Industrial Distribution Program enhances experiential learning with industry partnership

Photo of ID visiting Womack Machine Supply

More than 100 students from the Industrial Distribution Program visited Womack Machine Supply Co. in Dallas Oct. 4 as part of their Manufacturer Distributor Relations class (IDIS 340). 

(Pictured: Industrial distribution students at Womack Machine Supply Co. Oct. 4)

This class includes an industry project, which culminates with student presentations of their findings to an executive panel of the sponsoring company. The students gained real-world experience in touring the distribution facility and listening to talks by different executives and managers which influenced the direction of their projects on a variety of proposed topics.

Project topics include:

  • Supplier stratification
  • Supplier-distributor performance management (supply chain optimization)
  • Supplier selection
  • Collaborating with suppliers on product line development
  • Collaborating with suppliers on sales and marketing strategies (automation)

Students will work on relationship issues between manufacturers and distributors and how they can interact to maximize efficiencies within distribution channels. They will also analyze challenges faced by Womack within the distribution channel and formulate alternative resolutions to these challenges. The final class presentations will be presented to the management team from Womack Nov. 8. Students will make recommendations for improvement, outline a strategy for best practices, and explore benefits of the projects to Womack and their suppliers.

Industry Focused Experiential Learning

In Fall 2013, multiple industrial distribution courses will enhance industry focused experiential learning by inviting industry representatives to speak on various topics including trends, challenges and opportunities in the industrial channels. Some of the courses are:

IDIS 240: Introduction to Industrial Distribution
IDIS 340: Manufacturer Distributor Relations
IDIS 343: Distribution Logistics
IDIS 344: Distributor Information and Control Systems
IDIS 464: Distributor Operations and Financial Management
IDIS 424: Purchasing Applications in Distribution
IDIS 330: Sales Engineering
IDIS 434: The Quality Process for Distributors
IDIS 444: Leadership in Technology
IDIS 489: Special Topics — Humanitarian Logistics

Some of the select industry speakers and topics are listed below:                                

IDIS 240           
Ian Landgraf & Marie Valenta, Drilling Technical-Operations Support, Exxon Mobile       
Oil & Energy Channel Overview

IDIS 240                 
Chad Overby, Accelerated Management Trainee, ABC Supply       
Distribution Business & Trends

IDIS 240            
Megan Anderson, Kate Shortle, Channel Sales Engineer, Schneider Electric
Electrical Distribution Channel

IDIS 240               
Rich Ashton, President, Tom's Mechanical  
Distribution Channels & Career Opportunities

IDIS 340              
Mark Hanley, Moore Supply, Training Coordinator; Brad Silver, Moore Supply, General Manager; Monica Moore, Emerson; and Eric Garrington, Corbett, Wingard, and Ray
Plumbing, Pipe, Valves, & Fittings and Channels to Market

IDIS 340        
Chris Suttle, Project Manager Supply Chain & Logistics, Shell       
Petroleum Industry and the Supply Chain

IDIS 340        
Jason Westad, VP Sales and Marketing, Force America       
Petroleum Industry and the Supply Chain

IDIS 340       
Alan Singleton, General Manager — Houston, Ryerson        
Metals and Operational Management

IDIS 340        
David Sanders of Southern Shingles  
Roofing and Channel Compensation between the Manufacturer, Distributor and End User                                  

IDIS 340        
Jason Roberson, VP Operations, Crawford Electric 
Electrical Distribution and Relationship Building

IDIS 340        
Laura Whalen, HR Director, Bill Hoyt, VP Sales & Business Development, and Bill Boykin, Branch Manager, all of Rexel
Electrical Distribution and the Supply Chain

IDIS 434       
Hilton Beckham, Dell

IDIS 434        
Joe Stallard, Chief HR Officer, Sewell Automotive Companies       
Distribution and Logistics

IDIS 434        
Nicholas Burton, Logistics Specialist of Packaging, Toyota Motor Manufacturing (Texas)          
Implementation of Lean Principles in Distribution and Logistics

IDIS 434        
Aaron Elliott, VP Sales & Marketing, DW Distribution       
Distribution and Logistics

IDIS 444        
Tom Ferguson, former Division President, Flowserve          
Ethics and Leadership

IDIS 444        
Lynn Perrin, President, IDG Energy & Specialty Distribution Holdings     
Ethics and Leadership

IDIS 489        
Marly Maskil, Industrial Engineer, Houston Food Bank      
Humanitarian Logistics

IDIS 489        
Chuck Frazier, Emergency Management Coordinator, Brazos County, and Monica Weintraub, Office of Safety and Security, Texas A&M University    
Emergency Management in the U.S

IDIS 489        
Benjamin Samuels, CEO of Victory Packaging,         
Corporate Social Responsibility

In addition to bringing industry speakers to classes, students are provided with hands-on experience with industry-grade software applications that are used to drive the business. The teaching and learning tools used in IDIS 343 include Microsoft Dynamics NAV, IBM Websphere, Simflex, Tour de Force CRM, Aidmatrix. These softwares with real data expose the students to understand how industrial process such as order fulfillment, warehouse management and customer service are automated.

For more information on the Industrial Distribution Program, please visit http://id.tamu.edu/