The team from Pennsylvania State University took first place honors and $2,000 in prize money at the recent International Graduate Logistics Case Competition held in Chicago. Teams from Arizona State University, Michigan State University, Pennsylvania State University, Ohio State University, the University of Maryland, the Technical University of Darmstadt (Germany), the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin-Madison descended on Chicago in late February to compete for school bragging rights and,more importantly, prize money.
Students had 24 hours to analyze John Deere & Co.'s outsourcing relationship as it related to inbound warehousing and transportation. Their next step was to evaluate three alternatives: insource all activities,outsource all activities or keep the status quo.
The following morning each team made a 25-minute presentation to supply chain executives from IBM, General Mills, W.W. Grainger, Pfizer Corp., Schreiber Foods, The HON Co., Harley-Davidson Motor Co., Masterfoods USA and Guidant Corp.
In addition to giving the students some exposure to real world logistics issues, the forum also gave executives from top U.S. companies a chance to see promising young students in action. "Employers are always looking for ways to see the best available students, so what we've done is coordinate an event that places students in a real-life situation for part of the day and balances the remainder of the day with time for the employers to meet with the students in a more relaxed social environment. Using this method, employers are able to see students from a variety of programs; judge their critical thinking, analytical, and professional communications skills in a stressful situation; and meet with them socially," says Ted Bouras, one of the event organizers and director of the Grainger Center for Supply Chain Management at the University of Wisconsin.
Second place honors went to the team from the Technical University of Darmstadt. The University of Maryland and University of Wisconsin-Madison tied for third.