This article is sponsored by Algonquin College School of Business.
Algonquin College’s School of Business – with support from the Office of Applied Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship – is a leader in connecting talent with Ottawa’s business community. Through a variety of programs, co-op opportunities and graduate diplomas, professors and students leverage applied research partnerships to gain hands-on experience, all while working to find practical solutions to a variety of challenges faced by local employers.
With over 30 business programs – including studies in marketing, supply chain management and hospitality and tourism – The Algonquin College School of Business is well suited to partner with companies across a variety of sectors on applied research projects.
These projects – which can focus on product development, feasibility studies as well as technical consultation and market research for business – are often in the form of paid internships for the students and can lead to new, market ready, products and services for businesses.
Applied research projects also serve as proving grounds where students and employers can see if they are the right fit with each other, over the long term.
“Our students benefit from a hands-on approach, working with the latest information and technology,” said Dr. Kerry Surman, Chair, Management Studies, for Algonquin’s School of Business. “We guide students down a learner-driven path of discovery that helps to transition them into the workplace as the experienced, subject matter experts who are needed by today’s innovative employers.”
Why did Loblaw turn to the Algonquin College School of Business?
How Algonquin College School of Business helped Canada Post
Kelsie Stokely is Canada Post’s Director, Network Design. She worked with an Algonquin team led by Dr. Ahmad Teymouri, in collaboration with Dr. Nadim Abboud, both of whom are professors in Supply Chain Management. We asked her about the benefits of partnering with the School of Business on an applied research project.
What business challenge did you want to solve with Algonquin’s help?
Stokely: We wanted to explore what options existed to move ground parcels by rail vs. road across Canada, to reduce green house gases (GHG), considering days of the week, different rail schedules, delivery commitment and the downstream impacts of reduced processing windows.
Why turn to Algonquin for this?
Stokely: After some high-level analysis of the road-to-rail problem, we decided this was perfect for a joint research project with a college or university. I knew a program like Algonquin’s would bring a more supply chain/logistics focus to the business problem vs. just an engineering view.
It also presented me with an opportunity to interact with the students directly, see their skills and potentially recruit them to Canada Post.
How did the students contribute?
Stokely: They underwent several weeks of learning about Canada Post, how our network operates and how to work with the data sets. They then conducted literature reviews to pull together information/best practices as it related to rail networks, GHG emissions and routing. All this led to more in-depth discussions about what might be practical for Canada Post.
The students then developed a rail “viability” tool, to help determine which day of the week would be viable to ship a package by rail, for any origin-destination pair, based on delivery commitment and downstream processing windows. They are also in the process of developing a practical user guide for this model for my team.
What tangible benefits have come of your engagement?
Stokely: The viability tool allows us to quickly assess the impacts of moving to rail, and it helps with our peak and contingency planning.
Also, one student from the project will be doing a co-op placement this summer – my department’s first time having a co-op student. Had it not been for this project, we likely wouldn’t have gone down this path. This experience has opened my mind to further research projects.
Discover if the School of Business at Algonquin College is the right fit for your company’s needs
The School of Business’ research projects are supported by federal and provincial funding partners. Projects can take the form of prototype development, feasibility studies and clinical trials, as well as technical consultation and market research for business, industry and community partners in a range of market verticals.
Have a project that needs a solution? Find out how you can partner with the School of Business and the College’s Applied Research department.
Learn more at www.algonquincollege.com/business/