Wayne State and University of Memphis share top honors at fourth annual GM-WSU School of Business Supply Chain Case Competition

The student supply chain teams from the University of Memphis and Wayne State University’s School of Business were named co-champions of the fourth annual General Motors/Wayne State University Supply Chain Case Competition, held October 2-5, at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center.

Title sponsor GM and WSU’s School of Business hosted teams from 20 universities across the country and Canada to solve supply chain issues featuring the 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe and 2015 Chevrolet Sonic.

WSU’s team captures its first win

Wayne State’s winning team included senior supply chain majors Hena Hassan, Brandon LeAnnais, Nathan Puchalski and Kate Plegue. The team’s advisor was Lori Sisk, an adjunct professor of supply chain at the business school.

"Representing WSU in the case competition was an amazing honor," said WSU team member Kate Plegue. "Preparation for the competition took a lot of dedication, teamwork, and many late nights, but we had a great team and we rocked it out! The competition itself was highly competitive and it was a great test of our experience and supply chain knowledge.It was also fun getting to know other college students from across North America."

The Case

Teams were responsible for issuing and analyzing a Request for Quote (RFQ) on consoles containing a new wireless charging module component, known at GM as a "Dockspot," technology that will be standard on the 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe and Chevrolet Sonic and presenting their recommendations to a panel of industry and academic experts during the competition.

An Outstanding Field of Teams

Teams from Howard University, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Northern Iowa rounded out the field of finalists. All 20 teams were recognized by William Hurles, executive director of supply chain for General Motors, at the awards dinner aboard the Detroit Princess riverboat.

John Taylor, chair of WSU’s Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management was impressed with the overall quality of this year’s teams.

"It is a real honor for Wayne State University to have tied with University of Memphis to win this year," Taylor said. "We were pleased to welcome top university SCM Programs to the city to compete, and they comprised the best field in our four years of hosting the competition. The quality of the student teams was outstanding. We’re now looking to next year’s competition and already have schools on a waiting list for 2015."

An Outstanding Team of Sponsors and Supporters

This year’s case was developed by sponsors General Motors and Ryder, in conjunction with WSU’s supply chain management faculty, led by Associate Professor Timothy Butler. Returning sponsors also included Delphi, Denso, Lear Corporation, Detroit Regional Chamber and the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG).  The event also welcomed its newest sponsor, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

All students who participate in the competition have the opportunity to interview for internships and permanent positions with event sponsors and partners. Nearly 300 students have participated since the first competition in 2011.