University News

WIU-QC Students Participate in Experiential Learning at John Deere Parts Distribution Center

October 25, 2023

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MOLINE – Western Illinois University College of Business and Technology Supply Chain Management recently took several students and faculty on a tour of the John Deere Parts Distribution Center in Milan, IL October 18.

This more than 2.5 million square foot facility is the center of John Deere's service parts and customer support network. They inventory more than 800 thousand stock-keeping units and pick and ship more than 1.8 million tickets per month to domestic and international distribution centers, dealers and customers.

"Much of the equipment and many of the processes used in warehouse operations are also used at the John Deere Parts Distribution Center," WIU Instructor of Managing and Marketing Kevin Resch said. "Seeing this in person is a powerful and educational experience."

Consistent with course content, students were able to see in action the equipment and infrastructure used in warehouse operations. This included storage, such as push-back racks and material handling equipment like Turret trucks. After the tour, students had the opportunity to ask questions of the Parts Distribution Center staff.

"Touring this facility adds critical insights into warehouse operations," Resch said. "Especially those related to the effort required to support customer operations in the field."

The SCM program integrates corporate best practices and hands-on experience to build relevant industry skills. Experiential learning is an important component of WIU's SCM program and it provides students with a well rounded understanding of their field when they enter the professional world.

For more information on WIU's SCM program, visit

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