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GPS Class Visits Largest Military Food Distributor in the World

September 7, 2011

Dr. Lyle Cady, associate professor of business administration for the Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) Program, took his MBA operations management class to visit MDV (Military Distributors of Virginia) Nash Finch, which is the largest distributor of food to military commissaries around the world. Two students in the class, Carmella Cook and Tia Billups work for MDV and when Cady challenged the class to investigate operations management in action they arranged a tour of the MDV facility in Norfolk.

Edward Brunot, president of MDV, started the tour with a two hour in-depth lecture on the operations management of the company with a focus on inventory management. The class learned how the theory they are learning is actually used to manage the operation and make decisions. MDV uses an inventory system that has an economic order quantity model to help manage inventory. The company opened a new feeder warehouse in the Southwest United States and used a center of gravity model to choose the best location for the warehouse to minimize costs. After the lecture, Brunot and his staff conducted a facility tour.

The final part of the experience was when each study team presented a case analysis on inventory management and the class discussed "The Goal," a business management novel by Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt.

This is another way the Averett University GPS program combines classroom theory with practical applications.