Design Day allows senior engineering students to showcase their capstone projects, presenting their creativity and work to professors, organizations, and colleagues on real-world scenarios across several industries.
Throughout the semester, RPM’s goal was to provide an excellent experience for students.
“Working with RPM has been a great learning experience. The environment is friendly and comfortable, with highly knowledgeable people,” said Brittany Schelling, an MSU graduate who recently participated in the capstone course.
Of the three capstone projects developed by RPM, the company had a dedicated team of MSU students who focused on identifying innovative solutions for potential challenges facing RPM and the logistics industry at large.
Reducing the Carbon Footprint
CO2 emissions are a top-of-mind issue for RPM. Though RPM does not own trucks, the company works with a network of 40,000+ independent carriers. Understanding the unique business model of RPM, MSU team members focused on researching the necessary tools and guidelines for measuring emission rates and looking for potential solutions to reduce those rates. The students agreed that tools like RPM’s Hub, a marketplace for vehicle carrier drivers, are one way to cut down emissions. This online and automated platform allows carriers in the network to book loads as they become available. Based on the carrier’s preferences/profile, the Hub provides optimal routes that are most efficient based on distance and load capacity, thus helping to reduce empty miles and in return C02 emissions.
MSU students recommended several acquisition strategies to increase driver adoption for the Hub, suggesting it become the primary, go-to source for booking loads. This adoption of the Hub would further reduce deadhead miles and maximize driver efficiency for both short hauls and long hauls.
Streamlining Home Delivery & Pick-Up Processes
The car-buying process is evolving as retailers are transitioning to delivering vehicles directly to consumers. Over the years, consumers have begun to warm up to buying and shipping their vehicles through e-commerce platforms. Leveraging the network, RPM is well-positioned to deliver vehicles to dealerships and direct to consumers anywhere in the continental US.
Through the capstone course, MSU students presented RPM with cost analysis breakdowns and extensive market research reports to identify key decision factors within the delivery process. MSU students found RPM to be rated highly for customer service and engagement.
Capacity Aggregation - Carrier Feedback Collection
RPM continues to prioritize building strong relationships within its network. MSU students used survey data to identify preferred channels and communication tactics that would better inform RPM of specific methods carriers find easy to use and effective when booking shipments.
Booking methods range from direct calls with an assigned representative to using online platforms like RPM’s Hub. Within the shipment cycle, the RPM Drive app gives carriers a free-hand experience to provide up-to-date check-ins throughout the delivery process.
The students found that more communication and feedback are necessary for refinement and developing a stronger network. MSU students presented RPM with a sampled feedback model—breaking down instances within a delivery cycle that would highlight when service and action need to be taken to resolve potential issues.
Innovation is one of RPM’s cornerstone beliefs, and working with the future engineering leaders of tomorrow is one way RPM will continue to build and refine its business model and strategies.