Ann Arbor, MI - Tauber Institute business and engineering graduate student teams present solutions for tough operations challenges at the annual Spotlight! Team Project Showcase and Scholarship Competition. The event was held on September 18, with closing ceremonies and announcement of the competition winners scheduled for September 25.
The Tauber student teams spent their summer diving deep into operations problem solving, uncovering millions of dollars of savings for their project sponsors – as well as improvements in areas such as energy consumption, waste reduction, throughput time, and supply chain risk. According to sponsoring company calculations, the 2020 Tauber team projects resulted in an average savings of $31 million per project over three years. The total savings projected is $433.8 million.
This year's virtual Spotlight! competition was presented online for an international audience. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 team projects required a superior level of flexibility and coordination by sponsors, students, faculty, and Tauber staff, as project teams navigated necessary safety precautions while striving for the best possible results for their sponsors.
The University of Michigan Tauber Institute for Global Operations students worked on 26 different operations challenges for 19 top global firms this summer. The teams' solutions may include lean process design and implementation, manufacturing site strategic assessment, sourcing plans, inventory management, logistics, and new product development.
Tauber’s team project sponsors are leaders in a wide range of industries, including aerospace, internet commerce, high tech, automotive, energy, and retail. The 2020 sponsors include Amazon, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Beyond Meat, Boeing, Brose, Curation Foods, DoorDash, FedEx, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, General Motors, Microsoft, National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Stanley Black & Decker, Steelcase, Stoneridge, and Target.
A signature initiative of the Tauber Institute, team projects pair exceptional students with top companies for a 14-week multidisciplinary, collaborative project with the potential for significant impact. Typically, each 2-3 person project team is comprised of graduate students in Business and Engineering. Along with executive direction from the sponsoring firm, each team receives support from both a College of Engineering and a Ross School of Business faculty advisor, and project oversight by a Tauber Institute Co-Director. The Tauber Alumni Network provides additional mentorship and networking opportunities for students at their team project locations.
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The Tauber Institute for Global Operations is a joint venture between the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and the College of Engineering, working together with industry partners to facilitate cross-disciplinary education in global operations management. The Tauber Institute is an inaugural recipient of the UPS George D. Smith Prize for effective and innovative preparation of students to be good practitioners of operations research, management science, or analytics. For more information visit tauber.umich.edu.