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Students, business executives come together for sixth annual ERPsim Competition


Blue Cross Blue Shield team works together at ERPsim Invitational on Feb. 15 in McGuirk Arena. 

For one day, students shifted from the classroom to working up close with business leaders and professionals.

A total of 218 students were in attendance for the sixth annual ERPsim Competition on Feb. 15 in McGuirk Arena. 

The competition, which is hosted by the College of Business Administration, gives students the opportunity to connect with business executives and receive job offers. It also gives employers the chance to see how students work up close. 

“This kind of competition and engagement from the student body is something that’s really invaluable,” said Bill Fandrich, senior vice president and chief information officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield. “It gives us the ability to really help articulate to them and help them prepare themselves for the professional world.”

Students work in teams of four or five using a simulation that shows the life of a business over a period of time. There were 40 teams that competed in the event with each team having at least one mentor to help guide them through the competition. 

Director of the SAP University Alliance at CMU Steve Tracy said the event is valuable because it gives students a chance to work in real world environments and also work with representatives from Fortune 500 companies. 

Traditionally the winning teams were the ones that generated the most income for their hypothetical business. However, the winners this year were hosen based on how their business performed in several other areas.

The competition was separated into two games consisting of four 20-minute rounds. At the end of game one, the teams were split into two categories with the top 20 teams put into flight one and the bottom 20 teams into flight two. Game two continued with teams competing with the other teams in their flight. 

The winners from flight one were Team Audi for fifth place, Dow Chemical team one for fourth place, TDS team one for third place, Harley Davidson for second place and Sage Group for first place. 

The winners from flight two were General Motors team two for third place, KPMG for second place and Dow Chemical team two for first place.

The top prize for flight one was $1000 and the top prize for flight two was $300. 

Naveen Uppu, a graduate student and member of the first place-winning Sage Group, learned a lot from participating in this competition. He said that competing in ERPsim taught him about the business process and teamwork. He also gave credit to his teammates or all the hard work they put in. 

Executive Director of Global Business Services for General Motors Dan Mahlebashian said working efficiently with others is a skill he looks for in the students at ERPsim.  

“The notion of sitting in an office or a workstation and being an individual contributor is a thing of the past,” Mahlebashian said. “You have to be able to be able to work across geographies, across functions, across backgrounds and work collaboratively as a team.”