Texas Tech University

Supply Chain Students Place in the Top-Four at the Annual Operation Stimulus Case Competition

Trevor Bell

February 6, 2015

Four Supply Chain Management students represented the Rawls College during a Supply Chain Team Case Competition at the Operation Stimulus Conference last week in Denver, Colo., earning a top-four finish. Alexandria Lyon, Beau Vernon, Alicia Castillo and Josh Camp competed against teams from 15 other universities, where they had to develop solutions to real-world supply chain problems.

The Rawls College made its first appearance in the 18-year-old competition last year, and this year's showing exemplified the progressive growth the Rawls College is making toward applying the lessons learned in the classroom to industry scenarios. Dr. Rodney Thomas, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management Program Coordinator, accompanied the students on the trip and remarked how their efforts positively resonated with industry professionals in attendance.

"Our case team did an exceptional job at the Operations Stimulus Competition. They had a firm grasp of the critical issues, performed detailed analysis, and developed implementable solutions. I was very proud of the way Josh, Alexandria, Beau, and Alicia handled themselves throughout the competition and conference," Dr. Thomas said. "Their hard work and diligent efforts were readily apparent to all attendees, and they helped solidify the emerging reputation of the Rawls Supply Chain Management Program."

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(L to R) Josh Camp, Alicia Castillo, Alexandria Lyon and Beau Vernon

The students enjoyed the competitive nature of the competition and working with their teammates to ensure success. Also, because the conference was well-attended by major supply chain companies, there were vast networking opportunities.

"The Operation Stimulus Conference allowed us to meet supply chain students from varying programs across North America. This centralized learning experience sparked healthy competition between the students and provided the opportunity for us to learn from successful supply chain professionals," Alexandria Lyon, a senior Marketing major, with a concentration in Supply Chain Management, said. "In any organization, specifically supply chain, it is crucial to adapt to the changing environment by focusing investments on issues affecting costs."

"This experience provided us with the steps on how to tackle a logistic concern. It involved brainstorming, trial and error, and perfecting the final presentation. Working as a group, it was important to find each teammate's strength and utilize it to our advantage. The entire process was a group effort, and we continued to question each other's ideas in order to find the best solution," Alicia Castillo, a senior dual Management and Marketing major, with a concentration in Supply Chain Management, said. "Additionally, the network opportunities were unimaginable. We came in contact with so many different managers, students, and professors during the conference."

"My favorite part of this experience was the camaraderie that we had as a team. Alexandria, Alicia, and Beau each brought their own unique and dynamic strengths to the competition. If it weren't for their dedication and individual contributions we would have never made it into the finals," Josh Camp, a senior dual International Business and Marketing major, with a concentration in Supply Chain Management, said. "Working with such driven professionals from the Rawls College of Business was a true pleasure."

The 34th annual Operation Stimulus Conference - which ran from January 29-31 -provides students an opportunity to participate in educational workshops led by industry professionals and motivational speakers, network with industry experts as well as recognized professors from renowned universities across the nation, and engage in valuable information within the supply chain and logistics industry.

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The Rawls College would like to extend a special thanks to corporate sponsor, Phillips 66, for its continued support of the Supply Chain Management Program. Phillips 66′s efforts make events like these possible for students to attend. For more information on the Supply Chain Management Program, email Dr. Rodney Thomas at rodney.thomas@ttu.edu.

This supports the efforts outlined in the Rawls College of Business Strategic Plan. Learn more about the LEADER 2020 Strategic Plan and follow our progress on Twitter at #RawlsLeads.