Christian Dethlefs | 10.05.2021
The winner of the 2021 edition of the Global Student Challenge in supply chain management is a student team from the Technical University of Munich. Magdalena Huber, Polina Ivanova, Enrico Kaschak, and Emilia Wengorz as the team “Bavarian Saftladen” competed against 47 other student teams from 33 different universities and 17 countries worldwide. After an intense and very close final from May 2-8, they took a phenomenal first place and can now call themselves world champions of the Global Student Challenge 2021.
Every year, the best performing teams of the university editions of the business game “The Fresh Connection” are invited to qualify and participate in the Global Student Challenge. The business game considered the world’s leading business game in value chain management and is hosted by Inchainge. This year’s final was run as a virtual event and brought together a record of 197 students from 33 universities worldwide.
The final consisted of four rounds in which students were confronted with supply and value chain challenges when running an international production company. “The Fresh Connection” is a fictional juice producer with international suppliers, an own production process, and different customers. Students step in as a management team for purchasing, operations, supply chain management, and sales. Their aim is to lead the company to financial success. On their journey, different internal and external challenges occur that the teams have to tackle. At the end of the game, the team with the highest weighted score wins the champion title.
The winning team played the local edition of the business game in 2020 during the “Supply Chain Simulation” course at TUM Campus Straubing. The course is offered in the summer term by the Chair of Supply and Value Chain Management of Prof. Dr. Alexander Hübner.
“We never expected to qualify for the final at all, but we tried anyway – and that’s how we ended up here”, Emilia said about their journey towards the title. Each of the four rounds of the final represents six months of business operations. From the very beginning, the TUM Campus Straubing team was among the top-performing teams. Enrico describes: “We thought we had maximum outsider chances as many other teams were much more experienced and advanced in their studies. However, we always worked late into the night and after we were in second place in the first round, suddenly it seemed possible for the dream to come true.” During the second and third round, the team maneuvered through international crises and invented product innovations.
In an exciting award ceremony on Saturday afternoon, the team from TUM Campus Straubing was announced as the winner of the challenge with a narrow lead in front of the teams from McGill University, Canada and University of Twente, Enschede.
The team summarized after the award ceremony: “We can’t believe it! It is just unbelievable how well we harmonize as a team and have worked together during this week to survive this tough competition with the other teams. It’s crazy that we did it!” This achievement is remarkable as not only is this the first time a German team won but also the first time a German team made it to the top 3.
Congratulations to the team and your great performance during the local round, the qualification, and the final!