Department of Mathematics

Steelcase Inc.

Proposed Project for the MSU Industrial Math Students

Problem 1: Development of Pricing Prediction Model

This project involves development of a pricing prediction model, based on won/lost data from previous project. Steelcase will provide more detail information about why some of the projects were lost, including feedback from the dealers and the sales representatives as well as to what manufacturers Steelcase has lost. Some of the things that Steelcase would be looking for is correlations between the pricing, whether we won or lost, their success (or lack there of) against certain manufacturers at various price points, and how successful different Steelcase dealers were, as well as other points that might come out during the analysis.

Problem 2: Wood Veneer Analysis

Veneer is wood in the form of a thin slice or sheet. Logs are taken and “shaved” into these slices. This probably gives you a good idea of what it is. The logs are priced based upon the perceived quality of the veneer which they will yield. There are also several grades of veneer. A log will generally yield all of the grades of veneer as well as some unusable veneer. Steelcase has process that then defines on what product and where on the product the veneer goes based upon those grades. This project would include analysis of the manufacturing process in which the usable veneer is produced. The analysis would answer questions such as: Do we get better grade veneer out of the more expensive log? How much useable veneer and what grades could we expect out of a log priced at X? Are we cutting out veneer into the correct sizes based upon the various sizes of our furniture to maximize the yield? What would the implications to our costing system would there be? Is there a better way to assign those costs?

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For any additional questions regarding the program curriculum and/or the extension deadline for the application to the MSIM program, contact us at


Department of Mathematics
Michigan State University
619 Red Cedar Road
C212 Wells Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824

Phone: (517) 353-0844
Fax: (517) 432-1562

College of Natural Science