Supply Chain Management

Annual competition gives student teams an opportunity to design a manufacturing or distribution facility

Source: Modern Materials Handling

Oct 29, 2009

Each year, the Material Handling Student Design Competition provides student teams with the opportunity to design a manufacturing or distribution facility to support the objectives of a fictional company case study drawn from real-world implementations. This year’s competition was sponsored by the College Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE) and Keogh Consulting, which developed the case study.

This year’s case study focuses on a facility design project assigned to Dollar Value Supplies’ (DV$) engineering team, a major wholesale third-party logistics (3PL) company. DV$ is challenged with the goal to design a distribution center to service new business by utilizing an existing facility that is ready for final fit-out by the builder and developer. The information in this case study has been developed to provide a realistic situation in regard to designing a functional, efficient distribution center layout and understanding the 3PL business.

The 3PL industry has been growing significantly for the last decade, thanks to the trend in outsourcing. In today’s market, companies must redefine their strengths and focus only on core competencies. Even 3PL companies need to specialize in a certain area of logistics. For example in this case study, DV$ focuses on wholesale business by supplying various goods for major retailers, ranging from general merchandise, health and beauty supplies, dairy, meat, produce and frozen products.

The three academic and three industry judges evaluated the entries according to the criteria of product flow, equipment utilization, space utilization, operational plan, overall integration and economic justification. Judges were also asked to evaluate writing quality, analysis and presentation. The results are in for this year’s Material Handling Student Design Competition. 

First place: ($1500 split among the team plus $500 for the department):

  • Syed Hasnain, Akiko Nakata, Cory Smith and Jamie Smith
  • Virginia Tech
  • Yasemin Merzifonluoglu, Advisor

Second place: ($1000 split among the teams plus $500 for each department):

  • Natasha Jain, Matthew Knepper and Chanpeng Shen
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Chen Zhou, Advisor

Third place: ($500 split among the teams plus $500 for each department):

  • José Gabriel Rodríguez, Rodrigo Velarde Gonzalez, Huseyin Zorba and Desirae Gilbert
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Andres Carrano, Advisor

Honorable mentions:

  • Nick Burton, David Meschkat, Roger Paredes and Samrat Singh
  • Texas A&M University
  • Andrew Johnson, Advisor
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