KNOXVILLE—A team of students from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Business Administration took high honors in the Deloitte Inaugural Supply Chain Challenge, coming in at second place.
“This was an invitation-only event for the top supply chain schools in the country,” said faculty coach Mary Holcomb. “Our team did great, coming in second after Carnegie Mellon.”
Members of the UT Master of Business Administration team were Daniel Conrad, Sarah Womack, Rachel Hylton and Whit Shofner.
“Deloitte created a very dynamic environment, not the usual ‘here’s your case, go analyze it’ case competition,” Holcomb said. “Throughout the entire competition, Deloitte personnel interacted with the teams to create a real-life environment.”
Senior management at Deloitte, a professional services firm, served as case judges.
Each team began working on a Harvard Business Review case, Crocs: Revolutionizing an Industry’s Supply Chain Model for Competitive Advantage, at noon on a Thursday. At 4 p.m., the teams received a challenge that changed the issues facing the company. They had to react to a situation of declining profitability and rising costs at a time of significant growth. The teams also received similar challenges throughout the night that affected the final presentation, which had to be submitted by 7 a.m. Friday.
UT team members said the most positive aspect of the experience was how much they learned from Deloitte and their peers at other schools.
“The competition reinforced the effectiveness and importance of how the UT MBA program integrates the lessons of each class,” Hylton said. “While it was a supply chain case competition, all of the team members were diverse in concentrations other than supply chain, and we felt very prepared in tackling a supply-chain-focused case.”