Associated Material Handling Partners with NIU Executive MBA Program

In an effort to increase awareness about the material-handling industry, Associated Material Handling, Addison, Ill., has partnered with Northern Illinois University’s executive MBA program as the real world company for the student’s Project Consulting class. This course is designed to provide students with the ability to apply their first year executive MBS education to a real-world project.

Over the course of this three-week project, 33 students were asked to develop a comprehensive business strategy for two of Associated’s operating divisions. To accomplish this task, students studied the material-handling industry and worked with Associated’s management team to learn about the industry and the company.  At the culmination of this project, they presented their findings and corresponding strategies to their fellow classmates, professors and a panel of Associated employees including, Michael B. Romano, president/CEO.

For years, Associated has partnered with educational institutions to further educate emerging decision makers and future talent about the material handling industry. However, NIU’s EMBA program offered a unique opportunity because of the team approach that is used to allow for the sharing of diverse ideas from various perspectives.  This interaction resulted in a challenging and stimulating learning experience for both the students and Associated in that it provided an unique perspective on the material handling industry and the business. 

“In addition to the great ideas and valuable insight these students provided us with, NIU’s Project Consulting class served as a platform to create awareness and appreciation of our industry," Romano said. " Increasing exposure to the academic community will ultimately help ensure the availability of a continuing pool of people that will sustain the industry's growth and bring new, fresh ideas. The industry must also continue to focus on the academic community to educate future decision makers as to the value it brings to the buyers and users of our products and services."