J.B. Hunt, University of Arkansas Create J.B. Hunt Innovation Center of Excellence To Advance Supply Chain Research
J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: JBHT) is making a $2.75 million investment in the University of Arkansas to create the J.B. Hunt Innovation Center of Excellence. The center will be a collaborative effort between the company, the College of Engineering and the Sam M. Walton College of Business to advance supply chain management efficiency through technology.
“This grant will have an incredible impact on the university and further solidify our stature as an innovative leader in supply chain management,” Provost Jim Coleman said. “Interdisciplinary research projects are a major focus of ours, and this particular collaboration between industry, faculty and students is a great example of the type of research we continue to pursue.”
This industry collaboration advances the U of A’s culture of interdisciplinary research through the creation of a center that allows engineering, computer science and business researchers and students to work with J.B. Hunt employees in finding solutions to real-world problems through innovative design and technology-driven supply chain solutions.
“The J.B. Hunt Innovation Center of Excellence will allow us to pursue revolutionary ideas in supply chain technology that can have a game-changing impact on the industry,” Stuart Scott, chief information officer at J.B. Hunt, said. “The innovative ideas that will shape our industry’s future are with the students of today, and we’re proud to be working with some of the best and brightest business, engineering and computer science students at the University of Arkansas.”
The center’s activities will be led by an Innovation Center Steering Committee, which will consist of approximately 14 members from J.B. Hunt, Walton College and College of Engineering leadership teams. Shelley Simpson, chief marketing officer and president of integrated capacity solutions and truckload at J.B. Hunt, is a graduate of the Walton College and remains involved through the Walton College Dean’s Executive Advisory Board. Over the years, she has seen firsthand how the university’s programs and research have been beneficial to the company.
“As our industry evolves, customers need more intelligent supply chain solutions to meet market demand,” said Simpson. “This collaboration is an investment in the future of J.B. Hunt and our ability to deliver customer value.” The U of A is a leader in innovation in supply chain management, with the Walton College supply chain management program ranking 14th in the nation in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report. The SCM Journal List™ ranks the supply chain department as 5th globally in empirical supply chain management research.