Supply chain competitions are a great opportunity for students to bridge the gap between theory and reality. They develop their creativity and their ability to apply technical knowledge to solve realistic supply chain problems. After the success we had in the first Morocco competition last summer, we did it again. This time we collaborated with the Club of Industrial Engineering and Logistics (CIELK) from the National School for Applied Sciences Kenitra (ENSA-K).
About the Second Contest
Industrial Engineering students from this school competed on Monday, 17/05/2021, at the University Center for Continuing Education and Conferences from 9 AM to 6 PM (public health protocols were followed). The competition’s goal was to improve the supply chain of a Moroccan automotive company and help them export to the European market.
There were 59 participants in the contest, and they organized themselves into 22 teams. After the training sessions provided by the club officials for participants, students quickly learned to use the supply chain simulations and practiced working with existing case studies in the SCM Globe library. Club officials knew how to use the software since they participated as a team in the first contest last summer, and they were one of the two winning teams.
When the competition started, the teams had 9 hours to analyze problems and find solutions for the three challenges in the case study. Their submissions were evaluated based on their strategy for improvement, their selection of new warehouse locations, their transportation network design, and of course, the net profit generated by their solutions.
After the competition, we talked with the CIELK Team Leader, Chaimae Terfas, to ask for feedback.
Interview with CIELK Team Leader
Q: Hello, Chaimae. Please present yourself!
A: I am Chaimae TERFAS, and I am in the second year of the engineering cycle in industrial engineering at the National School of Applied Sciences of Kenitra. Currently, I am the team leader of the “Club of Industrial Engineering and Logistics, Kenitra – CIELK”.
Q: Please tell us more about this second contest of the Moroccan Supply Chain Competition.
A: After we participated in the first contest last summer, Malak El Ajaje, Marouane Tarre, and I were satisfied with the competition’s benefits. We decided to organize this second contest.
The main focus of the competition was based on auto parts export from Morocco to Europe due to the expansion of the company globally. The first challenge in the contest was to run the supply chain for 30 days and maintain a safety stock of 800 pieces in the Kenitra factory. The second challenge was to add two warehouses in two different countries in Europe: France; and Spain. And also keep the supply chain operating for 30 days. Then the ultimate challenge was to find ways to reduce overall transport and operating expenses at the facilities.
Q: What do you think about the performance of participants in the contest?
A: The participants lived up to what the organizing committee asked, so I would like to thank them one by one. First, all the teams were able to meet all the competition’s objectives with the constraints we built into the case study. And second, they were good competitors who held on to the end and did not give up. Some teams were able to better apply their supply chain and industrial engineering knowledge to get ahead of the rest.
Q: Tell us a bit about the winning teams. What made them the winners?
A: The contest judges preferred to choose the winners in order of merit, so three teams were selected:
The first team was a pair of students from the first year of the industrial engineering field who were very involved throughout the event. They used the logic of finding the parts that cost more money and reduced them as much as possible. This was a very effective approach as shown in the change in simulation results before and after they made their improvements.
The second team was made up of three young women from the second year of the industrial engineering cycle. They were focused on the continuity of the supply chain and had simple, well-defined procedures. They used the simulations to analyze multiple supply chain designs, and choose the one that could continue working over the long run. Their assessment of errors encountered, and their supply chain simulation results show this.
The third team was composed of three young men from the National School of Applied Sciences of Marrakech, who were very interested in the software. They were also able to use the Microsoft Excel Solver tool for further analysis of their simulation data, and that enabled them to chose the most optimal solution concerning transportation and network design.
Q: What did you learn from this experience as you were responsible for the competition?
A: As the main organizer, I was pleased with the success of this event which of course I could not achieve without the support and help, first of all from our godmother Mrs. Laila El Abbadi, and secondly from the committee of piloting, which was very creative both in terms of advancement and general organization.
This event allowed me not only to have a sense of leadership on how to manage a larger team, but also to collect the experiences of the other teams, and present all this to the panel of judges. The judges expected all of us to meet high levels of performance in the field of logistics.
Q: What do you think about supply chain competitions? Any final thoughts?
A: Supply chain competitions like this one are a concrete rapprochement of what we learn in our classes with the requirements of the professional world. It’s about challenging our knowledge of logistics, and applying what we know to solve realistic supply chain problems.
The judges and their feedback
Special thanks to the judges that played a crucial role in the success of the competition. Here is a quick introduction to the judges:
- Mrs. Laila El Abbadi is the CIELK godmother and a teacher-researcher. She has an industrial engineering specialty at the National School of Applied Sciences of Kenitra, Ibn Tofail University – Kenitra, with more than ten years of professional experience in higher education, a Doctor in Quality, and a Trainer in Industrial Management (quality, production, etc).
- Mrs. Samah ELRHANIMI is a current professor at the Kenitra Higher School of Technology, Ibn Tofail University – Kenitra. Ms. ELRHANIMI is an industrial engineer and a Doctor of Industrial and Logistics Engineering with more than five years of professional experience in the COFICAB group.
- Mr. Mohammed Saddoune is a current Research Professor at the Faculty of Science and Technology Mohammedia Hassan University 2 and is a former Professor at Polytechnique Montréal, Canada.
Here is their assessment of the contest and its value for the students:
“The supply chain competition was an opportunity for participants to discover the SCM Globe simulation tool and to learn how a supply chain operates using this online simulator. It was a rewarding experience for participants. The competition was well organized, the challenges were interesting, and all the teams found pleasure in simulating their supply chains using your simulation tool. Most team’s results were similar with a slight difference in profit.”
Here is a photo of the organizing team and judges.
[Starting left; Mohammed BENGHABRIT; Zahra EL JAAOUANI; Malak El AJAJE; Mrs. Samah ELRHANIMI; Mrs. Laila EL ABBADI; Mr. Mohammed SADDOUNE; Chaimae TERFAS; Nizar ATAOUI; Rania EL GHALI; Omar AKIL]
IEOM Society International was the main Sponsor for the event. IEOM Society International promotes and encourages critical thinking in the field of Industrial Engineering and Operations Management to achieve and sustain operational excellence. The IEOM Society is a platform for Industrial Engineers to share knowledge, mentor students, encourage lifelong learning, and build a community.
SCM Globe Supply Chain Contests
This kind of competition is a perfect way for attracting more students to the supply chain management field; they are asked to solve real-world problems with their laptops and what they learn in their lectures.
We’ve been doing supply chain competitions for the last ten months in the MENA (the Middle East and North Africa) region, and we’ve been getting good feedback. Here are links to blog posts about those other contests: