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Team APICS, left to right: Phuong Tran, Tyler Phill, Benjamin Robinson

MBA students score epic APICS win

February 27, 2018 — 

A team of first-year MBA students representing the Asper School of Business at the APICS International Supply Chain Case Competition has won first place in the competition’s national round, which took place February 23 to 24 in Toronto.

Phuong Tran, Tyler Phill and Benjamin Robinson will go on to compete in the final round in Chicago during the APICS 2018 Conference later this fall, where they will face six other teams.

The competition challenges students from North America, Africa, Asia, Europe and South America to present solutions to an end-to-end supply chain management problem. The case they analyze may involve distribution, logistics, sales and operations planning, inventory, and other operations management areas.

Tyler Phill says the team succeeded thanks to “unbelievable support” from Asper profs and students who shared their case competition experience and offered encouragement and advice.

Rigorous preparation in the months leading up to the competition proved an invaluable team-building experience, adds Benjamin Robinson. “We learned to be completely honest with each other and get to know all of our strengths and weaknesses.”

For Phuong Tran, one of the highlights of the competition was the chance to visit Toronto for the first time. Another highlight was the chance to meet peers from other schools.

The competition itself confronted the team with some tough hurdles to overcome. They had limited time to analyze the business case, prepare a PowerPoint, and practice their presentation before delivering it to the panel of judges.

“I don’t know if staying up until 2:30 a.m. to get it all done, then waking up at 6 a.m. to compete was a highlight, but it was definitely unforgettable,” says Phill. “But it all paid off. The moment we heard we won was surreal. We were in shock.

The team’s students represent not only the Asper School of Business and the University of Manitoba but the APICS Winnipeg Student Chapter and the University of Manitoba Supply Chain Organization (UMSCO).

Find out more about the Asper MBA program here.


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