February 16, 2006

Neeley Supply Chain Students Win Prestigious National Competition in First Appearance



Trey Davis, Faculty Advisor Chad Autry, Jeff DeArment, and Carsten Frederikson

In their first appearance at a national case competition sponsored by the Denver Transportation Club, three undergraduate students from the Neeley School of Business at TCU claimed victory over some of the most prestigious supply chain programs in the country, including two-time defending champions Arizona State University, Michigan State University, University of Arkansas, Georgia Southern University, Clarkson University, the University of West Florida and John Carroll University. The Neeley team, sponsored by the Supply and Value Chain Center at the Neeley School of Business, included Jeff DeArment, Trey Davis and Carsten Frederikson, all majors in the new Supply Chain program at TCU. Teams from all other universities had five students each.

The Denver Transportation Club hosts the annual conference and undergraduate student case competition as a part of its Operation Stimulus transportation project, a think-tank environment for innovation in the transportation and logistics industries. The competition draws teams of premier undergraduates together in an interactive forum where difficult real-life business problems are reviewed and addressed. Solutions are presented to executive judges from national transportation and logistics firms such as Ryder Integrated Logistics and JB Hunt, as well as those firms who rely on their services, such as IBM and Cintas.

Chad Autry, assistant professor of Supply Chain Management, led the team and captured these comments from executives in attendance as they congratulated the winning team:

"TCU won because they were able to see what the others couldn't - that events that (impact) the firm also create a ripple effect through the supply chain that everyone has to deal with...and they were able to develop solutions that considered not only our problems, but the issues facing all."

"We didn't know anything about the TCU team, and there were only three of them, but they were the only team that seemed as though they were actually in touch with what we faced in Louisiana."

The tournament consisted of two rounds: a preliminary in which students addressed shipping and transportation problems associated with southern customers and service providers in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and a final playoff pairing the two finalists. The playoff consisted of a debate where additional constraints were applied to the problem, and a revised solution was formulated and presented. In the preliminary round, the TCU team took down Clarkson University, the University of West Florida and John Carroll University, and stunned two-time defending champions Arizona State University. They finished off the perennial power from the University of Arkansas to advance to the finals.

In the finals, TCU met Georgia Southern University, a team who had reached the final round after toppling Michigan State, University of Denver and Syracuse. In the end, the trio from the Neeley School of Business at TCU was victorious by a 15 percent margin based on scoring from the final-round judges. Each student walked away with a cash prize, a pocket full of business cards and the traveling Operation Stimulus plaque engraved with names of past winners.The Supply Chain program, established at the Neeley School of Business in 2001, offers executive programs such as the annual Global Supply Chain Conference, an MBA Certificate program, and the newly-offered undergraduate major.

"This was a significant step for these three students and the Neeley School Supply Chain Program as a whole," said Charles Lamb, Chair, Department of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management at the Neeley School of Business. "Undergraduate teams from the 'big name' supply chain and logistics programs attend and the competition is intense. National bragging rights are at stake, as are cash prizes and valuable job interviews. These three students earned national respect for themselves and the Neeley School of Business at TCU."
For more information on the Neeley Supply Chain Program, visit www.svcc.tcu.edu.


Elaine Cole
PR Manager
Neeley School of Business