Bentley Students Place First in Price Chopper Ultimate Innovation Competition
A team of Bentley University students placed first in the Price Chopper Ultimate Innovation Competition. The program challenges undergraduate and graduate college students to develop an original, creative, and innovative concept that would be relevant and meaningful to the northeast supermarket retailer. In addition to a formal written proposal, the team presented to company executives on May 11 at Price Chopper Supermarkets headquarters in Schenectady, NY. Bentley placed first among six finalist teams, and received an $8,000 award.
"Not only did the Bentley team have a great set of ideas, they were very professional and based their recommendations on thorough research," says Mark Chandler, vice president of supply chain at Price Chopper Supermarkets. "By winning, they have certainly set the bar high for future teams."
The submitted innovative ideas and concepts needed to focus on one of the following categories:
- Retail store operations
- Supply chain/distribution management (including warehousing and transportation)
- Merchandising/marketing (including advertising or public relations)
- Human resources (including training and recruiting)
Bentley's student team included: Brendan Gerrity and Chris Hayes (Class of 2011); Cody Normyle (Class of 2013); and Monika Aderbauer (Class of 2012). Their idea focused on innovative ways to increase the capacity of the cash registers during periods of high demand. Faculty advisers included Mark Davis, professor of operations management, and James Salsbury, senior lecturer in management.
"Winning first prize obviously reflects very positively on both the students and Bentley," says Davis. "What made the award even more impressive was that the judges voted unanimously to award the Bentley team first place. In addition, unlike many of the teams who received course credit for this competition, the Bentley student team volunteered to compete solely for the experience."