Case competitions come in all shapes and sizes. Typically, teams are given weeks or even months to discuss, review and prepare their proposed solution to a case.
That’s how the first round of the Association for Supply Chain Management Competition played out. The second round is a different story.
For the second round, recent Weatherhead graduates Daniela Aguilera and Julia Welch flew to Atlanta to compete in the regionals round of the competition. The team received the case at 7:30 a.m. Saturday with a deadline to present at 1:45 p.m. With a little more than six hours to develop an entire, end-to-end supply chain business case solution and prepare a six-minute presentation, the pair was competing in real-time with 64 other teams from across the globe.
Aguilera and Welch, who were both students in the MSM-ORSC program when this case competition began, were one of eight teams participating in the Atlanta regionals. There were a total of eight regions (Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, India, Mexico, London, and Singapore) and eight teams assigned per region.
“We started brainstorming and working on the case, but then we kept receiving emails with more information and data about the case,” Aguilera said. “That made it more intense, since every time we received new information, we needed to review our considerations and adapt or discussions to include the additional data.”
As the last team to present, Aguilera and Welch waited as the judges took 30 minutes to deliberate. That’s when history was made. Weatherhead School of Management won the Atlanta region and will be heading to the final round of the ASCM Competition in September. This is the first time that the school has been represented at both the regional and the final round of the competition.
“Advancing to the final round is such an honor and gives me a lot of confidence in both our knowledge and our skills.” Welch said. “It’s also exciting to have advanced to the point where we will get to compete against teams from around the world. I think this is great experience in preparation for working in such a global industry.”
Other winners from each region were:
Boston - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Chicago- George Brown College
India- Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
London - Jacobs University Bremen
Mexico - Tecnologico de Monterrey Campus Querétaro
San Francisco - Harvey Mudd College
Singapore- Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Both Aguilera and Welch credit what they learned during their time at Weatherhead to aiding them while preparing the solution.
“For this specific case, we applied concepts we learned from Six Sigma, ERP, Inventory Management, LEAN, Sourcing, Optimization and Supply Chain Logistics,” Aguilera said. “Beyond the concepts, the networking skills, presentation skills and overall confidence in our knowledge, we gained at Weatherhead.”
The Weatherhead team will head to Las Vegas in September for the final round of the competition during ASCM 2019, the organization’s flagship conference, where they will be challenged again with a brand new case. They will present their solution in front of more than 2,000 supply chain professionals.
“This experience has been great from the very beginning,” said Aguilera. “I recommend current and future students to participate in these types of activities. It gives you the opportunity to apply your knowledge and work in a real team. It is a powerful thing to learn from others and share knowledge.”