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Supply-Chain Management Students Invited to Take Part in an Elite Case Competition

By Keith Morelli

IANA Logistics & Supply Chain Management Case Competition

TAMPA (March 2, 2018) -- With the Muma College of Business working to make supply-chain management a new major, students currently learning about the emerging field of study will get a chance to test their knowledge at a prestigious case competition in Jacksonville next month.

A team is being assembled to take part in the ninth annual IANA Logistics and Supply Chain Management Case Competition held at the University of North Florida beginning on April 5. The competition will include eight teams from schools such as Auburn University, the University of Arkansas, Michigan State University and the University of Maryland. Many of these schools have established supply-chain programs, with rankings in the top 10, globally.

Rob Hooker, assistant marketing professor, and Kerry Walsh, a marketing instructor – both of whom have expertise in supply-chain management – are assembling the USF team of undergraduates. Hooker called the competition "elite."

"The fact that the USF's Muma College of Business has been invited to compete is a testament to the quality of our students," Hooker said, "and an opportunity to showcase the strength of our growing supply-chain management program, particularly, against such strong competition from older, well-established supply chain programs."

The competition is sponsored by the Intermodal Association of North Florida as well as the University of North Florida's Coggin College of Business, which foots the bill for all expenses, including travel and lodging, for the teams. The judges are CEO-level executives from major corporations, including logistics and transportation companies.

"In addition to putting their abilities and talents to the test against some of the nation's best and brightest," Hooker said, "this event offers valuable networking opportunities for students."

The USF team consists of three or four students selected from supply-chain management classes at the Muma College of Business. Students will have an opportunity to meet with and introduce themselves to judges and executives, as well as faculty and students from supply-chain management programs at other invited universities.

Recognizing the need for executives in the supply-chain management field, the Muma College of Business is working on a plan to make supply-chain management a major beginning in the fall of 2019. The new degree is designed to meet the demand for supply-chain talent, which is growing, particularly in Florida, because Florida is positioned to be a global trade hub.

There currently is a shortfall of qualified people to fill those positions. With a degree in supply-chain management, a graduate could land a job with a starting salary of $55,000 or higher, according to industry statistics.

Supply-chain management is emerging as a critical part of local, national and particularly international business. U.S. News & World Report recently predicted that logistics jobs would expand by 25 percent within the next decade and identified logistics as one of the "20 Best Business Jobs." Logistics and supply-chain management also are included in lists that rank top career fields for women over the next decade.

Supply-chain management currently is offered at the Muma College of Business as a concentration in the bachelor's and master's degrees in marketing and in the MBA program.