Business & Economics, 2013
  • Behavioral Operations Management at Work: A Diagnostic Analysis of Fundraising Process at a Nonprofit Organization
    Macaulay Barker, Kelsey Osler, Ted Graham, Megan Spiller, Brock Sarah Hornberger
    Mentor: M. Ali Ülkü

    Nonprofit organizations, unlike their for-profit counterparts, depend on donations and funds from government. In this study, have a first look at the fundraising operations, particularly solicitation process at a university. The goal of our research is to increase number of alumni reached so that we could increase the amount gifts. Our methodology is based on Behavioral Operations Management, an emerging science that integrates the understanding of human behavior to the applications of Operations Management. We many behavioral and operational factors impact the success a solicitation call into a gift, and that the number of contacts would be increased if: i) solicitation calls are made at a different day, ii) the caller waits at most for four rings, and iii) thank-you promptly prepared for and delivered to those who donated.

    Cultivating the Seeds of Hope
    Rachel Breuning
    Mentor: Renda Ross, Sharon Stout-Shaffer, Michaele Barsnack, Dina Lentsner, Janette McDonald, Amy Oehlschlaeger, Deborah Shields, Andrea Thomas

    Hope manifests itself in innately personal, individual expressions with unique capacities for sustaining the human spirit (Bauman, 2004; Duggleby, 2010; Webb, 2007; Snyder, 2002). Focusing awareness on the highly contextual images, practices, and situations embodying hope for an individual can preserve and cultivate even greater hope (Yohani, 2008). This project’s purpose is to explore and synthesize personal symbols into a sculpture whose visual dynamics articulate my understanding of hope’s diverse elements identified in class literature. In creating the piece I discovered specific characteristics of hope I had not previously realized. This piece may catalyze internal dialogue for observers, illuminating their own reflections. Articulating what uniquely speaks of hope in their own lives may cultivate broadened awareness of hope’s multifaceted manifestations.

    How Can We Help Students Deal with Complex Real World Problems?
    Jennifer Davis, Janelle Homier
    Mentor: M. Ali Ülkü, Terry D. Lahm, Andrea M. Karkowski

    Undergraduate research fosters deep learning and promotes greater retention and student persistence through to graduation. Many real world problems are complex and require an integrated solution and collaboration across different disciplines; therefore, it is important that students develop skills to work across disciplines on research problems. This research examines faculty experience and understanding of interdisciplinary undergraduate research (IUGR), and explores the current literature on the topic of interdisciplinary research. We interviewed 19 faculty about supervising undergraduate research, specifically IUGR, and conducted a qualitative analysis on their responses. We also obtained a national sample (N = 96) of college faculty to complete an online survey about their experiences with IUGR. These faculty represent a wide variety of institutional types and sizes, and thus provide an inclusive representation of faculty experiences with IUGR. From these data we developed a definition of IUGR and revealed how mentoring IUGR differs from mentoring disciplinary undergraduate research. Results show faculty prefer mentoring IUGR over mentoring disciplinary research. Results also highlighted the benefits of and barriers to conducting IUGR. These findings can help institutions facilitate IUGR projects on their campuses and inform faculty of development opportunities that will enrich student learning via enhanced curricula where IUGR is embedded.

    Would You Like Your News “Hot off the press” or “Hash-tagged”? Analysis of a Perishable Supply Chain
    Nicholas E. Eley, Jacob R. Badenhop, Andrew J. Appelt, Samantha L. Watts
    Mentor: M. Ali Ülkü

    Advances in technology have changed the landscape of communication. The new generations are learning about news more through digital media outlet than those of print. In response to this market change, media companies are using internet as a digital distribution channel. In this study, drawing on the case of a local newspaper, we investigate how these shifts towards increased digital content affect supply chain delivery operations. The purpose of this research is to derive analytical insights as to how perishability of the product, such as newspapers, impacts supply chain management. Through the lens of operations and marketing management we provide not only a historical account of such “perishable supply chains,” but also a stylized mathematical model that aims to find the optimal mix of print and digital content delivery. We propose some supply chain metrics that quantify the amount of green savings that may come with digitalization.

    The Cru and You: Towards Improving Student Experience at Capital University
    Alexander Forconi, Bethanie Yoder, Anthony Macioce, Andrew Shallenberger, Daniel Parsons, Stephen Rossi
    Mentor: M. Ali Ülkü

    Good use of time is of utmost importance to student success, and waiting in line is an “unproductive” activity that degrades operational performance. In this research, we show that students wait unnecessarily in long lines at the Cru Club of Capital University, and propose solutions that can easily mitigate this problem. We found that, at the Cru Club, the average time a student spends just waiting in line is about 20 minutes, if not more. Among others, we identified that the main cause of this long wait is that there is only one line that people stand in to order food, no matter if they are just getting cold items that do not take any preparation time or hot items that do. With the objective of maximizing student experience while minimizing wait time as well as cost, and employing process flow charts and ideas from behavioral operations management, we propose a “two queues” model along with spatial modifications that can make waiting less unpleasant. We believe that there could be improvements made to make the experience better for the students at Capital University, and our focus was just on the Cru Club.

