master’s students – just one or two courses per quarter – he finds the subject material highly rewarding. “What I like most about it is most of what I’m learning has very real application,” he says. “It’s not just theory - you can put it into practice and really change things.
“I couldn’t be more confident that I’m in the right program for me.”