About QUEST Capstone Projects

In spring of junior year or fall of senior year, QUEST student teams complete capstone projects using the problem-solving skills they’ve learned throughout the program. Project champions from corporate sponsors work with teams during the 13 weeks of the semester and receive innovative recommendations to an identified organizational challenge. Student teams understand the opportunity, research the industry and relevant technologies, develop and evaluate possible solutions, and make final recommendations. Projects and sponsors receive recognition at the QUEST Conference which takes place at the end of each semester. Student teams also give a final presentation and report on-site to their champions and other project stakeholders.

Capstone Project Examples

HelloFresh — Spring 2019

Leveraging Data to Improve Event Selection Strategy

Opportunity

HelloFresh reaches potential customers through events: organized opportunities to set up a table and sell product to potential customers (i.e. gyms, malls, farmers markets, etc.). Since HelloFresh moved to the U.S. in 2012, the company has expanded rapidly and has dramatically increased the number of events booked. However, there is a missed opportunity to tie sales to the events at which the sales were made. How can HelloFresh improve their data flow to measure the effectiveness of previous events and enable a data-driven event selection strategy in the future?

Recommendations

To automatically link HelloFresh’s five different data systems, the team implemented a unique Event ID field and used it to automatically pool essential data in one place. This eliminated the need for sales representatives to manually enter sales following each event, reducing human error and increasing efficiency. In order to ensure the newly-combined data could be easily understood by various employees, the team designed a visually-appealing dashboard to generate graphs and visuals that report on previous event performance. With this linked data and visually appealing dashboard, the team leading the event research and booking process will have a more structured process using historical performance to make stronger decisions about events that will generate more sales.

What The Client Said

“The students' unique perspectives coupled with a strong foundation of business acumen led to innovative approaches in tackling the opportunities at-hand. I was constantly amazed by how they worked as a team to overcome adversity and collaboratively deliver feasible and impactful solutions." — Benjamin Rank, Director of Sales Strategy and Operations, HelloFresh US

Northrop Grumman — Spring 2019

Improving the Pre-Production Process of Part Selection and Organization

Opportunity

Northrop Grumman saw an opportunity to improve storeroom efficiency and ease of manufacturing of the Third Stage Rocket Motor, which makes up nearly 60% of their monthly production from government contractors.

Recommendations

The team determined which sub-assemblies of the Third Stage Rocket Motor could be kitted to optimize the pre-manufacturing inventory process, reduce manufacturing time, and increase cost savings. The team completed numerous site visits, conducted data analysis of the most frequent parts, evaluated kit and process design, and created an implementation strategy. Ultimately, the team designed an efficient kanban system to manage the flow of inventory parts from Receiving and Inspection, through the storeroom, and out for delivery to the specific manufacturing buildings around the facility. The recommendations will reduce time spent by the clerks stocking the storeroom, provide better organization of the storage facility, and enable more efficient manufacturing of the Third Stage Rocket Motors. These implementations will ultimately save 850 labor hours per year, resulting in about $342k in yearly savings.

What The Client Said

“The teams engage with such enthusiasm that our employees and managers look forward to working with them. Each student has passion, thinks outside of the box, and offers real solutions to drive to an ideal state." — Jason Brady, Director of Supply Chain, Northrop Grumman

For more capstone project examples, click here