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Undergrad team places second in international competition

Oct. 3, 2008

KALAMAZOO--A team of two Western Michigan University Integrated Supply Management undergraduate students recently took second place in the second International ERP Simulation Game, competing against master's-level students from other institutions.

Andrea Blankers, a junior from Portage, Mich., and Richard Wentworth, a senior from Farmington, Mich., competed against seven MBA teams and one faculty team in a competitive business simulation game using SAP's Enterprise Resource Planning software as the interface to design, produce and manufacture different brands of cereal.

The game creates a virtual marketplace where customers buy cereal from the team that has the combination of ingredients and price that best matches the virtual customer's preferences. The team that generates the most profit during the game is the winner.

"I'm extremely proud of the WMU team," says Dr. Bret Wagner, director of WMU's Integrated Supply Management program in the Haworth College of Business. "Richard and Andrea really mastered the complexities of the game and were very close to a first-place finish. They were not intimidated by competing against MBA students from some very prestigious schools. They were confident of their abilities and their strategy during the game, and the results support their confidence."

SAP software is used by a majority of Fortune 500 companies, including Kellogg Co. and Whirlpool, to operate their businesses. The simulation was created and the contest held for the second year at HEC Montreal using SAP's ERP software. Officially known as HEC Montreal since 2002, the formal, full name of the school is Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales.

The WMU undergraduate students competed against MBA students from the University of Arkansas, first-place finisher Missouri University of Science and Technology, the University of Central Florida, Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, the Rochester Institute of Technology and HEC Montreal, as well as a team of faculty members who were in Montreal learning how to use the game to teach integrated business processes.

Last year's team from WMU placed third out of six teams.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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