General Motors supports Wayne State student supply chain competition

Wayne State University’s School of Business Administration and General Motors are bringing some of the leading business students from across the country and Canada to Detroit for an in-depth look at the supply chain systems that support the automotive industry and its high-tech vehicles.

The fourth annual General Motors/Wayne State University Supply Chain Case Competition, featuring the 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe and 2015 Chevrolet Sonic, will bring 20 university groups to the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center from October 2–5th.

The program will introduce students to the issues and challenges involved in producing leading technology vehicles through a case study. They will examine topics such as component purchasing strategy, global vs. domestic sourcing, and risk management.

"This is an opportunity to highlight Southeast Michigan’s automotive industry and supply chain management careers in this region, as well as an opportunity to provide students an outstanding educational experience," said John Taylor, associate professor and chair of the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Wayne State University’s School of Business Administration.  "Additionally, students will have time to actually visit an auto assembly plant and participate in several panel sessions on supply chain careers," said Taylor.

Prior to their visit, the students will be responsible to issue and analyze a Request for Quote (RFQ) on consoles containing a new wireless charging module component, known at GM as a "Dockspot."  Domestic and foreign suppliers will be considered to make deliveries to multiple automotive assembly plants.  This technology will be standard on the 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe and optional on the 2015 Chevrolet Sonic.  The teams will present their recommendations to a panel of industry and academic experts during the competition portion of the program.

The case was developed by title sponsor General Motors, returning sponsor Ryder, and in conjunction with WSU’s supply chain faculty.  The competition’s newest sponsor, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, joins returning sponsors Delphi, Lear, DENSO, the Detroit Regional Chamber, and the Automotive Industry Action Group.

"GM is honored to partner with Wayne State for the fourth year on the Supply Chain Case Competition," said Bill Hurles, General Motors executive director Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. "This is a great opportunity to engage students in real day-to-day Supply Chain challenges.  It teaches the importance of building great relationships with suppliers. The students will experience working together as a team and understand it is essential to providing customers with the best products."

The case recommendations are prepared in advance to allow the students plenty of time to explore Detroit and the automotive industry during their visit, which will include a tour GM’s Lake Orion Assembly plant.

The 20 university teams will be divided into five groups to participate in a preliminary competition on Friday, October 3. The semifinalist teams will receive additional information and prepare a second presentation for the competition’s final round the next day. Winning teams will be announced at the awards dinner on October 4. 

Participating universities are from Colorado, New Jersey, Iowa, Maryland, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Washington D.C., and Michigan. This year’s competition also welcomes the first team from Canada.

For additional information, visit the program Web page.

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