May 2021 Student Simulation Competition - Contest Overview

Nittany Lion Group
Nittany Lion Group Project
Nittany Lion Group Introduction
Panteras Phoenix
Panteras Phoenix Project
Panteras Phoenix Introduction
Double NT Co
Double NT Co Project
Double NT Co IntroVideoduction
Information Station
Information Station Project
Information Station Introduction

Overview of Contest:

There are two ways to enter the Simio Student Case Competition. You can either enter directly or through class participation. This contest, we had 26 teams enter directly (80 students) and 37 instructors with 313 teams (1263 students) for a total of 339 teams (1343 students).

We also had representation from the following 16 countries:

  • China
  • Colombia
  • El Salvador
  • France
  • Germany
  • Guatemala
  • India
  • Mexico
  • Philippines
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Thailand
  • USA

The 1343 students came from these 44 schools:

  • Binghamton University
  • Business School Sichuan University
  • Cazenovia College
  • CETYS Universidad
  • Chulalongkorn University
  • East Carolina University
  • Informatik
  • Instituto Tecnológico de Puebla
  • ITAM
  • Kansas State University
  • Kennesaw State University
  • National Institute of Development Administration
  • North Carolina State University
  • Northeastern University College of Engineering
  • Ohio University
  • OVGU
  • Recinto Universitario Ana G Mendez
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Shree Ra
  • Shri Ramdeobaba College of Engineering and Management
  • Singapore University of Technology and Design
  • The Ohio State University
  • The Pennsylvania State University
  • The University of Texas at El Paso
  • Universidad de El Salvador
  • Universidad del Valle de Guatemala
  • Universidad EIA
  • Universidad Panamericana
  • Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana
  • Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala
  • University of Coimbra
  • University of El Salvador
  • University of Florida
  • University of Houston
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • University of San Carlos
  • University of San Diego
  • University of Texas at El Paso
  • University of the Witwatersrand
  • University of Vigo
  • University of Washington
  • Wright State University

Summary of the Problem:

The Simio Shelving Shop is a shelving manufacturer and wholesaler specializing in several types of shelving units with design variations. The shop is currently experiencing low order fill rates, affecting the shop’s bottom line. Management recently hired an outside consultant to provide recommendations for revamping the inventory and buffering system. The consultant recommended a new buffering and inventory paradigm, Demand Driven Materials Requirement Planning (DDMRP), to address the rampant stockout issue.

The factory currently uses static buffer levels, where all stations have a fixed amount of raw material buffered at their station, and the factory maintains a fixed number of each end item ready to ship. The current buffering method, combined with variations in lead time and quality throughout the factory and its suppliers, drives stockouts of finished goods and raw material. Management embraced the consultant’s recommendation to incorporate a DDMRP buffering solution into the factory because they are convinced that a dynamic buffering solution will improve a collection of selected Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), especially fill rate and average inventory cost. As a secondary objective, management also seeks better methods of monitoring risk in the buffer levels, which the DDMRP buffer profiles will provide.

The challenge is to set up dynamic DDMRP buffers in the factory. This will include leveraging pre-existing data from Sales, Quality, machines, and suppliers to first determine the locations of the buffers, then fine-tune the buffer parameters to improve the selected KPIs. After the buffers are integrated, management wants to predict the change in the factory’s KPIs. Additionally, management would like to reevaluate potential suppliers, which have varying lead times and product quality. This assessment will include recreating optimal buffers for the potential suppliers to determine the impact the supplier could have on the company’s fill rate and average inventory costs.

Read the full problem!

Judging Criteria:

The judging was based on:

  • Quality/clarity of the presentation
  • Analysis/use of input data
  • Modeling detail/approach
  • Model internal documentation
  • Verification and Validation
  • Quality of animation
  • Experimentation/exploration of alternatives
  • Analysis of results
  • Quality of the recommendations
  • Overall project quality and Executive Summary

For more detail, see the Contest Judging Criteria.

Judging Panel:

Academic and Commercial:

Ed Williams Raul Zuniga Ivan Vilaboa Mustafa Gocken
Edward Williams
Lecturer II at Business Analytics, College of Business, University of Michigan - Dearborn
Sven Guzman
Dean of Business Engineer at ESEN
Ivan Vilaboa
Associate Professor at Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires
Maria Diaz
Business Process Optimization Manager at Spirit Airlines
Cassidy Shaffer Mustafa Gocken  Ted Allen  
Cassidy Shaffer
Advanced Operations Research Analyst at Eastman
Mustafa Gocken
Associate Professor at Adana Alparslan Türkeş Science and Technology University
Ted Allen
Associate Professor at The Ohio State University


Simio LLC:

David Sturrock Caleb Whitehead Alex Molnar  
David Sturrock
Technical Fellow
Elizabeth Millar
Applications Engineer
Alex Molnar
Applications Engineer
Caleb Whitehead Caleb Whitehead    
Caleb Whitehead
Applications Engineer
Rylan Carnery
Applications Engineer

May 2021 Contest Winners

First Place

Nittany Lion Group
Penn State University

Team Introduction Project Video

more details >

Second Place

Panteras Phoenix
Universidad Panamericana

Team Introduction Project Video

more details >

Third Place

Double NT Co
Chulalongkorn University

Team Introduction Project Video

more details >

Fourth Place

Information Station
University of Coimbra

Team Introduction Project Video

more details >

Top 9 including Honorable Mentions & Semi-Finalists

The top 9 teams out of 339 

more details >

Contest Overview

Contest Overview, Summary of Problem, Judging Criteria and Judges

more details >