N.C. A&T Supply Chain Management Students Address Business Challenges during Coronavirus Pandemic

By Staff Report / 12/18/2020 College of Business and Economics, Transportation & Supply Chain

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Dec. 18, 2020) – Supply chain management students in North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics spent their fall 2020 semester producing analytical solutions for a business challenge posed by Shell Oil Co.

The Shell Oil Co. case competition, which has been offered for 10 years, provides an opportunity for students to engage with corporate partners while being exposed to industry problems that require strategic resolutions.

“We are ecstatic to have Shell Oil partner with the Deese College at North Carolina A&T State University year after year to provide practical learning opportunity for our students,” said Laquanda Leaven Johnson, Ph.D., associate professor of supply chain management. “This experience combined with the academic rigor they are exposed to in our supply chain management program, helps to prepare our students to be competitive and impactful in the corporate setting beyond graduation.”

This year, student teams had up to 12 weeks to develop a plan that could be implemented to improve inventory management, determining which Shell products should be made to stock and made to order, the volumes to be produced and at which locations, and the ideal number of products to hold at each site – all while minimizing costs and meeting customer demand. Students also were tasked with identifying which COVID-19 prevention measures could be implemented at the warehousing level to ensure the safety of both staff and customers with minimal cost to the bottom line.

While the ongoing coronavirus pandemic forced the students to work with remotely with their team members, course instructor and Shell representatives, it created another experiential learning opportunity. “Most companies are now global entities and you will have to determine how to communicate virtually with colleagues and clients in other countries to complete the deliverables you have been tasked with,” said Johnson.

The teams used Zoom to present their strategic solutions to Shell representatives, who judged the competition in November and applauded the students for their effort to deliver such quality results in the midst of online learning and the pandemic. The first-place team received $2,600, the second-place team received $1,700, and the third-place team received $1,200.

“Academic rigor and industry readiness are key components to shaping and developing the students in the Deese College and this practical learning experience is vital to the preparedness of the supply chain management students transitioning into corporate America,” said Johnson. “We are thankful for this investment by Shell Oil Co., and the investment of many our corporate partners, to ensure the success of our students as they transition from meetings in the classroom to meetings in the boardroom.”


Media Contact Information: ucomm@ncat.edu

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