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Darla Moore School of Business


Moore School supply chain and process management students prove their skills in Capstone consulting projects

May 4, 2017

Darla Moore School of Business student teams presented their supply chain and process management consulting projects, completed with 15 corporate partners, at the Global Supply Chain and Process Management Spring 2017 Summit at the end of April. About 80 students were involved in working to solve real-world business problems for their respective companies, including BMW, Continental Tire, Michelin, Sonoco and others.

“Whether improving strategy for a new venture rollout initiative for clients such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, or getting patients' medical claims filed much faster at McLeod Health,” said Sanjay Ahire, a Moore School operations management professor and associate director of the school's Center for Global Supply Chain and Process Management, “the GSCPM Capstone projects demonstrate the ability of our faculty experts and students to deliver substantial results to improve business processes in a wide variety of organizations using a systematic problem-solving approach and a suite of simple and complex tools.”

These semester-long Capstone projects are conducted through the GSCPM Center and guided by Moore School faculty in close partnership with company representatives. The students who participate are both upper-level undergraduates and MBA students.

“We really are very interested in your students, because we think there is so much that we can do to improve within the health care sector,” said Donna Isgett, vice president for clinical effectiveness at McLeod Health. “We’re going to need a large number of improvement experts to help us do that. By moving to a standardized claims processing platform, we achieved a four-fold improvement in our productivity.”

Her only disappointment? Discovering that nearly all of the students working on her team have already found jobs. “We would have taken all five of the ones we had,” said Isgett. “That’s how good they were.”

McKenzie Cass, who was a member of the McLeod Health team, said the Capstone experience makes the theoretical concepts learned in class real.

“Being thrown into the deep water, I’ve learned how to swim, and use the tools we learned,” said Cass. “I know that my own capabilities aren’t just theoretical. I have the capability of going into a process and take ownership of it.” For Cass, it was also an opportunity to have a lasting impact. “You can make a difference, that’s something I found out as well,” she said after her team's presentation at the summit. “In this Capstone project, our team has been able to make a difference in a health care system so they can see more patients and make a bigger impact long-term.” After graduation, Cass will work for General Electric Power.

“It is the quality of results and the process of attaining the results regardless of the academic level of students that distinguishes this unique academic-industry collaboration from any other academic program in supply chain management,” said GSCPM Center Director Manoj Malhotra. “Employers really love the proven mettle and often recognize this through premiums on compensations, condensing of leadership rotational programs or promoting the graduates to higher level positions at a much faster rate.”

Since 2006, the GSCPM Center has conducted 221 Capstone consulting projects with 962 students — saving corporate partners in excess of $200 million. During the 12 years the center has been operational, 850 global supply chain and operations management students have earned have earned their industry-validated Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification while students at the Moore School.

By Madeleine Vath