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L-r: Mariemma Mahar (Moline, IL), SCM major; Dylan Freeman (Rock Island, IL), management major; Anna Eckhardt (Bettendorf, IA), SCM major; Thomas Killick, SCM major (Appleton, WI); and WIU SCM Assistant Professor Vitaly Brazhkin.
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WIU Places Second at Supply Chain Management Case Competition

April 29, 2019

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL - - A team of Western Illinois University Supply Chain Management (SCM) students recently brought home second place at the 2019 American Production and Inventory Control (APICS) Iowa State University Case Competition.

Team members included seniors Mariemma Mahar (Moline, IL), SCM major; Dylan Freeman (Rock Island, IL), management major; Anna Eckhardt (Bettendorf, IA), SCM major; and Thomas Killick, SCM major (Appleton, WI).

The teams were given a case about Danfoss, a global equipment manufacturer, which also has a site in Ames, IA. All teams had 24 hours to solve a very complex case with the end goal of finding a way to increase revenue, and according to the judges it was a very tight race.

"Our team was commended by the judges on the creativity and originality of the ideas," said Vitaly Brazhkin, assistant professor of SCM and advisor of the group. "From my perspective, it was a very successful performance. I use Iowa State University (ISU) as a benchmark. They have a huge SCM program that participates in many competitions regularly and offers a class on the competitions. I take understandable pleasure in seeing our team beat ISU for the third time and even on their own turf.

Brazhkin said that the WIU team of students met for at least three hours, and sometimes more, every week this semester to prepare.

"We have spent a lot of time on this case," said Killick. "Case competitions are really fun. We have learned a lot, and we definitely grew a lot as a team to prepare for this. It's a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but we came up with a solution that I'm really excited about."

Recently, Western's SCM program was named a Top 30 Program in the U.S. by renowned supply chain scientist Muddassir Ahmed. The program boasts a 95 percent job placement rate after graduation; hosts an annual SCM day, where students and more than 45 industry partners are connected; and offers many opportunities for resumé building with hands-on experience outside the classroom, including field trips to manufacturing plants and distribution centers, global professional conferences, study abroad opportunities, national and global case competitions, an SCM Student Association and a required internship.

For more information on WIU's Supply Chain Management program, visit

Posted By: Alisha Looney (
Office of University Communications & Marketing