APICS West Coast Student Case Competition Draws 22 Teams Globally, SDSU Takes Top Spot

March 17, 2016

The ACA Group members, Lisa Anderson and Ellen Kane helped APICS Southwest District host 22 student teams and close to 100 students at the graduate and undergraduate level as they competed to solve computer-simulated supply chain problems and present orally their rationale for the solutions. The supply chain trade-offs of the computer-simulated manufacturing company challenged students, most with backgrounds in operations management, supply chain management, industrial engineering, or MBA students, to select strategies, create solutions to the problems posed and provide the rationale for their decisions.

San Diego State UniversitAPICS Supply Chain Student Case Competitiony student participant Julee Jenkins appreciated the ability to put her learning to the test, stating “APICS case competition was the perfect way to bring our learning to life.  Applying the concepts we’ve learned in school to a real-world problem was true learning and fun to boot!”

Judging was provided by APICS professionals with extensive experience in supply chain and operations management with 50 percent of the final score focused on the return on investment results from their computer-simulated exercise and the other 50 percent graded on presentation effectiveness.

San Diego State University MSIS student and graduate team captain, Ritu Chandiramani, explains, “The APICS case competition was an ultimate supply chain learning experience. It was like working in a live professional environment where our decisions directly affected the value of our company. We also understood how critical it was to analyze the impact of our decisions with a cross-functional mindset and not just functional silos.”

The top scoring team is funded to represent the Southwest District at the APICS International Conference in Washington, D.C. on September 25-27, 2016.

Although the competition is hosted and was created for students enrolled in universities in the APICS Southwest District , it has expanded to include many universities throughout the United States and internationally, with frequent attendees from Hong Kong, Canada and Mexico.  The Student Case Competition was coordinated and chaired by APICS-IE and LMA Consulting Group president, Lisa Anderson and The ACA Group’s Ellen Kane.

“It was thrilling to watch the students work together to assess, analyze and creatively solve these real-world supply chain problems,” explains Anderson, recognized as SAP’s 16th most influential in supply chain management and sustainability. “They truly applied what they are learning in their respective programs to solve these challenging simulations. Even more importantly, just as in real life, their presentations to the Board of Directors of the computer-simulated company were crucial to their score. I am always really impressed with these students; manufacturing executives would be fortunate to hire them before they are snapped up by the competition!”

Top awards went to San Diego State University for both undergrad and graduate competitions, with Cal State San Marcos placing second in the undergraduate division and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology placing second in the graduate division.

Eric Ramos-Castillo, San Diego State University undergraduate team captain, is thrilled with the victory and shares, “I would like to say that the APICS student case competition was a platform that utilized all the tools I learned in my courses, but also taught me the value of communication and the importance of shared leadership.”

The annual competition provides students with experience working as a team to solve supply chain issues that take place in companies today. Participants are able to showcase their talent for fellow students, professors and future employers.

“I had a great time competing in this year’s APICS student case competition and proving our worth against other like-minded, motivated individuals in The Fresh Connection,” says Vincent Yip, San Diego State University MBA student. “This was truly an exciting one-of-a-kind high stakes winner-take-all type of experience.”

San Diego State University MBA student, Pallavi Shreedhar, echoes the sentiment,Working together in a team to improve the profitability of The Fresh Connection gave me great insight into being a Supply Chain professional. I can now connect the dots between different functions in an organization and how they all work in tandem to lead an organization to success.”

For more information on the competition, visit the APICS West Coast Student Case Competition Website.

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