Caterpillar recently hosted its first student case competition for university students in Human Resources and related fields. The case focused on a real Caterpillar business problem - healthcare consumerism in the United States. Ten student teams from multiple universities across the United States participated.
Three winning teams were selected by a team of cross-functional judges across the enterprise. Participants were judged based on their analysis of the problem and the impact of their solution on improving employee healthcare consumer decisions and the external healthcare market. In addition they were judged on the implementation and communication plan for the proposed solution.
A variety of the ideas generated by the case competition will be implemented within Caterpillar, including: leveraging community support to encourage more transparency from providers and facilities, working with local communities to increase collaboration on health and wellness topics, and using multiple types of communication to increase engagement across a broad employee population.
The experience was beneficial for judges and students alike, providing an external perspective to an internal Caterpillar business problem. Students stated this experience "was a great way to share theoretical knowledge in the HR field for practical use" and gave them "great real world experience before graduation."
Case sponsor Stephen Robertson, North America Compensation and Benefits Manager, said "Rising healthcare costs continue to be a challenge for employers and employees in the U.S. It was evident the students participating in the university case competition thoroughly understood the challenges for employers, and for the employees who pay for healthcare. It was difficult to pick winning teams as each group presented solutions which may be incorporated into Caterpillar benefits strategy. We would like to thank everyone who participated."