FCBE Students Named Co-Champions of Supply Chain Case Competition

For release:  October 21, 2014

A team of four Fogelman College Supply Chain Management (SCM) students were named co-champions of the 2014 General Motors/Wayne State University Supply Chain Case Competition that was held at GM’s Corporate Headquarters in Detroit, MI this October.  The winning FCBE team included undergraduate students, Aubin Christopher, Taylor Kriha, Caleb Lies, and Blake Mitchell.  Drs. Shawn Jones and Ernie Nichols of the Marketing & Supply Chain Management Department served as the team’s advisors.

Student teams representing 20 top-ranked SCM programs from universities across the United States and Canada converged to tackle a real-world challenge facing today’s automotive industry. Some of these competitors included teams from Michigan State University, the top-ranked SCM program in the country by U.S. News & World Report, and last year’s winning team from the University of Toledo.

This year’s case addressed the introduction of a new technology in two GM automobiles. The students were required to develop a sourcing and transportation plan, perform a total cost analysis, and address several contingencies for the sourced item.  Their proposals were delivered to a panel of judges from General Motors and key Tier I suppliers in a 30-minute presentation followed by questions from the judges.

“Our job as educators is to provide students with the tools to tackle real-world challenges.  The case competition was a testament to this type of preparation,” said Dr. Shawn Jones.  “It was a proud moment to see all of their hard work pay off. “
Ultimately, the judges named the University of Memphis Fogelman College team, as well as the team from Wayne State University, co-champions of the competition for 2014.  Though atypical to have co-champions, the judges found both teams’ analysis, risk mitigation strategies, and professionalism too close to call.  The judges also noted the drastically different recommendations were difficult to compare and felt each team supported their position so thoroughly that each deserved to win.

 “Our team represented the Fogelman College of Business and Economics in a professional businesslike manner. These students competed against other students from top SCM programs, and it was rewarding to see our team tie for first.  This speaks well of the talent and ability of the Fogelman College students and the SCM program. We are very proud of the team’s performance,” said Dr. Ernie Nichols.