If you're tired of homework assignments that start out with a train traveling west at X miles an hour encountering a truck moving northeast at Y, try this one instead: given parts from India, the United States, Mexico, and China, how do you bring a Chevy Volt together in the fastest, most efficient, cost effective way? That's the assignment GM will give to 16 university teams competing to win an award for best supply chain management at the Supply Chain Case Competition coming soon to Wayne State University in Michigan.

Regional competitions will be held September 23, and cash prizes will be awarded to winning teams September 25. Since logistics and supply chain management are becoming an ever-more important part of the price of vehicles, GM may be handing out the money but end up walking away from this competition the winner.

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