On April 13th the Stevenson University Business Administration team placed second in the Weinman Cup Regional Competition held at Towson University. The Stevenson team, Operations Management students Jackson Gibb, Amanda Madrigale, Annaliese Rutishauser, and Iliyan Slavov were advised by Dr. Mark Arvisais.
The Weinman Cup is a rigorous competition open to select undergrad business schools and requires teams to solve a difficult and complex supply chain problem. The competition was created with the help of the Toby and Melvin Weinman Foundation, Inc., to provide students the opportunity to practice their business skills and interact with local business leaders. The three judges for this year’s competition were from McCormick and Company, Samuel Shapiro and Company, and Black and Decker.
Dr. Mark Arvisais has been the faculty advisor for the Brown School of Business team for the last two years. Participation on the team is strictly voluntary and there is no reward for student participation. The competition case problem is distributed over spring break which is when the team of four first began meeting weekly to work on their solution.
According to the competition rules, Dr. Arvisais could advise and guide the students but was not allowed to perform any of the calculations required to reach their solution. This year’s case involved a complex supply chain problem for a manufacturer of paint and brushes involving multiple possible routes, modes of transportation, various fees, surcharges, tariffs, and other factors that required consideration.
“The team” says Arvisais “took full responsibility for conducting research, completing the complex calculations, and developing the solution. In fact, I sometimes wondered if they needed me at all!”
The team presented their solution to the judges, who gave immediate feedback, and asked further questions. “We diagrammed the company's supply chain model in the simplest of terms” said team member Annaliese Rutishauser “and from there tried to pick out where in each part of the supply chain, the company could be improved.” Team member Iliyan Slavov, also winner of this year’s Sam Dell Scholarship, said “We concluded with steps that the company needed to take and a P.E.S.T. (Political, Economic, Social, and Technological) analysis. Overall it was a great experience to work with such incredible people on this interesting case scenario. If I had to choose whether to do it again or not, I would definitely do it!
“When they gave their presentation and were presented their plaque” says Arvisais “I was so amazed and just beaming with pride at how hard they worked and how well they presented to the judges”. Dr. Arvisais says he is looking forward to the competition next year and has already been contacted by business administration students interested in being on the team in 2019.