Students Get Moving at Annual Global Supply Chain Management Case Competition

PROVO, Utah – Feb 28, 2020 – How did Masyn Barney, a junior in BYU Marriott’s global supply chain management program, spend the week before his wedding? He competed with three other teammates in the GSCM program’s fifth annual case competition. The competition took place 27–31 January 2020. Students in BYU Marriott’s marketing, strategy, and experience design management programs were invited to participate in the competition. Pre-management, engineering, and science majors could compete as well.

UniGroup, a transportation company that owns the moving companies United Van Lines and Mayflower Transit, sponsored the case competition. Students had to brainstorm strategies to address customer experience, brand development for UniGroup’s Snapmoves brand, and methods for utilizing company resources during the off-season.

“The case competition allowed students to take the role of a leader within an organization and make managerial decisions,” says Simon Greathead, an assistant teaching professor in the GSCM program and organizer of the competition.

The first-place team included three juniors from the GSCM program: Barney from Rexburg, Idaho; Dallin Shields from Millcreek, Utah; and Paeton Murdock from South Jordan, Utah. Nathan Schwartz, a junior from Cottonwood Heights, Utah, who is studying applied physics at BYU, was the team’s fourth member.

“The competition added to my ability to handle case problems like this that I will face in the field,” says Barney.

The winning team’s strategy included suggestions such as developing a moving app, renaming the Snapmoves brand Small Moves, and recommending furniture sellers that UniGroup could partner with during the off-season. “Our solution was effective because it clearly addressed the issues outlined in the case with concise and actionable recommendations,” says Schwartz.

The team’s winning solution didn’t just come out of thin air but rather was the result of preparation and teamwork. “We met as a team immediately after the competition’s kickoff and divvied up responsibilities as to who would begin researching each of the three key issues we had identified,” says Schwartz.

“One of the suggestions I worked on personally was a suggestion for the development of an app,” says Shields. “I had a mock visualization on my phone of an app that would allow for easier customer segmentation, improved customization and communication, and more purchases than a web browser.”

Opening the competition to students outside of global supply chain management allowed GSCM students to collaborate with students from programs across BYU’s campus. “Several majors other than GSCM were targeted because the material in the case was cross-disciplinary,” says Greathead.

Combining students who were studying different disciplines was effective for the winning team. “As an applied physics major, I had little exposure to supply chain before this case competition,” says Schwartz. “Seeing how a knowledge of supply chain management can help people create meaningful solutions was valuable to me.”

Students also enjoyed the chance to network with Marc Rogers, Unigroup’s CEO and a member of BYU Marriott’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, and Scott Kluesner, Unigroup’s executive vice president. Both men judged the competition. “Talking with Mr. Rogers and getting his immediate feedback on our presentation was awesome,” says Shields.

Of course, the cherry on top of the competition’s experiences for the team was its win. “The week before my wedding was busy enough before I decided to add on the case competition,” says Barney. “But I was grateful when I learned that we had won the competition, especially because we put in a lot of work.”

Left to right: Marc Rogers, UniGroup's CEO, first-place team members , Paeton Murdock, Masyn Barney, Dallin Shields, and Nathan  Schwartz. Photo courtesy of Simon Greathead.
Left to right: Marc Rogers, UniGroup's CEO; first-place team members Paeton Murdock, Masyn Barney, Dallin Shields, and Nathan Schwartz; and Scott Kluesner, UniGroup's Executive Vice President. Photo courtesy of Simon Greathead.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Natalia Green