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December 2017
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Associated partners with Loyola on Supply Chain initiative

In an effort to increase awareness about the value that the material handling industry provides to the supply chain, Associated has initiated partnerships with several prominent Universities over the last few years to provide graduate students with real world case studies.  This year they partnered with Loyola University Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business in an experiential learning project.

As part of a 500-year-old Jesuit tradition, Quinlan combines the pursuit of excellence with a commitment to service, values, and responsible leadership. They do this, in part, by providing their students with innovative learning experiences that prepare them for personal and professional success.

Given Quinlan's mission—and new focus on supply chain management—this project was a perfect fit for their graduate students working on their Master’s in Supply Chain Management, the only such program in Illinois offered at an accredited business school. Quinlan's approach is to engage students in evaluating and analyzing real-world issues to reinforce and embed some of the skills they have acquired in their course curriculum.

This project was a focal point of Quinlan's Supply Chain Analytics course. Over the duration of this 10-week project, 20 Quinlan students were asked to evaluate some of Associated’s current internal processes for analyzing their customer’s lift truck fleets and recommend strategies to streamline them.

Quinlan students studied the industry, the company, and the applicable lift truck metrics.  At the culmination of this project, they presented their findings to their professor and a group of Associated senior managers.

"Our students gained essential analytical experience working with Associated on an interesting, open-ended problem," said Maciek Nowak, PhD, director of the MS in Supply Chain Management at Quinlan.  "While being exposed to a growing segment of the supply chain industry, the students developed techniques that will serve them well in any supply chain field they choose. I look forward to a continued partnership with Associated as our supply chain program grows."

In appreciation of the student’s efforts, Associated has made a contribution to the Loyola Scholarship Fund.

“In addition to the great ideas and valuable insight these students provided, this project served as a platform to create awareness and appreciation of our industry.  Increasing exposure to the academic community will ensure the availability of a continuing pool of talent that will sustain the industry's growth and success as well serve to educate future decision makers as to the value we bring to the buyers and users of our products and services,” said Michael B. Romano,

President/CEO, of Associated. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work with Quinlan on this mutually beneficial endeavor.”