Experiential Learning Program

The Experiential Learning Program (ELP) offered by the Center is an opportunity to forge closer industry-education relationships. Industry partners are provided with valuable external input to address a business problem and establish connections with very accomplished talent pool. For students, it provides an opportunity for engaging in industry-driven collaborations and exposes them to contemporary market trends in technology enabled supply chains.

Projects within the ELP are characterized by student teams (supervised by a faculty member) tasked with developing a business case for product, process, and/or technology initiatives. Projects are such that they resolve a specific need with a deliverable cycle time of 4-6 months. Ideal projects are those that focus on integration of SC issues in an information systems/technology domain. Projects are supervised by a faculty member and require a corporate liaison who is willing to dedicate 3-4 hours per week on the project. The liaison should not only have management support but preferably have some a vested interest in project success and of course, be willing to work with students. Although projects should not be classified or highly proprietary, students and faculty can sign nondisclosure agreements. Please review the draft ELP project agreement.


Project Sponsors:

  • Patrick O’Leary
  • Ram Marupudi
  • Graham Leary (SEG)
Experiential Learning Program, LifeCrypter team

Student Team:

  • Caleb Bonsi
  • Herbert F. Coard
  • Matthieu Lair
  • Maria Petryk
  • Cameron Preston
  • Danica Zhao

Project Description:

Southeastern Grocers (SEG) parent company and home of Bi-Lo, Fresco y Mas, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, is one of the largest conventional supermarket companies int e US. SEG grocery stores and in-store pharmacies serve communities throughout the seven states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina.

The United States has been taking initiatives to discourage the introduction and distribution of counterfeit drugs. With that goal in mind, Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) was introduced in November 2013 as a federal framework to address the pharmaceutical supply chain security. The DSCSA outlines critical steps to build an electronic, interoperable system to identify and trace certain prescriptions drugs as they are distributed in the U.S.

Analyze the AS-IS business process, put together the current state process, and readiness to implement DSCSA. Evaluate the technology adoption of Blockchain for supply chain transparency, research and analyze the options to ensure complete traceability in the pharmacy supply chain. Develop a framework and prototype for implementing patient-empowering blockchain solution to ensure complete traceability of all pharmacy products and also evaluate the technology adoption of blockchain for supply chain transparency and also explore current pharmaceutical industry efforts to adopt blockchain for supply chain integrity tend to focus on compliance with the FDA’s Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), designed to protect patient safety through track and trace protocols.

It’s been so awesome to work with the students from Experiential Learning Program. With Project: LifeCrypter, we envision an elegant blockchain solution that brings integrity, traceability and transparency to the SEG pharmaceutical drug supply chain. The students jumped into the project with curiosity, and an infectiously upbeat attitude. They are successful in not only putting together the current state analysis, identifying the gaps to adopt DSCSA but also outlined potential opportunities that the Blockchain technology offers with potential other use cases such as returns and disposal of unused medicines. With the guidance of ISOM faculty, the students thoroughly presented the options to ensure complete traceability in the pharmacy supply chain. The team developed a prototype and successfully illustrated the capabilities of the platform. Looking forward to continuing the partnership with ISOM department and working with the students from Experiential Learning Program is where theory meets action and its learning by doing.

Ram Marupudi

The Experiential Learning Program allowed me to experience real-world problems firsthand. By working directly with Southeastern Grocers on a supply chain problem, I had access to industry professionals, unique customer data, and the ability to explore advanced technological solutions. I would say this experience has been rewarding and valuable in preparing me for a future job, especially one related to supply chain, information systems, and consulting.

Matthieu Lair
MS-ISOM Student

Project Sponsors:

  • Nick Gowen, Senior Vice President
  • Michael Smedlund, Director of Credit
Experiential Learning Program, J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. Scoring Model Team

Student Team:

  • Brandon Ferretti
  • Jingxiao Guo
  • Ching-yung Huang
  • Kaemon Vero
  • Yu-chon (Tom) Wang

Project Description:

Using a set of provided aging and credit data, the student team developed a credit scoring model which had the strongest correlation between the following factors: it approves greater than or equal to the current number of new customers for credit; for existing customers, it has the strongest correlation among models between approved customers and avoidance of hard collections, bankrupt, or discontinued operations accounts, and for existing customers, it has the strongest correlation among models between high credit model scores and low past dues. The team employed various statistical modeling tools, including machine learning, to determine the significant variables within provided credit reports and recommended weights of those variables.

I am impressed with the depth of data and the various models used by the team. I know we will be able to take the project’s output, build upon it, and use some of the conclusions and principles from it in our company’s credit policy.

Michael Smedlund
Director of Credit, J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc.

The ELP project with J.B. hunt gave us the opportunity to consult with a $8.6B revenue company and work on their business data. Through the project, we have gained a valuable perspective on analyzing and solving business problems using data science & analytics techniques. Thank you again for providing us such an amazing learning experience.

