More than 50 undergraduate students from the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business and other academic units across campus recently took part in a case competition hosted by Endress+Hauser and the Purdue chapter of the National Society of Sales Engineers (NSSE).
Endress+Hauser is a leading supplier of products, solutions and services for industrial process measurement and automation that offers comprehensive process instrumentation, engineered solutions, service, and training across a wide range of industries. The mission of the NSSE is to shape the next generation of sales engineers through generating, supporting and scaling university-based organizations.
The case centered on ADIOS Food & Beverage, a pseudonym for an Endress+Hauser customer that is looking to implement a company-wide training program for process instrumentation across multiple sites in the United States. ADIOS traditionally trains over 100 technicians each year. With pending retirements and talent shortages, that number will increase to over 250 new technicians per year.
Initially, ADIOS would like Endress+Hauser to implement an onsite training solution at its U.S. headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, where it has a dedicated space accommodating 10-12 participants per training session. The ADIOS team would eventually like to replicate these training solutions at their other facilities across the United States.
Recruitment of the participating teams began in September 2023, followed by a visit in October to Endress+Hauser’s site in Greenwood, Indiana to get an overview of the case, launch the competition and tour the facility. The teams worked on the case through the end of the fall semester and presented their solutions in Purdue’s Convergence Center on January 26, 2024, including the full lifecycle of each solution, upfront design and fabrication costs, initial time investment, integration with new and existing technology, and other considerations.
"The Endress+Hauser x NSSE @ Purdue Case Competition challenged students to explore the world of technical sales to drive a strategic, customer-focused solution,” says Jess Franta, director of the Daniels School’s Business Partnerships Office. “Endress+Hauser showcased their world of work and built meaningful and lasting connections by hosting students onsite for the challenge kickoff. On campus, the final student teams presented to company leadership and received valuable feedback, as well as a chance to network with members of the Endress+Hauser team.”
The winning team, Frieda Consulting Council, was comprised of Daniels School freshmen Ryan Mooney, Ella Maldonado, Constantin Danel Sio, Lingeshwar Vedanarayanan and Hannah Ritz.
“Throughout this case competition, we received advice from the board at NSSE Purdue, the judges at Endress+Hauser, and our peers,” Maldonado says. “We widely benefited from and greatly appreciate the time others put in to helping us achieve success. The connections and mentors we gained were among the most rewarding aspects of this competition.”
Maldonado says the most challenging part of the case was quantifying a solution. “The case itself was very open-ended, which gave us a chance to be creative, but that also meant that we had to come up with most of the numbers for our solution through further investigations and estimations,” she says. “While this made it more challenging to present with absolute certainty, the work we put into researching our solution helped us derive the needed information”
Franta says similar events will continue to connect industry and students. “The Daniels School of Business provides ample access for industry to drive engagement with top talent through opportunities such as this,” she says. “We are grateful for these partnerships and eager to continue showcasing our stellar students in the future."
Lindsey Howard, engagement specialist with the Business Partnerships Office, says experiential learning engagements such as case competitions provide students with an opportunity to put classroom theories into practice, while engagement from the partner side provides a new perspective for their business challenges as well as an opportunity to connect with future business professionals.
“These connections offer insights into industry trends, best practices and career pathways,” Howard says. “They also serve as mutually beneficial platforms where students and companies can learn from each other, driving innovation and fostering talent development within the business community.”