    Factors Affecting Residential Property Value
    Ted Graham
    Mentor: Saurav Roychoudhury

    The determinants of housing price is important since home ownership rates in the United States is one of the highest in the world and the home is considered a significant portion of a household’s net worth. In Ohio, the prices had been at an all-time high in 2007 but have sharply depreciated since 2009. This research will analyze various factors that influence the market price of residential homes in the Dublin school district in Ohio. Using the housing information that is publicly available we evaluate a sample of 120 residential properties. We consider property specific factors such as lot size, floors, beds, bathrooms, age of the house as well as external factors such as number of foreclosures, number of serious sex offenders, and distance from the airport. We construct a regression model with current property value as the dependent variable and the above mentioned factors as independent variables. Our regression model is capable of finding the marginal effect of the internal and external factors affecting home price. To our knowledge there has not been a study on housing prices incorporating so many factors in a major school district in Ohio.

    Minimizing Concession-Stand Waiting Times at Large Scale Sporting Events
    Jordan Helmer, Skylar Prange, Patrick Jackson, Taylor Rindler, Eric Evans
    Mentor: M. Ali Ülkü, Business Administration

    Sports industry has been lucrative where revenues and profits continue to grow, and hence finding a way to build a competitive advantage is crucial. Yet, large scale sporting events see long waiting times at concession stands and are often unable to meet customer needs. Customers are mostly frustrated with the amount of time it takes to purchase a food or drink product. Using techniques from operations management, our research aims to provide an alternative that will help reduce the length of waiting lines at concession stands while promoting improved customer satisfaction. We introduce a novel queuing optimization technology which, particularly in sports industry, not only minimizes the variability in waiting times, but also allows all concession customers to enjoy the event. We investigate the effects of changes in peak-demand variability on the optimal design of this new technology, and provide alternative solutions available to sporting venues across the globe. Also, we discuss other factors such as accuracy of customer demand predictions and the investment budget, in improving concession sales.

    Optimizing Shelf-Space Allocation at a Retailer
    Corey Lewis
    Mentor: M. Ali Ülkü

    The U.S. grocery market is a $645 billion industry, extremely competitive and dominated by retail chains. Managers of retail supermarkets are tasked with both maximizing revenue and minimizing costs while making sure there are enough products to satisfy demand. Take a second to think about the grocery store where you shop. Do you ever walk down the aisles and wonder how the manager decides what products to select, which of the products are placed in consumer view, and which shelf to put them on? Fundamentally, what makes Product A privileged in the sense that it is allotted more shelf space than Products B or C? These problems fall into the domain of operations management and marketing. This research provides an Excel Solver optimization model that aids retail managers in allocating percentage of shelf space that each product should occupy so as to maximize profitability. Also offered is the discussion of intrinsic complexities of modeling such a seemingly simple problem.

    Accounting Internship Experience-II
    Cody Morris, Tiffany Seamon, Jerrell Fernandez
    Mentor: Steve Mellum

    The accounting internship program is a professional field experience available to senior accounting majors in the School of Management and Leadership. Past internship sponsors have reported how valuable the program has been to their organization and its role in providing support for respective clients. A case study design is used to assess learning outcomes for the field experience. For a period of eleven weeks we took on full-time entry-level employment responsibilities. These responsibilities were designed to introduce us to an accounting organization’s day-to-day operations and required us to apply accounting theory to practice. The organizations we worked with during our internship experience were local and national Certified Public Accounting firms and private industry. Outcomes of this program include: (1) valuable work experience, (2) guidance and direction for career planning, (3) enhanced development of strong work habits, and (4) creation of a portfolio to display professional accomplishments. We describe the entire internship process from the interview to the exit interview on our last day on the job.

    Sustainable Parking at Universities: The Case of Capital University
    Erik Morris, Neal Coughlin, Mitchell Auchmuty, Justin Knight, Kevin Clark, Mohamed Camara
    Mentor: M. Ali Ülkü

    Sustainability is all about smart use of limited resources; therefore, it is at the heart of the science of Operations Management. We investigate possible parking issues at universities, taking Capital University as case study. Research included calculating the number of parking lots around campus with their capacity. It involved getting detailed pictures of parking lots and the map of the entire campus area. Students were interviewed to determine what problems they face the most, pertaining to parking. We identified various approaches that are feasible and applicable at minimum cost and calculated the average carbon footprint of a Capital student. These proposals have been justified, as they have been applied in different universities across the nation and have been proven to be effective. Among others, we recommend increasing bicycle usage, on-call shuttles, carpooling and park & ride programs. We also promote walking, especially for those living close to campus. Furthermore, we provide an overview of world universities where they exemplify sustainable parking.

