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UW-Madison, Hy-Vee benefit from retailing partnership

October 9, 2009 By Renee Meiller

The University of Wisconsin–Madison and a new member of the Madison business community both are benefiting from a partnership intended to improve the retailer’s operations and the long-term quality of its employee-owners.

Hy-Vee Inc., set to open its first Wisconsin store by early November, has awarded a research grant totaling $84,948 to two UW–Madison industrial and systems engineering professors affiliated with the School of Human Ecology’s Center for Retailing Excellence.

Professor Raj Veeramani and assistant professor James Luedtke will focus on how to transform warehouse practices and leverage information technology to tackle a basic challenge of supply chain management — how to deliver the right products in the right quantities at the right time and place for minimal cost. Achieving warehouse efficiencies reduces overhead costs, which lowers food prices.

Hy-Vee also has become a platinum sponsor of the Center for Retailing Excellence with a contribution of $20,000 a year for three years. UW–Madison is one of few educational institutions in the company’s eight-state service area to offer a retail major, and company officials expect it to be an excellent source of future employees.

The Hy-Vee store on East Washington Avenue in Madison will be the company’s 227th. The company, which emphasizes wellness, freshness and one-stop shopping convenience, is ranked among the top 30 supermarket chains and top 50 private companies in the United States.

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