T-bird team wins West Coast APICS Case Competition

A team of Thunderbird MBA students won the APICS West Coast Case Competition on Feb. 21-22, 2014, in Costa Mesa, California, and will represent the region in the national championships on Oct. 17-18 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Overall, 22 teams from 15 business schools competed. The winning team, pictured at left, includes Alekhya Yerrakalva ’15, Jonathan Harmon ’14, M.H. Karunakaren ’14 and Wade Sutton ’14. Karunakaren said Thunderbird’s winning strategy involved selecting team members with different strengths and backgrounds. “We knew each other’s skills, and we had a diverse team,” he said.

Each team had six hours to analyze a cross-border logistics case for an auto parts supplier, write a paper, and present solutions to a panel of judges. Four teams were invited to come back on the second day of the competition to make a second presentation. “The company in the case was losing $1 million a day,” Karunakaren said. “We had to help them figure out better approaches.”

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