Competition serious business

competitionhighres1By JODY ANDERSON

The third annual Supply Chain Case Competition was held Feb. 21 with Conestoga College’s Doon campus being one of the host sites.

The competition, put on by the Supply Chain Management Association, had teams working on case studies in a real-world scenario which they then presented to judges.

Leopold Koff, a professor in the supply chain and operations/purchasing management programs at Conestoga, worked hard to make Conestoga one of the host sites.

“This year I was able to capture the site for it to be here at Conestoga. I lobbied and was able to achieve that,” Koff said.

Conestoga was an Ontario site as well as a national site. For the first time the competition brought together students from across the country.

There were teams working on case studies at the school and judges at the site as well as teams from the other schools doing their case studies and being judged remotely with the help of technology.

“GoToMeeting technology tied in the University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, Conestoga, and, of course, HEC Montréal. So we’re trying to make it into a national competition but without the travel requirements,” Koff said.

The competition had strict rules against the use of technology, ensuring teams had to work on their own.

“The teams prepared in their sites, here and in those other sites.

“They were sequestered, they were locked away basically. Even when in the bathroom they had to be monitored. The rooms they were in were disabled, they had no access to wireless, in fact, they were even frisked for any wireless devices … So they could work on it without any contact, no helplines basically,” Koff said.

Teams were given four hours to complete the case studies.

competitionhighres2Conestoga had two teams in the competition but were not one of the finalists.

The University of British Columbia won the competition.

Programs with students in the competition were, supply chain and operations management, purchasing and international business management.

“In the future I am looking at our teams competing and I would like to have it more broadly based in terms of cross-pollinating from our different programs in the School of Business like accounting, marketing, HR, purchasing and supply chains.”

Koff explained what supply chain management means.

“Anything you buy, that you eat, that you wear, that you need. If it weren’t for supply chain and operations management people, you wouldn’t have it,” Koff said. “If the supply chain shut down, in other words, it broke, within I think two or three days we’d run out of everything in our stores.”

Koff said the competition benefits students by giving them a real world experience, and said there are many job opportunities. He also said students learn a lot from the competition.

“Everybody learns … they learn from the competition, they get the feedback from the judges.”

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Spoke Online is produced weekly during the school year by Conestoga College second-year journalism print students, faculty adviser Christina Jonas and new media technologist Michael Toll.