Students at Backcountry

A group of over 30 students toured the Distribution Center in Christiansburg on Friday, April 12. The tour, which lasted around an hour, was organized by the Virginia Tech Student Chapter of American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS), a group comprised of students from both the College of Engineering as well as the Pamplin College of Business. The majority of those on the tour are enrolled in BIT 4464: Advanced Supply Chain Management, a course taught by Barbara Fraticelli. is an online retailer specializing in outdoor recreation equipment and clothing. As such, the students received a rare glimpse at the inner workings of a distribution center, from receiving through order picking, packaging, and finally, shipping.

“The most interesting thing was a piece of equipment that would scan the items in an order while on the conveyor belt,” explained Fraticelli. “It would then create a custom-sized box that was constructed right around the order, finishing with placing the mailing label on it.”

Fraticelli continued, “We weren’t allowed to take any photos inside the warehouse, but that machine was really impressive.”

Special thanks go out to Backcountry warehouse manager David Scott, who helped facilitate the tour as well as answer questions from the students.

Written by Jeremy Norman