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MSU holds third annual Bowersox Graduate Supply Chain Challenge

Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business held its third annual Bowersox Graduate Supply Chain challenge Oct. 25–26 at the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development. The competition involved a supply chain simulation — the Supply Chain Operations Decision Environment (SCODE) — developed at the Broad College in cooperation with several major corporations including Chrysler, Dow Chemical, Flextronics, IBM, and Motorola.

Teams from nine of the 15 top–ranked schools in supply chain management travelled to MSU to take on the challenge. On day one, teams received a simulation overview and training by Stanley Griffis, associate professor of supply chain management. The next day, teams took on the simulation and made numerous supply chain decisions ranging from modes of transportation to production schedules and order fulfillment, among many other factors. Teams were then ranked based on total revenue, order fulfillment, inventory turns, and a profit the Broad College calls “supply chain contribution.”

Competitors searched for a winning combination as they reflected on the lessons learned. Several mentioned the importance of paying attention to deadlines and good teamwork. Others acknowledged the value of forecasting demand and being responsive. In the end, first place went to the University of Arkansas, followed by Ohio State University in second, and MSU in third. Members of the MSU team included Robert McElmurry, Laura Schmitz, Rachal Snider, and Kevin Xujin.

Participating schools included: Arizona State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, Ohio State University, Purdue University, University of Arkansas, University of Tennessee, and University of Wisconsin.

The event was renamed this year to honor the late professor emeritus of supply chain management and marketing Donald Bowersox and the legacy he left through 40-plus years of service to MSU and practitioners of supply chain management.

The Broad College would like to thank the following corporate sponsors for making this year’s Bowersox Graduate Supply Chain Challenge possible: ArcelorMittal, ConocoPhillips, Dow, Ford, General Motors Foundation, John Deere, Norfolk Southern, Northrop Grumman, and Shell.

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