"The First annual Conexus Logistics Case competition was a great way to connect the best and brightest students in Indiana with logistics companies throughout the state. Since logistics is such an important industry for the State of Indiana it is imperative that our state supply the workforce that the industry needs to continue to prosper. I was honored to be asked to serve as a judge and was impressed with the work done by all of the teams who participated in the competition. As Chairman of the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council, I look forward to next year’s case competition and our continued efforts to connect our logistics industry with the many bright students studying logistics and supply chain and supply chain at Indiana Universities and Colleges." - Mark DeFabis, CEO of Integrated Distribution Services, Inc.
More than 65 Indiana students from 17 colleges and universities who gathered in Indianapolis Oct. 12-14 for the first-ever Conexus Indiana Logistics Case Competition. The goal of the event was to increase awareness of logistics career opportunities and build the pipeline of students seeking logistics careers. The awards for first, second and third place, totaling $8,000 in cash, were presented by U.S. Representative Todd Rokita. All prizes money was awarded directly to the students and was split amongst each team.
"This event, hosted by Conexus and leaders of Indiana's logistics industry, is a positive and proactive way to showcase the talent at Indiana's colleges and universities,” said U.S. Representative Todd Rokita. “The insight and resourcefulness of these students is indicative of the innovative programs offered at the institutions they attend. These future industry leaders will help ensure Indiana continues to be a premier destination for companies looking for excellence in logistics service."
Students worked in teams of four to develop a solution to a real-world logistics business case that replicated the kinds of issues today’s industry leaders face in the high-tech logistics environments, said Nick Hoagland, COO/CPO of Backhaul Direct, vice chair of the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council and chair for the council’s Workforce Development Task Force. “Perhaps just as important,” he added, “these students had access to many of the state’s highest-ranking logistics executives to discuss career opportunities, learn more about the logistics industry and solidify their educational pathways for future success.”
As the “Crossroads of America,” Indiana is a global logistics leader thanks to its central location and excellent business environment. Logistics career opportunities, which pay a median salary of $74,000, are only expected to increase as the business of moving products from manufacturing floor to store shelf is projected to double by 2035. The logistics sector employs approximately 300,000 Hoosiers and an estimated 75,000 more are employed in logistics positions by the state’s manufacturers.
“The Conexus Indiana Logistics Case Competition couldn’t have come at a more opportune time,” said Mark DeFabis, CEO of Integrated Distribution Services (IDS) and chairman of the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council. “In the last few months alone, Indiana has announced significant investments by a handful of logistics companies in Central Indiana and in communities around the state. The need for a skilled talent base continues to increase as more companies locate and grow in Indiana because of its ideal business environment.”
Valparaiso University walked away with a $5,000 cash and first place award. Purdue Polytechnic Institute placed second and won $2,000 and the University of Evansville placed third and won $1,000.