WMU’s Center for Integrated Supply Management expands services

contact: Stacey Markin
| WMU News
Photo of Ken Jones.

Ken Jones will be leading the Bronco Source efforts.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University’s Center for Integrated Supply Management has launched the Bronco Force Supply Chain Services Group, in conjunction with PeoplePlus Software, of Ann Arbor.

The partnership will support Bronco Source, a student and faculty-driven business unit focused on providing companies that are challenged with limited purchasing resources, both strategic sourcing and tactical transaction support. Bronco Source is an extension of Bronco Force, a student and faculty supply chain solutions organization working with more than 20 companies in West Michigan and northern Indiana since January 2014.

Strategic procurement

Bronco Source will include strategic and tactical procurement of direct and indirect materials for two West Michigan manufacturers: Command Electronics, of Schoolcraft, and Dunkley International of Kalamazoo, as well as two West Michigan breweries: Tibbs Brewing and Brite Eyes Brewery and Café, both of Kalamazoo. WMU's nationally ranked integrated supply management program will provide the student teams and faculty oversight to formulate the purchasing strategies, recommend and source suppliers, and manage the transactions and supplier performance in select spend categories dovetailing with other company purchasing and inventory management activities.

"In our Bronco Force project and training-based work with small- to mid-sized companies over the last two years, the student and faculty teams identified a real need for our partner companies to procure goods and services more effectively," says Ken Jones, director of education and applied solutions and integrated supply management faculty member. "Through its use of cutting-edge supply chain software—the iM3 SCM Suite, a cloud-enabled supply chain management automation tool—Bronco Source can now support companies with value-added, real-time purchasing solutions, and in doing so, drive savings right to a company’s bottom-line. This is world-class software now in the hands of world-class students and faculty."

Natural evolution

Bronco Source is a natural evolution of the center and Bronco Force's vision of providing accessible, affordable supply chain education and applied solutions to small and mid-sized businesses in Michigan and beyond. “We’re excited about this innovative industry support model leveraging the best assets of WMU's Center for Integrated Supply Management—the ISM program students, faculty and industry partners," says Jones.

"We have completely bought into the Bronco Force model," says Chris Campagna, chief operating officer, Command Electronics. "Through our collaborative efforts to date, Command is realizing many transformational results, both financial and organizational. We are absolutely confident that Bronco Source will provide the same competitive advantage for us moving forward."

"As a brewer and business owner, I'm excited to have such a capable, proven group of students and faculty help me continue to grow my business in Kalamazoo," says Kevin Tibbs, co-owner, Tibbs Brewing Company. "A big part of what we do is give back to the community that supports us, and I see Bronco Source as doing exactly that for local brewers."

PeoplePlus Software’s President and Chief Executive Officer Ashwani Narula, sees many benefits to the alliance with WMU’s Center for Integrated Supply Management. "This partnership will ensure the successful adoption of the latest supply chain technologies and trends in Michigan-based businesses, fuel growth and increase job prospects for graduating students. We are pleased to bring our iM3 SCM technology to inquisitive students and teaching experts alike and are excited to discover the challenges industries will bring to us moving forward."

Bronco Source is only just the beginning for the newly formed Bronco Force supply chain services group. The organization is finalizing plans for a student and faculty-led warehouse and logistics facility to service industry storage, order fulfillment and production sequencing needs. In that effort, leveraging the powerful tools in the PeoplePlus iM3 SCM Suite.

Businesses interested in Bronco Source should contact Ken Jones at kenneth.c.jones@wmich.edu or (269) 387-4143

About WMU's ISM Program

Ranked No. 5 in undergraduate supply chain education by Gartner, a leading information technology research and advisory company, and No. 2 in the nation for emphasis on teaching technology, software and quantitative tools by Software Advice, WMU's ISM program has been recognized nationally by several organizations and publications for its leadership in preparing students for careers in supply chain management. WMU's curriculum combines engineering, information technology, logistics, supply chain and business education. The program also includes Bronco Force Solutions Teams, which give students experience in business consulting with companies on their supply chain challenges. The WMU Center for Integrated Supply Management was established in 2014 by the Haworth College of Business.

About PeoplePlus Software

PeoplePlus Software Inc. services clients in the U.S., Canada, South America and Asia. PeoplePlus was founded on the principle of bringing world-class technology and solutions that meet or exceed clients’ expectations. The iM3 SCM Suite, a cloud-enabled supply chain management automation tool has been developed after years of experience and honed by practical involvement, working with large and small automotive OEMs, universities, utilities, distributors and suppliers. PeoplePlus Software takes pride in crafting robust, practical solutions to fit clients' needs.

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