    Moor Consultants Internship: Freedom À La Cart
    Jenna Toney
    Mentor: Lynn Dailey, David Schwantes

    The Moor Consultants Program is an internship program for high achieving business students. Each semester a student is chosen to complete an internship with a local social enterprise. The internship is sponsored by the George Moor Chair in Business and Economics: participating social enterprises receive free business consulting to further their social missions. The social enterprise chosen for spring 2013 was Freedom a la Cart, a food cart and catering service that works to fight human trafficking through employing survivors. Freedom à la Cart helps survivors move towards sustainable livelihoods and aids in the restoration of their lives. Freedom à la Cart employees learn vital life skills while creating delicious food from scratch: it is Cause Cuisine! My objective for Freedom a la Cart was to gain more name recognition in not only the Columbus area, but also on the web. To accomplish this goal, I assisted in the direct marketing of its new boxed lunch menu. I also assisted in its social media marketing by conducting research on current trends in order to make recommendations on future promotional efforts. I then implemented some of these recommendations.

    Accounting Internship Experience-I
    James Weaver, Brian Rowan, Rose Lane
    Mentor: Steve Mellum

    The accounting internship program is a professional field experience available to senior accounting majors in the School of Management and Leadership. Past internship sponsors have reported how valuable the program has been to their organization and its role in providing support for respective clients. A case study design is used to assess learning outcomes for the field experience. For a period of ten or eleven weeks we took on full-time entry-level employment responsibilities. These responsibilities were designed to introduce us to an accounting organization’s day-to-day operations and required us to apply accounting theory to practice. The organizations we worked with during our internship experience were local and national Certified Public Accounting firms and private industry. Outcomes of this program include: (1) valuable work experience, (2) guidance and direction for career planning, (3) enhanced development of strong work habits, and (4) creation of a portfolio to display professional accomplishments. We describe the entire internship process from the interview process to the exit interview on our last day on the job.

    Accounting Internship Experience - III
    Collyn Weaver, Justin Knight, Garrett Griffin
    Mentor: Steve Mellum

    The accounting internship program is a professional field experience available to senior accounting majors in the School of Management and Leadership. Past internship sponsors have reported how valuable the program has been to their organization and its role in providing support for respective clients. A case study design is used to assess learning outcomes for the field experience. For a period of eleven weeks we took on full-time entry-level employment responsibilities. These responsibilities were designed to introduce us to an accounting organization’s day-to-day operations and required us to apply accounting theory to practice. The organizations we worked with during our internship experience were local and national Certified Public Accounting firms and private industry. Outcomes of this program include: (1) valuable work experience, (2) guidance and direction for career planning, (3) enhanced development of strong work habits, and (4) creation of a portfolio to display professional accomplishments. We describe the entire internship process from the interview process to the exit interview on our last day on the job.

    Operations Management Helps Sustain Newspaper Production and Exposure: The Case of The Chimes
    Seth Williamson, Allison Morgan, Brian Mazzaro, Chase Bryant, Gretchen Williams
    Mentor: M. Ali Ülku

    Our group is motivated to work on this project due to our observance of overprinting of the newspapers on our campus. We have also witnessed an online version of our school’s newspaper that is plain and seems to be underutilized. We believe that our university should be environmentally responsible and that there are better ways to distribute our newspapers. The primary research question is how can The Chimes successfully balance their forms of newspaper in order to achieve the best mix of print and online. This project will also entail determining how this optimal mix will maximize exposure and minimize costs. Using Operations Management techniques we will work to develop a better possible system for The Chimes. We will also do research to determine how much more exposure a better digital version of the newspaper could attain. These insights will help the researchers to find a way to improve the system by making it more environmentally responsible, a more viewed source of news, and possibly a less expensive process. This research will contribute to the discipline of Management Science by displaying a further example of its many uses in solving the problems in our world today.

    Business Plan for Next Door Stories Productions
    Courtney Winterberger
    Mentor: Lynn Dailey

    A thorough situational analysis of the local video production market was conducted. This analysis included both primary and secondary research: competitive analysis, PEST analysis, and internal assessment of capabilities. The analysis highlighted an attractive opportunity to establish a video production business that provides video services to select target markets in Bexley and surrounding areas. A targeted marketing plan was then developed. Secondary research on three target markets was conducted and target behavioral assumptions were made. Marketing mix strategies, including product line, pricing, and promotional strategies, were then formulated based upon the information gleaned from the situational and target market analyses. A formal business plan, based upon this marketing plan, was then developed to launch the video production business. Beyond the marketing decisions, this business plan included decisions regarding the business’ name and legal formation, human resource policies, and various operational processes. Sales and costs estimates were then forecasted to develop proforma financial statements for this comprehensive business plan.