Posted June 28, 2022

STAFDA to Host New Student Competition During San Diego Convention

Competition will challenge students to "turn around" a failing company.

For the past several years, the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) has invited college students with industrial distribution, supply chain, or construction management majors to attend the Convention & Trade Show. They participate in all meeting activities. This year, a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) has developed a competition for the students attending STAFDA’s San Diego Convention & Trade Show, October 30-November 1.

Universities who regularly attend the Convention include UNL, Texas A&M, Purdue, East Carolina, University of Nebraska-Kearney, and Marquette. The competition may attract additional schools this year.

The assignment is to take a fictitious supply chain manufacturer who is losing money and turn it around. The students will have to address five key areas of the company:

  1. Purchasing;
  2. Operations;
  3. Sales;
  4. Supply Chain management; and
  5. Finance.

Students will also have to contend with the new market space of webstore sales, how to secure suppliers when faced with constrained capacity, and distribution.

The students will meet in San Diego two days before the STAFDA Convention begins to discuss the process where interested STAFDA manufacturers can meet with the students. The competition itself will be Saturday, October 29, with the winning teams recognized during STAFDA’s General Session, Monday, October 31.

The key to enhancing the students’ experience is to have STAFDA manufacturers share their insight and knowledge. Their interaction with the students will give these manufacturers the chance to share “real life” challenges and offer advice on sales, sourcing, marketplace dynamics, and today’s environment of e-business.

In between presentations, manufacturer members will be able to talk to the students about their companies, hiring possibilities, and more specifically, how they handled some of the issues encountered in the students’ case study.

Online registration for STAFDA’s San Diego Convention & Trade Show begins from the members-only section of at 8:00 a.m. (Central) on June 27. Only STAFDA members may attend. Non-members are encouraged to visit to review and complete membership applications.

For more information or photos, please contact Catherine Usher, Member Services Director, 262/784-4774 or