ERPsim Teamwork

Blue Cross Helps Students Shine at CMU

The greatest companies are composed of the industry’s top talent. At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, we’re dedicated to taking on the best of the best by seeking out tomorrow’s top talent today. That’s why for the eighth consecutive year, we’ve partnered with Central Michigan University to participate in the ERPsim competition.

What is ERPsim?

ERPsim, or Enterprise Resource Planning Simulation, is an annual event held at Central Michigan University. Twenty teams of the brightest students and alumni, guided by mentors from several major companies, compete to successfully run a large fictitious business using SAP software. By using this technology to learn how to build and implement a successful business plan, students and alumni alike can get ahead in their field, in more ways than one.

In this year’s ERPsim competition, the task was to build an effective business plan for a company within the German cereal market, selling to wholesale customers in big-box stores, chain grocery stores and convenience stores. Each team had to forecast demand, calculate material shortages, procure material and manufacture their fictitious products. Once inventory is manufactured, each team must then make marketing and pricing decisions while simultaneously managing an $8 million loan, considering set up time reduction and the addition of manufacturing capacity.

Mentoring Tomorrow’s Brightest

As a sponsor and a participant in the event, Blue Cross was able to both mentor students on an individual level and support a program that gives a huge benefit to students looking to sharpen their business acumen.

Our partnership with Central Michigan University is important because we believe that supporting important programs like ERPsim helps prepare students to create a better future for all, and because some of our best and brightest employees have been discovered at events like these.

“The best thing we could do was put our students together, have companies come in and provide mentorship and strategic leadership for the team,” said Stephen Tracy, director of the ERPsim Invitational Competition. “[Companies] could not only participate in the game, but they could actually get an 8-hour interview with our students and understand how they make decisions, how they communicate, how they work as a team or under pressure.”

Bill Fandrich

Over the years, many Blue Cross employees have come from the ERPsim competition. The competition allows the students working with mentors from Blue Cross to spend several hours showing off their skills, both technical and interpersonal, and building strong connections with potential employers. “We know the cream of the crop can be found here, which is why we keep returning,” says Sue Girimonte, a senior IT manager at Blue Cross.

Blue Cross has been a regular fixture at the ERPsim event. Mentorship is a very important aspect of how Blue Cross gives back to the community, but it’s also a valuable resource for intelligent young technical professionals looking to gain a foothold in their industry.

Those looking to get ahead of the curve on finding internships or opportunities get access to major networking opportunities through this event. To learn more about the event or how to participate, you can read more on the Central Michigan University website here.

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