North Carolina State University’s Supply Chain Resource Cooperative (SCRC) is a unique university-industry initiative that provides MBA and undergraduate students with opportunities to apply supply chain (SC) theory and concepts to field-based projects over a semester. We integrate field-based student course projects with real problems that companies are facing.
The projects are led by SCRC directors, faculty at the Poole College of Management, and SC managers that financially support the SCRC. The SCRC focuses on improving the caliber of students entering the SC management profession. It accomplishes this by bringing the classroom into indus- try and involving students in finding viable solutions to real business problems, thus facilitating interactions between students and companies. Since 2000, 1,251 students have completed 331 projects with 39 companies.
The SCRC is a self-funded small business that is supported by donor companies. Its organizational structure enables us to develop and maintain long-term relationships with donor companies, which are critical for a successful student-based outreach initiative with industry. In this paper, we describe the SCRC’s evolution and benefits, and provide insights that may help other institutions interested in establishing similar organizations.