For the second consecutive year a team from the College of Business won the Ptak Student Supply Chain Case Competition, a prestigious global competition that brings together students and young professionals from around the world to compete. The Ptak Case Competition consists of a Harvard Business Review-type case related to a supply chain problem of a company.
Hundreds of university students and young entrepreneurs from around the world compete throughout the year at the local and four regional levels before advancing to the final global round. The Ptak competition is held entirely online so people from all over the globe have the opportunity to participate.
Two CSU teams entered Ptak this year and both of them made it to the final round. Team Impact —Julia Way, Bayne Smallwood, Amanda Gossman and Kami Dozier — brought home the title.
“Obviously going into it there were high expectations,” said Gossman. ”The caliber of students in the supply chain management concentration is irrevocable.”
Paul Vanderspek, the supply-chain faculty advisor to both teams, said participating in competitions like Ptak has value to the students as well as the College.
“Obviously, it’s prestigious for the College of Business to win international competitions, but the process of preparation, analyzing the problem, developing a solution and then presenting your work to judges in the industry is very educational, and helps prepare students for the professional world,” he said.
Vanderspek also advised Team RamBiz, which won the Ptak Prize last year. He selected members of this year’s team on the basis of a resume and a letter explaining why they wanted to compete back in September.
Hard work pays off
The teams received the case studies in mid-October and had five days to complete them. The four members of Team Impact spent 200 hours cumulatively during those five days doing research and writing their analysis of the case.
“The hardest part was learning about something in such a short amount of time,” Gossman said. “This was also the greatest satisfaction: knowing that we could do this and do it well.”
The final 15-minute video presentations to the Ptak judges for both teams were produced by the College of Business video team in Rockwell Hall West.
“The production team was our biggest asset,” Gossman said. “The presentation looked very professional and high quality.”
In addition to winning the title of 2014 Ptak Student Supply Chain Case Competition the team receives $1,000, and continuing education certificate courses offered through SCNext. All prizes will be presented by Carol Ptak, noted author in the field of supply chain management and former president of APICS International for whom the prize is named, later this spring.
The virtual competition made the team feel they were preparing for a real business situation.
“It was a really great experience to know we’ll be able to apply this in the real world,” Gossman said.