SMITHFIELD, RI - Bryant’s Global Supply Chain Management (GSCM) Practicum students continue to solve some of industry’s biggest challenges, impressing corporate leaders, and often future employers, with significant strategic and financial results.
"With the expertise and guidance of our Supply Chain faculty, who set the bar very high, these students solve every problem assigned to them," says Christopher Roethlein, Ph.D., Professor of Operations Management and GSCM program Co-founder and Director. “The financial impacts are truly staggering. The most recent set of projects were more demanding, complicated, and multi-leveled than previous years, and our students rose to the challenge."
“The financial impacts are truly staggering. The most recent set of projects were more demanding, complicated, and multi-leveled than previous years, and our students rose to the challenges."
The GSCM Capstone Practicum, now in its 10th year, is the culmination of Bryant’s innovative curriculum that integrates multiple disciplines—marketing, management, finance, operations management, and data science and analytics—replicating real-world scenarios to ensure that students gain the knowledge and experience that prepare them for success in their chosen field. Students also secure internships as early as sophomore year. Through their semester-long projects, students put their intensive classroom learning and immersive experiential preparation to the test.
“It’s a win for everyone involved.”
Over the last four years, the Practicum has generated more than $109 million in projected annual savings/earnings for companies ranging from major global corporations such as Hasbro, CVS, and FGX (Foster Grant) to regional companies with global reach including TeknorApex, Barrett Distribution Centers, and Key Container.
“These companies are helping to develop the world's future supply chain leaders. They recognize the need to help universities develop this talent,” says Teresa McCarthy, Ph.D, Professor of Marketing, who has been featured in the Wall Street Journal. “It’s a win for everyone involved.”
Nine projects completed during the Spring 2019 semester resulted in projected annual savings/earnings of more than $21 million, about $2.4 million per project. Projects range from developing forecasting models to adapting supply chains for new tariffs and developing inventory control algorithms.
Accomplished scholars and industry experts
GSCM faculty members Abhit Chaudhury, Ph.D., Professor of Information Systems and Analytics; Suhong Li, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Information Systems and Analytics; Michael Gravier, Ph.D., Professor of Marketing; and John Visich, Ph.D., Professor of Management, are accomplished scholar-practitioners with longstanding relationships with regional and global corporations. They work with industry executives to define the challenges and guide the semester-long projects.
“Faculty are constantly available and always willing to share their knowledge with these teams, helping them to apply the necessary rigor to complete their projects at a high level,” says Roethlein. “I continue to be impressed by the way our students tackle these projects, set goals, persevere and eventually exceed our clients’ expectations.”
The program’s excellent results keep major global corporations returning to Bryant year after year. When Roethlein launched the Capstone Practicum 10 years ago, he reached out to contacts from his previous aerospace and original equipment manufacturing experience to recruit companies. Now, with the program’s reputation for success, companies are coming to Bryant.
Deb Izzo, Director, Global Trade Compliance at Johnson Controls, has worked with a number of Bryant Supply Chain students over the years, and says "they are among the highest caliber young professionals I have ever encountered."
Jim Rapoza, Director of Business Process Improvement at Barrett Distribution Centers, agrees. “The students arrive eager, inquisitive, and extremely knowledgeable within the industry,” he says. “We consider the students we have worked with to be among the brightest young adults in the industry and would strongly recommend them to employers.”
In 2015, talented Bryant students applied math and data science learning from their coursework to develop a sophisticated algorithm for FGX International, one of the world’s leading designers and marketers of non-prescription reading glasses, optical frames and sunglasses (including Foster Grant), to help with inventory planning. After a slight modification, FGX implemented the algorithm with one of the company’s major retail customers, and it has translated to higher levels of customer satisfaction with the retailer as well as its end customers.
“It is a pleasure working with talented and enthusiastic young men and women who diligently work on the real-world issues we give them,” says Rick Christy, FGX’s Vice President of Supply Chain.
As of spring 2019, Bryant’s Global Supply Chain Management program has worked on 79 capstone projects with 71 companies. A total of 377 students have participated in the Practicum course.
The popularity of Bryant’s Global Supply Chain Management capstone mirrors demand within the corporate community for supply chain managers. Today, more than 202 undergraduate and MBA students are enrolled in the program – a number that rises every year. With this growing interest and marketplace value, the Practicum will also grow, said Roethlein, “not only in the number of students, but also in the industry type and geographic reach of the clients.” As of spring 2019, Bryant’s Global Supply Chain Management program has worked on 79 capstone projects with 71 companies. A total of 377 students have participated in the Practicum course.