STAFDA Convention to Host Student Competition

Students will be tasked with turning around a fictitious supply chain manufacturer.

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ELM GROVE, Wis. – For the past several years, the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association has invited college students with industrial distribution, supply chain or construction management majors to attend its convention and trade show and participate in all meeting activities.

This year, a professor from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has developed a competition for the students attending STAFDA’s San Diego Convention & Trade Show, Oct. 30-Nov. 1.

Universities who regularly attend the Convention include Nebraska, Texas A&M, Purdue, East Carolina, the University of Nebraska-Kearney and Marquette. The competition may attract additional schools this year.

The assignment is to take a fictitious supply chain manufacturer who is losing money and turn it around. The students will have to address five key areas of the company:

1. Purchasing
2. Operations
3. Sales
4. Supply chain management; and
5. Finance

Students will also have to contend with the new market space of web store sales, how to secure suppliers when faced with constrained capacity, and distribution.

The students will meet in San Diego two days before the STAFDA convention begins to discuss the process where interested STAFDA manufacturers can meet with the students. The competition itself will be Oct. 29; the winning teams will be recognized during STAFDA’s general session on Oct. 31.

The key to enhancing the students’ experience is to have STAFDA manufacturers share their insight and knowledge. Their interaction with the students will give these manufacturers the chance to share “real life” challenges and offer advice on sales, sourcing, marketplace dynamics, and today’s environment of e-business. In between presentations, manufacturer members will be able to talk to the students about their companies, hiring possibilities, and more specifically, how they handled some of the issues encountered in the students’ case study.

Online registration for STAFDA’s San Diego Convention & Trade Show begins from the members-only section of at 8:00 a.m. (Central) on June 27. Only STAFDA members may attend. Non-members are encouraged to visit to review and complete membership applications.

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