Yu-chon (Tom) Wang
MS-ISOM Student, University of Florida

Project Sponsors:

  • Tedd Comerford
  • Dawn Watkins
  • Mark Gardner (UF Health Shands)
Experiential Learning Program, Hospital Inventory Par Analysis team

Student Team:

  • Michael Caouette
  • Taylor Glass
  • David Green
  • Katharine Maxwell
  • Caroline Smythe
  • Chevon Williams

Project Description:

UF Health Shands manages a total of 300 unique par locations throughout their geographically dispersed campus in Gainesville. With a low unit of measure (LUM) distribution strategy based on min/max levels, the students were challenged with evaluating fill rates to various clinical units. The team exceeded all expectations by developing a tool that assessed current values and recommended par level changes based on expected fill rates.

The team was truly impressed by the caliber of students in the Experiential Learning Program. Their level of engagement transformed this project into a mutually beneficial experience and resulted in a functional tool that our team can use moving forward.

Dawn Watkins
UF Health Shands

I am truly grateful for the opportunity to have been apart of ISOMs experiential learning program as it gave me the ability to solve real world complex business problems and gave me the chance to showcase the skills I have acquired from the Hough Graduate School of Business.

Michael Caouette
MS-ISOM Student

Project Sponsors:

  • Courtney Ryan
  • Matt Peterson
  • Alejandro Larraga (Jabil, Inc.)
Experiential Learning Program, Jabil Supply Chain Management team

Student Team:

  • Hankun Jin
  • Sophia Graves
  • Zhenyan Li
  • Zhi Li
  • Fanyu Meng

Project Description:

Jabil is an Electronic Manufacturing Services Company, with their Corporate office in St. Petersburg, Florida. Jabil is a $20B+ corporation and has over 100+ manufacturing sites in 26 countries.

Jabil has low margins, so Inventory optimization is a critical key to Jabil’s success. Our current process is to Load a Master Schedule that generates an MRP where we schedule material from our suppliers to be shipped to Jabil on the dates MRP establishes. Problems arise when we have schedule changes / reductions from our customers, and we are limited with our reschedule and cancelation terms with custom / non-standard parts. Further, our customers demand flexibility which requires us to carry additional buffer and safety stock.

The project focus was to complete an ROI to see if it is beneficial for Jabil to move the receipt and storage of Supplier raw material from Jabil to a 3PL close to the Site and then schedule daily production shipments. We would need to quote multiple 3PLs and would need to negotiate time frame 3PL would hold Inventory. Costs to consider would be cost of Carrying Inventory and cost of space needed inside Jabil vs. Cost of 3PL. Project will investigate a smaller scope for the ROI. If the Project determines that the ROI is not beneficial to Jabil, we would then try to determine how much more business would need to move into the 3PL to see if it could be beneficial.

It was great to work with the UF SC Management Interns. They worked hard and provided great insights on how we can save on Fixed Costs while increasing our Cash Flow..

Matt Peterson
Jabil, Inc.

It was such an incredible experience working with Jabil on a cost analysis of storing raw materials in-house verses utilizing a 3PL. The team and I were able to learn about high level operations of the company, real world supply chain principles in action, and the high level of detail it takes to project cost savings. I am thankful to have had this hands on opportunity to network with respectful professionals and to learn along other UF graduate students.

Sophia Graves
MS-ISOM Student

Project Sponsors:

  • Patrick O’Leary
  • Ram Marupudi
  • Graham Leary

Student Team:

  • Daniel Cohen
  • Winnie Leung
  • Jack Hotaling
  • Claudia Garcia
  • Ashiya Katuka

Project Description:

Southeastern Grocers (SEG) parent company and home of Bi-Lo, Fresco y Mas, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, is one of the largest conventional supermarket companies in the US. SEG grocery stores and in-store pharmacies serve communities throughout the seven states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina.

For Supermarket retailers, operational shrink is an issue that is cutting into profits and contributing to food waste, while modern grocery consumer cares more and more about eating healthy while practicing sustainability; they want fresh and local produce, sustainably sourced meat and fish, environmentally conscious dairy and non-dairy products, and more variety in plant-based products. In the U.S. alone, food waste is estimated at between 30-40% of the food supply. Currently, the grocery industry mainly relies on inventory management solutions to curb fresh food waste.

Project focus is to analyze the current state processes contributing to shrink in both Store Operations and Supply Chain Warehouses & Distribution Centers. With the data provided, determine the operational causes of shrink and identify the opportunities for improvement and current strengths. Our objective is to categorize shrink by the form of loss (Out of Code, Damage, Pilferage) by department (meat, produce, Frozen etc) and by the Banner (Bi-Lo, Harveys, Fresco, Winn-Dixie) and to take a Pareto approach to suggesting the best practices and which technologies and innovations could be paired with specific problems to reduce shrink at the retail level.


We were impressed with the work produced by the UF Supply Chain Management Center ELP program students. I’m particularly pleased with the depth of analysis and identifying opportunities with the analytics produced and SKU rationalization recommendation and also detailed outcome of the operational opportunities.

Ram Marupudi