STAFDA has a supply chain challenge for students

Students will tackle a supply chain manufacturer who is losing money at STAFDA's Annual Convention & Trade Show.

For the past several years, the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) has invited college students with industrial distribution, supply chain, or construction management majors to attend its annual Convention & Trade Show. 

This year, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) has developed a competition for the students attending STAFDA’s Convention scheduled for Oct. 30 through Nov. 1.

The assignment is to take a fictitious supply chain manufacturer who is losing money and turn it around. The students will have to address five key areas of the company:

  • Purchasing
  • Operations
  • Sales
  • Supply Chain management
  • Finance

Students will also have to contend with the new market space of e-commerce sales, how to secure suppliers when faced with constrained capacity, and distribution.

In the past, the event has been attended by students from UNL, Texas A&M, Purdue, East Carolina, University of Nebraska-Kearney, and Marquette. STAFD is looking to attract students from additional schools this year.

The students will meet in San Diego two days before the STAFDA Convention begins to discuss the process where interested STAFDA manufacturers can meet with the students.

The competition itself will be Saturday, October 29, with the winning teams recognized during STAFDA’s General Session, Monday, October 31.

The key to enhancing the students’ experience is to have STAFDA manufacturers share their insight and knowledge, the association said.

Interaction with the students will give these manufacturers the chance to share “real-life” challenges and offer advice on sales, sourcing, marketplace dynamics, and today’s environment of e-business. 

In between presentations, manufacturer members will be able to talk to the students about their companies, hiring possibilities, and more specifically, how they handled some of the issues encountered in the students’ case study.

Online registration for STAFDA’s San Diego Convention Trade Show is open now. The event is for STAFDA members only. 

Non-members are encouraged to visit to review and complete membership applications.