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GVSU Places Second at 2011 Undergrad Supply Chain Challenge
Date: April 26, 2011
East Lansing, Michigan – April 20, 2011 – The Supply Chain Management program at Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business hosted the college’s third annual undergraduate supply chain competition, The MSU Undergraduate Supply Chain Challenge, April 7-8, 2011, at the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development on MSU’s campus. Rather than a traditional "case," the competition involved a supply chain simulation – the Supply Chain Operations Decision Environment (SCODE) – developed at the Broad College in cooperation with several major corporations including Chrysler, Dow Chemical, Flextronics, IBM and Motorola. Nearly 75 participants from 16 schools participated
A team of four students from Grand Valley State University placed second – Greg Rotman, Anna Veldman, Alexandra VanderMoere and Allison Whipple, and their advisors Professor Ashok Kumar and Assistant Professor Vivek Dalea. Teams from The Ohio State University and MSU took first and third respectively. The team from GVSU placed first at the 2010 event and second at the 2009 event.
"The students found the SCODE simulation to be a great learning experience as it required them to identify key environmental variables, select a global operations strategy, and make week-to-week operating decisions for the firm," says the John H. McConnell Chaired Professor of Business Administration David Closs. "In the final evaluation, they could see how their performance compared to the other competitors in each of the key performance indicators characteristic of supply chain management."
Undergraduate teams of three to four students from around the country participated from the following colleges: Arkansas State University, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, University of Kentucky, University of Maryland, Miami (OH) University, Michigan State University, Northeastern University, Ohio State University, Portland State University, Rutgers (State University of New Jersey), University of Texas, Texas Christian University, Towson State University, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University.
The competition started on April 7, when students were introduced to the SCODE simulation through a simple "training" scenario involving a single manufacturing plant location serving the entire world. Decisions had to be made concerning which suppliers to use and what modes of transportation to use for inbound raw materials. Production had to be scheduled based on a demand forecast, and orders had to be filled involving transportation mode selection. The training scenario ensured that everyone understood the basic simulation, what decisions needed to be made, how to input data, what the output looked like, and how output should be analyzed to make the required decisions.
The actual competition on April 8 was similar but a little more complex: one plant location was given but a second plant location also had to be selected and two products were involved, not just one. Then the decisions that needed to be made were essentially the same types of decisions as in the training scenario, just complicated by the fact that there were two plants, two products, and students had to make assignments of markets to each plant. Other things that were considered included capacity requirements and sourcing strategies.
Teams were measured on total revenue, order fulfillment, inventory turns and a profit figure the Broad College calls "supply chain contribution."
The second-place GVSU team with sponsor representatives (from l. to r.): Cheryl Dalsin (Intel), Amarendra Kumar (Dow), Chadwick Wu (Dow), Vivek Dalea (GVSU), Ashok Kumar (GVSU), Rob Guderian (Intel), Andrew Kiteley (ConocoPhillips), Greg Rotman (GVSU), Carl Johnson (Ford Motor Company), Anna Veldman (GVSU), Mike Pruente (ConocoPhillips), Alexandra VanderMoere (GVSU), Bixby Cooper (MSU), Bryan Wollenweber (GM Foundation), Allison Whipple (GVSU), Beth Green (Northrop Grumman) and Jessica Fox (Dow).