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Supply chain team places first in national competition

November 3, 2011

Congratulations to the Supply Chain Management team on their recent first place victory at the Wayne State/General Motors Student Supply Chain Management Case Competition!

An in-depth look into supply chains

The event took place Sept. 22 – 24, 2011, in Detroit, Mich. where teams from sixteen different prestigious schools competed for the title.

The goal of the competition was to provide students an in-depth look at supply chain systems that support the automotive industry. During their time in Detroit, competitors were given a tour of the new Chevy Volt plant where they had the opportunity to see supply chain management practices in action. Additionally, each team was given a tour of the Ford Museum and tickets to a Detroit Tigers baseball game at Comerica Park before the official competition started.

Challenged to solve problems

Students began preparing for the opening round three weeks before the event. Each team was required to prepare a thirty minute presentation solving a sourcing problem on the navigation system for the Chevy Volt. The first round featured a pooled competition, four pools of four schools, with the winner of each pool progressing to the final round. Colorado State’s pool included Howard University, Miami of Ohio, and Florida State. Colorado State, Wayne State, Western Michigan, and Texas Christian University were the four schools that advanced to the final round.  For the finals, each school was given an entirely new case developing a supply chain risk management strategy for Chevy Volt supplies coming from Mexico.

Gaining valuable experience

College of Business students Andre’ Alves, Kyle Fritch, Katie Hartwig, and Luke Leins were led by management professor Paul Vanderspek. Vanderspek enthusiastically explained the team’s dedication, “They worked very hard over the three weeks to prepare for the competition. The team even left the baseball game early and skipped the Ford Museum so they could prepare for the finals.”

Student competitor Alves explained that, “The most valuable experience that I gained through this case competition was the opportunity to work on a project with a team. It showed us problems a supply chain manager deals with on a day-to-day basis.”

Special thanks

A special thanks to Colorado State’s team sponsor Vernon Murray, Micro Motion’s director of strategic sourcing. Murray is a College of Business alumnus and made the event possible by sponsoring the team’s airfare.

The success of the College of Business team showcased the quality of our students and education program both within the university and throughout the country. This win closely follows the first place victory at the Denver Transportation Club’s Operations Stimulus in January. Colorado State is clearly emerging as champions of the industry. Congratulations to our excellent business students and our supply chain management team!