Written by: Vaishali Thirwani
As I sit in Centennial Park waiting for my cousin to finish touring the New World of Coke across the street, I realize I have not written in a while and I truly apologize for not sharing my summer with all of you; this is because it has simply flown by. Time flies when you’re having a good time is correct, so to say that it’s been great is an understatement, cause I’m not really sure where it went.
Just like each professor has his/her own way to teach the same material in a very unique way, every logistics group at the various General Mills plants measure their performance variably. Because the nature of yogurt, cereal, soups and other vegetables for example is so different, this is understandable. But being the same company, shouldn’t there be a standard?
One of my projects was to work with the logistics interns at 9 other locations (varying from California to Iowa and Tennessee) spanning across 3 time zones in order to recommend certain standard metrics and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that each planning group at the plants should know. Then we had to quantify these metrics and understand what losses related to them, and how goals could be set to cut these losses going forward. It was surely interesting to start from a collection of over 45 metrics that 20 plants measured (as each of us had a secondary plant we worked with as well in order to cover a larger network) to bring this number down to a final of just 10!!
The process helped us all learn more about each other and the different plants in the company along with another great team-work lesson. We also have a better understanding of Supply Chain measurements along with Continuous Improvement, aka CI and linked Phase Progression in the Manufacturing World.
We also prepared to present our findings for leadership in Minneapolis during the company’s Intern Showcase on August 3rd. Without meeting any of them before presenting together except for the day before the event was an interesting experience. Attached are some photos of my room at the hotel we stayed in and the ladies are the female LMA interns.
This event was also a great networking opportunity, a wonderful time to meet all the interns in different functions from various locations, along with being a superb way to show managers at head quarters what we worked on over the summer.