Supply chain problems aren’t easy to solve.
For assistance, companies with supply chain challenges each semester seek out the innovative thinking of Bryant’s Global Supply Chain Management (GSCM) students. This past semester was no different, even with an ongoing global pandemic.
“All of the projects were very impressive but some of their financial impacts are beyond comprehension.”
GSCM students taking the major's capstone, GSCM Practicum (GSCM 490), partnered with local, national, and international companies to take on supply chain problems each company has yet to solve. Working in teams as consultants, the students faced such industry challenges as selecting Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) software, choosing a Source-to-Pay (S2P) platform, and determining an optimum forecasting model appropriate for the client.
If fully implemented, the students' recommendations to this semester's clients would save the companies tens of millions of dollars.
Results to be proud of
“All of the projects were very impressive but some of their financial impacts are beyond comprehension, especially when you consider that they were done by college students,” says Chris Roethlein, Ph.D., Professor of Management, GSCM Practicum Director, and GSCM Program Coordinator. “Our students have shown that they are more than capable of meeting the needs of industry, even before they graduate.”
Roethlein, along with GSCM faculty members and industry experts Teresa McCarthy, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Marketing and GSCM Program Coordinator; John Visich, Ph.D., Professor of Management; and Michael Gravier, Ph.D., Professor of Marketing, served as faculty advisors for the teams.
“It was amazing to be a part of such an important project for such a large company.”
Megan Tan ’20, who graduated with a degree in International Business (IB) with concentrations in Finance and GSCM, was proud of the results her team achieved for BNY Mellon, the world’s largest custodian bank and wealth management company. The group worked with Bryant alumnus Nirbhay Kumar ’97, Global Head of FinTech and Market Data Sourcing at BNY Mellon, to select an S2P platform that fits the company’s needs. The potential savings reach the high eight-figure mark, based on the trillions of dollars the company spends annually.
“It was amazing to be a part of such an important project for such a large company,” says Tan. She's continuing to work with the company to help facilitate the final decision regarding the S2P platform.
Emily Katz ’20, a dual-degree graduate in Spanish and IB with concentrations in GSCM and Applied Analaytics, and her team partnered with Legrand, a $7-billion publicly traded company based in France. “We sparked a conversation [and] we were able to update and improve Legrand’s shipment process that was in existence for over 11 years,” amounting to a projected savings of $2.5 million, she says.
At the end of the semester, all seven teams (a total of 40 students) showcased their semester-long efforts in presentations to a panel of executives and leaders from industry, who served as judges and awarded cash prizes to the top teams.
“Our students have shown that they are more than capable of meeting the needs of industry, even before they graduate.”
Says Roethlein, “We’re very proud of them for not only solving their client’s problems but also for making the most of extreme circumstances. Despite the disruptions the semester posed and sheltering at home, all seven teams persevered with their projects to deliver tremendously successful results for their clients.”
Prepared for career launch
Students say the real-world industry experience gained from the projects will give them a leg up in their careers. For example, George Gill ’20 was hired by Mirian/AVTECH after his team worked with the computer hardware and software development company to select an ERP software. He's now a Supply Chain Analyst at AVTECH, where he is helping to implement the software his team recommended.
“I am very excited for this,” Gill says. “It is a big opportunity so early in my career to be able to work on such a big investment that will have a lasting impact on the company.”