There's nothing quite like the supply chain competition to allow students to demonstrate their analytical and problem-solving skills with a real-world logistics challenge. The newest of these contests, the General Motors/Wayne State University Supply Chain Case Competition, brought 16 university teams to Detroit in late September.
The program, developed by professors at Wayne State's business school in conjunction with supply chain managers at sponsoring companies, focused on the issues and challenges of buying advanced technology components for electric vehicles. It required students to analyze such factors as component and logistics costs, sourcing tradeoffs, global procurement, and recycling.
Prior to their arrival, the students explored a case example that involved sourcing components for GM's new electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt. The teams developed recommendations based on their analyses and presented their findings to a panel of judges during the competition portion of the program.
"This event gives students the opportunity to experience some real-world scenarios in global purchasing and supply chain management and provides GM and other sponsors the chance to spend time with some of the best supply chain talent coming out of universities today," said Bill Hurles, General Motors' executive director, global purchasing and supply chain, in a statement. "The sponsors also get to hear their creative ideas on new ways to approach business challenges."
The winning team was Colorado State University. Regional winners were Western Michigan University, Texas Christian University, and Wayne State University.
In addition to General Motors, sponsors included Delphi, Ryder System, and the Detroit Regional Chamber.