By Alexis Menard On July 29, 2019 11:15 am
During the 2019 winter semester, students in traditional and online Operations Management courses completed a semester long group project, led by Dr. Sandun Perera, former Assistant Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management. The focus was on forecasting methods used in excel to project how successful they were in finding the correct method to analyze what the data appeared to do in the past as well as to predict the future. Students were tasked with researching a firm of their choice that recently made a key decision to demonstrate data such as stock value, profit, sales, or other figures. Common themes included a new product launch, mergers, and acquisitions, alteration to distribution channels, or utilization of new delivery methods. In previous semesters, hot picks centered around Amazon and the buyout of Whole Foods, Meijer and its partnership with Shipt delivery service, and Wine in the evening at Starbucks.
One group comprised of two graduating seniors, Kyle Arrowood (BBA ’19 Accounting) and Peter Millar (BBA General Business ’19), as well as one senior that will graduate in December of 2019, Raymond Kusch (BBA ‘19 Entrepreneurship and Innovation), and one junior, Brant Beck (BBA ’20 International Business), exceeded expectations on this project. The group project focused on analyzing the acquisition of Dr Pepper Snapple Group by Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. that occurred in the summer of 2018.
As a member of the research group, Raymond Kusch, said about the project, “Do not just take things at their face value. It is worth the extra effort to investigate the root cause of the business problem in order to find out any underlying factors that may exist.” This dynamism lead to the group presenting at the Meeting of the Minds (MOM), an undergraduate research conference, alongside students from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Oakland University on May 10, 2019. Between the three universities, seventy-nine presentations took place at UM-Flint in the Riverfront Banquet center and School of Management classroom area. Twenty-eight individual projects were presented by UM-Flint students spanning several academic interests, such as Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, English, Mathematics, Management, Physical Therapy, Psychology, Social Work, and Theater/Dance.
Each group requires a faculty sponsor and Dr. Perera motivated his students to present and publish their findings. Beck spoke out about Dr. Perera and said “[He] was a tremendous help with the project. If you make it known that you are willing to put in the work, he is willing to help you make the project as good as it can be.” Currently, the SOM group is in the process of submitting their paper for peer review and publication. The group agreed that this experience demonstrated that the world is an ever-changing platform that requires every firm to be adaptive, as well as to think about their future for success in an increasingly demanding market setting. They also added that they look forward to applying the knowledge they learned in this class to other classes, as well as their careers.