UNT beats defending champs to win at major logistics and transportation event

UNT group photo at Operation Stimulus 2018.jpgDENTON (UNT), Texas — A team of University of North Texas logistics and supply chain management students won the top prize at Operation Stimulus, a prestigious and highly-competitive collegiate logistics student case study competition.

Seniors Carlos Castro, Chelsea Jones and Woodrow Weaver and junior Joshua Intondi beat 19 other teams from nationally and internationally ranked logistics programs – including last year’s winner, Dalhousie University – during the contest earlier this month. Juniors Pritti Gill and Kristopher Henny also attended as observers. 

“We knew if we could get past universities like Penn State, Iowa State, Dalhousie and Texas Tech, then we had a good shot at winning the competition,” said Weaver, the team captain.

During this case study challenge, students took on the role of consultants hired to assist a fictional retailer in growing its business by leveraging its supply chain. UNT’s first-place response provided a multi-criteria decision model to determine the most time efficient and profitable routes to transport products from the moment the retailer took possession of the products in Hong Kong to the products’ arrival at the retailer’s distribution center in Ohio. The UNT team incorporated its multi-criteria decision making model into an Excel-based tool to evaluate the risks and challenges involved with this retailer’s complex, international supply chain.

“We took the concepts we learned in our classes and created a user dashboard to help us explore our variables and create an optimum solution,” said Weaver. “In our analysis, we had to decide if we wanted to palletize or floor stack the product, what type of container to use and which of eight routing options to bring the products into a port and on to the distribution center.”

Operation Stimulus is an annual competition hosted by the Denver Transportation Club and is in its 37th year. UNT’s logistics and supply chain management students participate in as many as five case study competitions a year led by Julie Willems-Espinoza, associate director of the Center for Logistics Education and Research.

“Winning is certainly a validation of the students’ hard work, knowledge, skill sets and critical thinking, however, we believe the greatest benefit from these case study competitions is how they enhance a student’s development here at UNT making them more work ready upon graduation,” said Willems-Espinoza.