Undergraduate students Eathan Beatty, Kurtis Conkel, Brandon Bigelbach, and Ben Nash won first place in the National Undergraduate Supply Chain and Operations Case Competition Spring Series on April 5 at the Carlson School of Management. The competition enhances problem-solving, leadership, and communication skills for supply chain and operations students, and encourages participants to forge connections with companies. This is the second consecutive win for the Carlson School.
Student teams representing 13 business schools participated in the competition, which took place over three days in Minneapolis. The competitors visited key operations facilities for sponsors 3M, Cargill, C.H. Robinson, and Target on day one, then prepared their cases and engaged in panel discussions with leaders in the field on day two, and finally presented their ideas to 10 esteemed judges on day three. The Carlson School students worked on a global supply chain case for 3M. "It was nice because the case was wide open. It didn't lead students to only one correct answer," said Faculty Director Steve Huchendorf.
"[The competition was a] great opportunity to see how students use their working class knowledge of supply chain and apply it to a case," says one judge.
Indiana University took second place in the competition, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison won third. The Carlson School students were awarded $4,000 for their first-place win. "What I felt best about the competition itself was all the connections we made," Huchendorf said. "With the big gun supply chain schools we brought in and with all the corporate partners, we made connections with more than 100 people."
The Department of Supply Chain and Operations at the Carlson School is a partner with Arizona State University for the National Supply Chain and Operations Case Competition. Arizona sponsors the Fall Series each year and the Carlson School sponsors a Spring Series. "It's great because this is all volunteer work. We had volunteer Supply Chain Club members running the competition and administration and staff members putting in a really big effort as well as our corporate volunteers," Huchendorf said.