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Roundtable and MBA Operations Challenge

McCombs School of Business McCombs School of Business

SCMC Roundtable and MBA Operations Challenge - November 14-15

SCMC Roundtables bring together Texas McCombs students and faculty with industry leaders to develop and communicate new knowledge about topics in supply chain management. Combined with the MBA Operations Challenge, this event allows students to present their creativity, teamwork and business acumen to our corporate participants, while leaving ample time for networking and career discussions.


This year, we will focus on topics relating to The Future of Supply Chain Sustainability.



Thursday, 11/14 Activity Location

12:00-2:00 PM

Challenge Judges' Lunch and Pre-Meeting

AT&T Classroom 107

1:45-3:45 PM

Challenge Team Check-In

AT&T The Carillon, 2nd Floor

2:15-4:30 PM

Challenge Preliminary Round

AT&T The Carillon, 2nd Floor

5:00-5:30 PM

Roundtable Check-In

AT&T Zlotnik Ballroom1/2

5:30-6:30 PM

Roundtable Session with Dell
Dell Technologies: Supply Chain Sustainability
Christy Abizaid, Vice President
Supply Chain Sustainability, Risk and Tools Governance

AT&T Zlotnik Ballroom 1/2

6:30-6:45 PM

MSBA Highlight: Building a New Focus on Supply Chain
Dr. Genaro Gutierrez, Program Director
Texas McCombs MS in Business Analytics

AT&T Zlotnik Ballroom 1/2

6:45-8:30 PM

Networking Reception/Dinner

AT&T Zlotnik Ballroom 3

Friday, 11/15

7:00-7:55 AM

Challenge Check-In

AT&T Amphitheater 204

8:00-10:00 AM

Challenge Final Round

AT&T Amphitheater 204

10:00-11:15 AM

Networking Break / Roundtable Check-In

AT&T Amphitheater 204 Patio

11:15-12:30 PM

Roundtable Session with Shell
A Supply Chain of Innovation: Inside and Out
Justin Stroud, Portfolio Development Lead, Shell TechWorks
Sri Rangan, General Manager, G&P Americas

AT&T Amphitheater 204

12:30-1:30 PM

Networking Lunch

Classroom 103

1:30-2:45 PM

Roundtable Session with HEB
Supply Chain Visibility and Optimization
Carson Landsgard, Senior VP of Supply Chain & Logistics

AT&T Amphitheater 204 

2:45-3:00 PM

Final Thoughts and Challenge Results

AT&T Amphitheater 204

All activities will be held on-campus at the AT&T Conference Center.


MBA Operations Challenge

The MBA Operations Challenge offers first-year Texas McCombs MBAs a supply chain and operations experience based on a challenging business case involving real-world issues currently faced by industry. Students present their strategies to a panel of cross-industry judges. All first year MBAs are eligible to compete.

The challenge exposes students to realistic supply chain issues and provides employers with an opportunity to preview the students' business skills under pressure. This year's case will focus on Technology, Integration, and Sustainability.

  • Students assemble teams of 4 prior to registering
  • Over $5,000 in prizes
  • Judges represent a wide range of companies
  • Networking opportunities - As part of this event, the judges and corporate participants will receive the 2019 Operations Challenge resume book.

Key Dates





Thu, 10/3
6:00-7:00 PM
Challenge Info Session
RRH 3.414

Mon, 10/7

8:00 AM

Challenge Team Registration Opens


Mon, 10/21

11:59 PM

Challenge Team Registration Closes


Mon, 11/4

6:00-7:00 PM

Challenge Case Release

Online / Call-in

Wed, 11/6

8:00 AM

Written Questions for Amazon Due


Fri, 11/8

12:00-1:00 PM

Q&A Conference Call with Amazon


Wed, 11/13

6:00 PM

Challenge Solutions Due


Wed, 11/13

9:00 PM

Preliminary Round Presentation Times Released


Challenge participants are expected to attend the full Roundtable on 11/14-11/15.

Why Technology, Integration, and Sustainability?

Empowered by revolutionary technologies such as AI and Blockchain, supply chain is becoming more efficient and transparent. These advanced technologies are helping Small-to-Medium sized enterprises (SMEs) integrate with the supply chains of larger companies. As a result, the world is heading toward a system of collaborative supply chain networks where the optimized supply chains of larger companies will be leveraged by the smaller SMEs.

