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Students Share Innovative Solutions to Real Problems

Each semester, NC State’s undergraduate and graduate supply chain students collaborate with corporations to find real-world solutions through the completion of team-based practicum projects. After completing their assignments, each team gets the chance to compete for first-place honors and share their solutions with the local supply chain community, including professionals from some of the industry’s leading companies.

Last semester’s teams worked on projects for corporations including American Red Cross, Advance Auto Parts, Duke Energy, Biogen, Siemens, Lenovo, and MetLife to find solutions on topics including cost savings and innovation, contract optimization, supplier performance evaluation, 3D printing, inventory stocking parameters, cost analytics, savings tracking tools, staffing resource models, risk assessment, market analysis, delivery optimization, inventory process development, and global procurement process analysis.

The student teams gathered in the ballroom at Talley Student Center last November to present their findings for judges evaluation and to share their work with faculty members, corporate professionals, parents, and peer students at the semi-annual Gallery Walk.

[marketing-quote color=’blue’ quotes=’true’ align=’right’ source=’Matt Cozzolino, undergraduate supply chain student’]I’m very appreciative of the SCRC for allowing me the opportunity to gain valuable skills by working with their partner companies.[/marketing-quote]

The 2nd place team of undergraduate students included Matt Cozzolino, Max Prestage, and Porter Jefferson (pictured above), who worked with corporate partner Advance Auto Parts to analyze the company’s management of storage totes and the subsequent impact on operating expenses. “Having no previous supply chain work or internship experience, the project really helped facilitate my transition from learning about supply chain practices in the classroom to applying my knowledge in a real-world situation with a reputable and established company,” says Cozzolino. “I’m very appreciative of the SCRC for allowing me the opportunity to gain valuable skills by working with their partner companies.”

The collaborative field-based projects — which highlight the unique industry-university relationship of the school’s supply chain program  — have been a core component of the supply chain student experience at the Poole College of Management since the inception of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative (SCRC) 20 years ago.

“By providing our students the opportunity to work with corporate partners on these projects, it really allows them to experience and embody the ‘Think and Do’ mentality that defines our university,” says Dr. Robert Handfield, co-founder and Executive Director of the SCRC and Bank of America University Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management at Poole College. “It’s always a pleasure to see what these bright students are able to accomplish year in and year out through their collaborative efforts.”

The SCRC would like to congratulate all the 2018 fall semester practicum project winners:

1st Place (Undergrad):

Mary Afuye, Matt Duckworth, Tylar Nicklis
Corporate Partner: MetLife
Project: Global Procurement Process Analysis

2nd Place (Undergrad):

Matt Cozzolino, Max Prestage, Porter Jefferson
Corporate Partner: Advance Auto Parts
Project: Tote Analysis

Tie for 1st Place (Graduate):

Jean Charlton, Zachery McKenzie, Kanchan Deopa
Corporate Partner: VF Corp
Project: Savings Tracking Tool

Everett Bruce, Yash Bajoria, Varun Prakash, Shaunak Khare
Corporate Partner: Advance Auto Parts
Project: Delivery Replenishment Optimization

2nd Place (Graduate):

Srinivasan Balan, Pranab Deepak, Mujeeb Lawal
Corporate Partner: Siemens Technology
Project: Understanding Supplier Risks, Risks Assessment, and Risk-Return Prediction


The 2019 spring semester Gallery walk will be held during the annual Leadership and Innovation Showcase on April 25th and is open to the public.