By Hally Darnell
What came first; the chicken or the egg? Or in the case of 1st annual Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business Invitational MBA/MS Supply Chain Case Competition, which egg is best: caged or cage-free?
Spartans traveled to Fort Worth, Texas to compete against fellow MBA/MS Supply Chain students from across for $17,000 in prize money.
Of the teams competing in the 24-hour competition, Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business was represented by Weifei Zou (Full-Time MBA ‘18), Mary Mays (Full-Time MBA ‘17), Aditya Menon (Full-Time MBA ‘17), and Samarth Mungali (Full-Time MBA ‘18). Dr. Sriram Narayanan, associate professor with the Department of Supply Chain Management, oversaw the advised the team.
The challenge? To make a recommendation for a chain of restaurants regarding their use of caged vs cage-free eggs. The teams had to determine which type of egg makes the most economic sense given the situation in the case, and then detail the supply chain and sourcing requirements to support our solution. They then presented their solution, analysis, and presentation to a panel of judges made up of senior executives and talent acquisition team members from the National Restaurant Association, and other sponsor companies. The team was among the finalists, and secured fourth place in the national.
Teams were given their challenge Friday morning and their solutions had to be submitted by Saturday morning. The teams were separated into flights for presentations, and the top team from each flight advanced to the final round. Broad’s team walked away finalists, and placed fourth overall among the 12 competing universities.
According to Broad team member Mary Mays, the key to their success was detailed analytics, paired with a holistic recommendation to solving the business problem. “Our presentation showcased both our depth and breadth of knowledge in supply chain and differentiated the Broad team from the others attending,” said Mays. “Our executive presence and strong presentation skills were key to us making the final round – we created several Excel models in anticipation of judges questions and were able to support our Q&A answers seamlessly with analytics to back us up.”