Industrial Engineering students from Tecnológico de Monterrey’s Santa Fe campus have been given the Best Project Award at MIT GeneSys Fest - Spring 2021 for their logistics project for families that produce and sell tamales in Aguascalientes.
Claudia Fernández Gallardo, Sofía Fiorillo, and María Andrea Morfín were recognized at MIT’s international festival to present applied research projects from Latin America that focus on helping micro and small enterprises (MSEs).
Their project aimed to diagnose and propose solutions to improve the cash conversion cycle of a family business producing and selling tamales.
“Our main contribution was to develop a mobile application for registering sales, purchases, and production, information that feeds a system to enable entrepreneurs to make better decisions, particularly regarding inventory management.
“We also designed and implemented a model to optimize profits by finding the right mix of products, among other things,” explained the winning team.
Chosen from among more than 1,500 students
The event is part of the MIT Genesys project, which focuses on contributing to the survival and growth of small companies in developing countries by improving their operations and supply chain management decisions.
MIT GeneSys is a project that forms part of the Center for Transportation and Logistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
On this occasion, more than 1,500 students from 12 universities in 7 countries (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru) participated in helping MSEs mitigate the impact of the economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Their project was regarded as one of great impact for Latin America.
“For example, according to a study by INEGI in 2019, there were more than 6.3 million businesses selling tamales in Mexico, of which more than 60% were informal street vendors,” they said.
“The experience was very challenging because the micro-enterprise that we helped had many limitations. This involved huge effort and commitment from all of us to be able to correctly diagnose the company and therefore develop useful solutions,” said Claudia Fernández.
According to Sofía, they were really excited when they discovered they’d won.
“We felt really proud to receive the award, but even prouder of the impact we made on the micro-enterprise. That really is GeneSys’s main objective.
“It was very rewarding, since we were able to implement various solutions of ours. So far, the company is really happy with the results,” said Sofía Fiorillo.
The MIT GeneSys Fest - Spring 2021 panel was made up of Dr. Cansu Tayaksi, Rafael Illipronti, Fabio Castro, and Dr. Josué Velázquez Martínez.
“We felt really proud to receive the award, but even prouder of the impact we made on the micro-enterprise. That really is GeneSys’s main objective.”
A project that highlights humanity
“Without realizing it, we came across a project that highlights the humanity that is part of Tecnológico de Monterrey’s ethos. We can say that the Tec prepared us for this moment,” said María Andrea Morfín.
The team relied on the advice of Professor Camilo Mora, who inspired them to give their best to develop this important project.
“We’re very grateful to him because his guidance was key to obtaining the award,” they said.
Finally, the winners shared that the Tec has helped them to develop a sense of responsibility toward humanity. It has also given them determination, which meant that, although many things seemed impossible, they continued to push forward.
“This experience made us realize our responsibility as professionals to form a better society by providing help to those who need it the most.
“The gratitude we received from the micro-enterprise is invaluable,” they concluded.
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