The 2010 GSCMI conference entitled Powering the Global Supply Chain, provided an opportunity to bring together students, company representatives and faculty to discuss the operational issues around sustainability and alternative energy. The conference also invited students from schools with MBA Programs around the globe to participate in the 5th annual MBA case competition. Case competitions are not only a fun way to test developing business acumen; they are growing increasingly popular across MBA programs and students. The Krannert School of Management and the GSCMI Center is proud to be leading innovation in operations and supply chain case materials with our unique competition. In this year’s competition, there were big schools and small schools, schools from the Midwest to the Northeast, domestic schools and international schools who submitted their entry into the prestigious competition. A total of 28 teams registered, 23 teams created Phase 1 case solutions, and an elite group of 6 teams were left standing with an invite to Phase II, which involved receiving more case materials and having less than 24 hours to prepare a new solution. The 6 finalist teams were then challenged to present their findings in front of the entire conference audience of over 200 attendees! All students invited to the competition, as well as the many Krannert Operations Club student volunteers had their resumes presented to all industry attendees, providing for a tremendous career networking opportunity. During the final presentations, industry judges challenge each team’s solution with a round of questioning and teams were evaluated on their ability to effectively present and defend their solutions. In the end, the two competing University of Minnesota teams placed first and second, proudly followed by the all first year MBA student team from Purdue. Prize winners took home a total of $8,000 in prize money along with bragging rights until the 2011 conference and MBA Case Competition.
The fictitious case used in the competition, loosely developed from issues faced by bottle manufacturing giant Saint-Gobain Containers, depicted a company faced with serious challenges as they evaluated the supply chain implications for increasing recycled glass content in their bottle making process.
Concepts merging the trade-off s between sustainability and operational efficiencies presented students with an opportunity to exercise their knowledge of the core issues, all relevant to current discussions in Krannert and the world news around us. The 2010 case located students inside a company with a rich history of producing product with raw materials and processes that are in many ways – as old as time – glass making. The top three teams with the most compelling solutions received cash awards for their eff orts, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Caterpillar, Chevron, Eaton Corporation, John Deere, Purdue CIBER and Unilever.