Faculty Directed Student Projects: Every firm has that “job jar” of important projects that just never seem to reach peak priority for the limited resources available. These are exactly the projects that the DCMME Center is interested in assisting you with.
If interested in partnering with the Center to complete a project with your company or to learn more, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inventory Optimization Project, Coleman Cable
Student Team: Linjie Wang, David Windmiller, Xiangyang Song
Faculty Advisor: Sang-Phil Kim
Project Description: CCI is a leading manufacturer and innovator headquartered in Waukegan, IL which produces wire, cable and other electrical products, serving a multitude of channels and industries. CCI categorizes their broad assortment of products into 4 categories; Industrial, Electronic, Assembled and Copper Fabrication. Over the past 40 years, CCI has built the business through a series of strategic acquisitions and organic growth to ensure exceptional performance. The scope of this engagement was to both optimize inventory levels and investigate changes in production quantities for Coleman Cable. The team’s recommendations were presented in a PowerPoint presentation and Excel worksheets, and included suggestions for implementing a (Q, r) inventory control policy, focused on implementing reorder points and levels of safety stock in order to reduce lead time to the fabrication department’s customer. These reorder points and levels of safety stock were suggested according to both normal and Poisson distribution models.
Additionally, optimal production quantities (batch sizes) were proposed for 9 of CCI’s products according to the Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) model.
Rubber Raw Materials, Coleman Cable
Student team: : Christine Zhang, Deepika Mokkarala (MSGSCM 2013), Isra Gadri (MSGSCM 2013), Yichen Ding (MSGSCM 2013)
Faculty Advisor: Julia Kalish
Project Description: During the summer semester of the Masters in Global Supply Chain Management program, a team of students worked on a project for Coleman Cable Inc. through the GSCMI center. Coleman Cable, Inc., headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois, is a leading manufacturer and innovator of electrical and electronic wire and cable products for security, sound, tele-communications, electrical construction, retail, commercial, industrial, irrigation, and automotive markets. The team was faced with inventory and supplier issues and acted as student consultants from Purdue for the Coleman Cable Inc. Lafayette, Indiana branch specifi cally in the rubber raw material department. After Coleman Cable Inc. decided to manufacture the rubber component for their products at their own facility, they were faced with new challenges in vendor and inventory management of the raw materials. The project’s main objective was to avoid shortages in inventory of the raw materials and to bring about a consistent ordering pattern. The team analyzed the data available since the production had begun and provided an excel based inventory model which dealt with the purchasing and maintenance of 45 critical parts coupled with the MRP (Material Requirements Planning) system utilization. This solution helped reduce shortages in inventory. Students also worked towards a vendor management system by which the company could bring about an ordering pattern among 22 diff erent suppliers. They documented the changes in processes and made the solution more fl exible for future enhancements. The solution required no investment and slight adjustments were made to the internal processes to accommodate this model which helped the company reduce their production and procurement costs. As students in the Global Supply Chain Management program it was an excellent learning experience for the team to be able to apply classroom lessons to solve industry challenges. The company is currently using this model for purchasing and inventory management and is considering extending this solution to other departments with similar issues.
Inventory Management & Production Planning, Coleman Cable
Student team: : Randall Miao (MSGSCM 2013) Shankar Rajagopalan (MSIA 2013), Sunil Merumu (MBA 2014)
Faculty Advisor: Julia Kalish
Project Description: This project with Coleman Cables Inc. (CCI) was about inventory management and production planning. The project provided understanding on how inventory management works in organizations. During the course of the project, it was evident that even advanced planning systems have drawbacks. This project primarily dealt with made to order items, where there is immense pressure due to lead times and hence such planning is of utmost importance. The team, along with company representatives with able guidance from Dr. Julia Kalish and the GSCMI center, came up with an advanced system to estimate process losses and incorporate losses into the planning system. Traditionally, these losses lead to mismatch in inventory management and often lead to shortages. For a cable manufacturer, shortages can be very troublesome as requirements are in terms of length, and shortages in meeting requirements would mean making the entire cable again. The system developed helped CCI address the issue of matching copper lengths with insulation requirements. Having an opportunity to work with a real life problem gave the students great insights into planning systems and the impacts of how it might aff ect business and customer relationships in general.