MBA Students Win Two Major Operations Management Competitions
Yale SOM MBA student teams won two leading operations management competitions on November 10.
A team of second-year students won the 2012 Supply Chain Challenge, a virtual case competition sponsored by Avent, Inc. A total of 100 teams from 12 countries competed. SOM team members included Dmitry Lavnik, Yuan Li, Adrienne Tamame, and Mingxue Zhao.
In The Supply Chain Challenge, teams are faced with an advanced scenario of the Littlefield Technologies Factory Simulation created by Responsive Learning Technologies. Each team is asked to maximize profit while meeting rapidly changing demand patterns. Teams manage production and inventory control parameters, add or sell machines, and set customer contracts.
"The key to our victory was the preparation for the game," said Lavnik. "We built models, discussed possible scenarios, and created a framework to make decisions." Zhao said that the group also benefitted from its spirit of teamwork. "This win reflects SOM's quality," he said. "We have fantastic professors and courses, and students who know how to work together."
Also on November 10, a five-member team of first-year MBA students won the Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business International Case Competition, which asks student teams to solve a practical, industry-related operations case. It was Yale SOM's first win in the competition.
"It is just awesome to have Yale SOM winning an operations management competition," said team member Rafael Scott '14. Fellow team member Rohit Singh '14 said the team's adaptability and collaborative spirit helped it respond to new challenges during the competition. The team also included Maggie Ferrenz, Patrick Conlisk, and Rob Thompson.
A basic version of the Littlefield simulation game is a key part of the core Operations Engine course. Students prepped for the Tepper competition in a crash session with Arthur Swersey, professor of operations research. Swersey said he is proud of both teams. "The Littlefield team won by a wide margin, which is all the more remarkable," he said. "And students on the Tepper team made a great presentation that demonstrated their understanding of key operations management concepts."