Vanderbilt MBA team wins Avnet Supply Chain Challenge

Owen student also on a winning team at UNC Marketing Case Challenge

Media Contact:
Amy Wolf
Senior Public Affairs Officer
Vanderbilt University
(615) 322-NEWS |

Feb 16, 2011

NASHVILLE ⎯ A team from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management took first place in a recent technology competition that included 96 groups from 48 schools around the world.

The Avnet Supply Chain Challenge had students use a customized version of the widely used Littlefield Technologies game from Responsive Learning Technologies. In the simulation, students operated a make-to-order factory by managing a series of forecasting, capacity, inventory, and contract decisions.

Teams of two-to-four students competed in a one-day online session on February 12, 2011. Vanderbilt’s first-place team included students Derek Sparks (MBA 2011), Elisa Graban (MBA 2011), Frank Pazos (MBA 2011) and Bryan Loughridge (MBA 2012). Each member of the team will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

A team from New York University’s Stern School of Business placed second, and a group from the University of Arizona placed third. Other participating schools included teams from Yale, Cornell, and HEC Paris.

“Doing well in these types of Operations Management simulations require strong analytical skills as well as the ability to work together in a team, which is how I would characterize this team,” said Michael Lapré, E. Bronson Ingram Associate Professor of Operations Management at Owen.  “It is very gratifying to note that in the past 10 years, five Owen teams have taken first place in national and international Operations Management competitions for MBA students.”

Separately, Owen student Brian Burchfield (MBA 2012) competed on a team with students from business schools at Carnegie-Mellon, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and William & Mary to win the 2011 UNC Kenan-Flagler Marketing Case Challenge. The competition took place at UNC on February 11 and 12, 2011 and involved a case with the competition’s lead corporate sponsor GlaxoSmithKline.

Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management is ranked as a top institution by BusinessWeek, U.S. News & World Report, Financial Times and Forbes. For more information about Owen, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.