Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Grainger Case Competition gives Kelleys insight into supply chain challenges

Grainger Executives and 1st place team members, from left: Gary Scalzitti (Grainger), Tim Faley (Grainger), Ryan Goodman, Jaclyn Nelson, Gue Hee Park, Melissa Davis (Grainger), Annie Oler (Grainger), Kevin Henderson (Grainger), Eddie Espinosa (Grainger).  (Not pictured, but also on winning team: Grace Niu.)

Grainger Senior Planning Analyst Annie Oler,
talks with Kelley students participating in
case competition.

W.W. Grainger is one of the sponsors of the Little 500 bicycle race at Indiana University, but it also sponsored another form of competition at IU during Little 5 week -- the second annual Grainger Case Competition for undergraduates at the Kelley School of Business.  

The case presented students with a strategic decision: Should Grainger restructure its global supply chain to return some manufacturing from the Far East back to the United States? A key factor in the decision is the high uncertainty of oil prices over the next number of years.

After a preliminary round judged  by Kelley faculty, six teams advanced to the final round, which was judged by Grainger executives. In addition to providing $5,000 in award money ($2,000 to the 1st place team), Grainger hosted a lunch reception with all student participants. The top spot was won by
Ryan Goodman, Jaclyn Nelson, Grace Niu and Gue Hee Park.

Kyle Cattani, associate professor of Operations and Decision Technologies and W.W. Grainger Faculty Fellow, was delighted to work with Grainger executives to develop the case and coordinate their visit.

“Grainger’s support of this case competition has provided an invaluable learning experience for our Kelley students and deepens the relationship between Kelley and Grainger," Cattani said.  "We hope to continue to place our graduates at this outstanding company.”

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