Supply Chain Students Earn Finalist Spot at ISM Houston Case Competition

Published on August 3, 2017

Bauer Student Team Proposal Impresses Industry Judges

C. T. Bauer College of Business students (from left) Hilario “Eli” Yanez, Quynh Le, MS supply chain management student Jessenia Rucoba and Vanessa Tovar, and placed third at the ISM Houston Student Case Competition.

A team of three undergraduate students and one graduate student from the C. T. Bauer College of Business earned a third place finish at the ISM Houston Student Case Competition this spring, edging out teams from other universities in the greater Houston area.

Supply chain management students Quynh Le, Vanessa Tovar and Hilario “Eli” Yanez and MS supply chain management student Jessenia Rucoba were given a real-life sourcing challenge at the start of the competition and tasked with developing analysis and presenting a solution within 24 hours.

“We spent long hours preparing the case by using some of the tools we had learned in the classroom, as well as a lot of financial analysis,” Tovar said. “I remember not going to bed until 3 a.m. and waking up at 5:30 a.m. because we practiced presenting so many times.”

The team presented their solution to a panel of industry leaders and were judged based on their presentation skills, proposed strategy and a 10-minute question and answer session, eventually nabbing one of three finalist spots.

Applying the skills learned from Bauer supply chain courses helped the students feel confident throughout their presentation, Rucoba said.

“There were several strategies that we used from classes at Bauer. Specifically, I used cost-benefit and NPV analysis to evaluate each sourcing alternative and choose the one that best aligned with the company’s business objectives,” she added. “My team also used KPI evaluation and other tools to assist in making our final decision.”

Le said: “It was an opportunity for us to build our confidence in solving complex business problems, working in teams and public speaking. Moreover, ISM is a professional organization so professionals from large companies such as Shell and Dresser-Rand served as judges. It was also a chance for us to capture their attention.”

By Priscilla Aceves