Blog: Investing in the Future of Supply Chain

As part of GAINS’ commitment to helping develop future supply chain leaders, we co-sponsored a recent case competition with the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP). This year at the Chicago Roundtable student competitors included the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), and Purdue University.  Each team brought unique perspectives to the project and quickly learned how to use the intuitive GAINS Supply Chain Performance Optimization platform to complete their projects. As global supply chains grappled with COVID-related disruptions, the students were given the prompt to analyze how to respond.  

The case competition featured a fictional industrial shelving manufacturer who had lost significant sales due to their customer’s businesses, primarily retail stores and restaurants being shuttered during the pandemic. The prompt the students were given asked them to anticipate a significant reversal in demand as the economy recovered. This real-world scenario gave the students context and a sense of urgency to respond and synchronize supply chain performance. Using GAINS, the students simulated various planning scenarios and made decisions around what to forecast, how to source or produce each product (make vs buy) and what to stock to achieve desired service level performance.  

The winning team, from Purdue, presented an excellent summary of their GAINS analysis in the Spring and won a trip to the CSCMP Edge Conference held in Atlanta in September 2021.  The students then shared their recommendations and insights in a presentation to industry professionals. GAINS supported the Purdue students in their presentation and participated in a panel discussing how to plan for supply chain disruptions using real-time data.  

GAINS are proud to be a part of furthering understanding of the supply chain industry and helping guide its future. As an organization founded in academia, GAINS encourages professional engagement and development for students and industry veterans alike.  

Steve Arvis Director of Consulting