This trend poses critical questions to Supply Chain Sustainability.

  • How are companies leveraging technology to sustainably integrate all partners along the supply chain?
  • What are the best practices for large companies and SMEs work together to enhance supply chain sustainability?
  • What innovations are needed to lead us to a more sustainable future?


Challenge Rules

Challenge Rules

  1. Teams must consist of four (4) active, first-year MBA students. A max of 16 teams will compete.
  2. All team members are expected to attend all events related to the Roundtable and Operations Challenge on 11/14-11/15. Any conflicts must be reported to the challenge organizers via email by 3:00 PM Central on Friday, 11/8. Failure to attend could result in disqualification. Winners must be present at the awards ceremony to receive cash prizes.
  3. At least 3 of the 4 team members must be present for the team to compete in the preliminary round and if applicable, final round.
  4. Teams will have limited opportunities to ask the case sponsor clarifying questions about the case.
  5. Teams are expressly prohibited from discussing the case or accepting assistance from any person outside the team, with the exception of communication coaches.
  6. Teams are encouraged to schedule a one-hour session with a McCombs Communication Coach between 11/5 and 11/12. To access coaches, teams can utilize 15 minutes from each student's coaching allotment. Teams must contact coaches directly to set up practice/prep sessions, using the list of coaches on the MBA+ Canvas page. Or the list of coaches specializing in Case Challenge preparation.
  7. Teams are permitted to utilize any publicly available information to develop case solutions - written resource, scholarly publication, internet, industry journals, academic textbooks, etc.
  8. Case presentations must be uploaded in PowerPoint format by 6:00 PM Central on Wednesday, 11/13. An upload widget will be provided on the "Presentation Upload" tab on the event website. Presentations may NOT be changed in any way after submission.
  9. Presentations should be no more than 15 minutes. Judges will be allotted 5 minutes for Q&A, plus 5 minutes for verbal feedback. Preliminary round feedback will occur during the preliminary round presentation slot. Final round feedback will occur after all the final presentations are complete.
  10. Teams will be randomly split into four preliminary round flights. Judges will select one team from each flight to proceed to the final round.
  11. Preliminary round order will be based on a random draw. If any team member has a class conflict during a presentation block, it must be reported to event organizers via email by 3:00 PM on Friday, 11/8.
  12. Preliminary round assignments will be emailed to teams by 9:00 PM Central, 11/13. After release, no change can be made to the flight assignments.
  13. Teams must check-in to the preliminary round at least 15 minutes prior to the assigned presentation time. Failure to arrive on time could result in disqualification.
  14. Judges are provided a rubric for evaluating the presentations. However, judges are professionals in the filed and may use the evaluation criteria as they see fit. Decisions by the judges will be final.
  15. Teams will provide hard copies of the presentation materials to the judges. The number of judges will be provided at the case release.
  16. Winning prize amounts are paid to individuals. All winnings are considered taxable income and each person will be responsible for reporting that income to the IRS.
  17. By participating in this event, you grant challenge organizers permission to publish any photographs taken during the challenge containing you or your likeness for publicity purposes.



Challenge Team Registration

Team registration will be open Monday, 10/7, 8:00 AM through Monday, 10/21, 11:59 PM. All team members will be automatically registered for all Roundtable and Challenge activities.

One team member will register the team. To register, you will need:

  • Team Name
  • Four team members - name, email
  • Resume for each team member

Following submission, your team's registration will be confirmed via email.


Roundtable Registration

Roundtable registration will be open Monday, 10/7, 8:00 AM through Monday, 11/11, 8:00 AM. This registration is for McCombs faculty, staff, students, corporate supporters and guests.



Additional Info

Additional Info


AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center
1900 University Avenue
Austin, TX 78705


Parking is available in the AT&T Center Garage (20th and Whitis) and the Brazos Garage (MLK Blvd at Brazos).


Roundtable attendees and Challenge judges: Business Casual
Challenge participants: Business Professional

Presentation Upload

Presentation Upload

Case solutions are due by 6:00 PM on Wednesday, November 13.

Upload your PowerPoint presentation using the blue button below.

Please include your team name in the document title. If you have any technical difficulties, please contact Diana Busler.

Presentation Upload