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Victory at global supply chain competition

Victory at global supply chain competition

“The win is really the pinnacle of not only our supply chain education, but our education as a whole at Loyola University,” says team member Sam Mulroe.

A Quinlan team is celebrating a major victory: taking home first place in the International Student Team Competition at the 2017 APICS conference in San Antonio, Texas.

APICS, the international association for supply chain and operations, sponsors an annual case competition that challenges students to solve complex supply chain problems.

Only 14 teams worldwide qualified for the global competition after winning their respective regional and continental competitions. Teams participating in the global competition came from the U.S., Asia, South America, Europe, and Canada.

“The original field consisted of more than 300 teams worldwide, and these Loyolans came out on top,” says Mike Hewitt, PhD, associate professor of supply chain management and the team advisor.

This was the second time Quinlan’s delegation has reached the international competition. In 2015, the Quinlan team also advanced to the global round.

Members of the 2017 winning team are Hussam Bachour, Lu Chang, Nonyelu Chukwuogo, Susan Dittmar, Jie Wie Lo, Sam Mulroe, and Hongzhe Zhang.

Journey to victory

The Quinlan team won the Chicago-area case competition in October 2016 and then the regional competition in early 2017. This qualified them to advance to the international round of the competition in October 2017.

At the international competition, teams solved a complex supply chain problem that was presented to them in the form of a computer simulation. Teams spent two days developing their solutions and then presented their work to a panel of judges.

To win, the team had to show a strong understanding of various technical aspects of supply chain management, as well as present their results in a meaningful and insightful manner to a panel of judges.

“The global competition had more rounds; rounds that were far more challenging” than the previous levels of the competition, says team member Sam Mulroe. “During the global competition, we had to interview people to gain knowledge to support our submission, and our presentations were expected to be twice as long.”

Pinnacle of their Loyola education

For Mulroe, the experience made a lasting impression.

“The win is really the pinnacle of not only our supply chain education, but our education as a whole at Loyola University,” he says. “Through the hard work of the team and the support of Professor Hewitt and other Quinlan faculty, we were able to achieve this.”

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