Written by: Wil Davis
Most of the weekend was spent in the Alps. We rode a cable car up Mt. Pilatus, just outside of Lucerne, Switzerland. On the ride up you have the opportunity to get off and ride down a hill in an “Alpine Sled,” which is essentially a 1-man bobsled with wheels on a metal chute. On Sunday we drove through Grimsel Pass and ate lunch at the top of the pass. I also had the chance to walk in a glacier, which is an amazing experience. The ice is incredibly smooth, and it is so thick that it appears blue from the inside.
Sunday night we took a train to Konstanz, Germany, for a two day team building activity for Global Indirect Procurement (GIP) and Supply Chain Excellence (SCEx). On Monday two outside “consultants” were brought in to conduct the first portion of the team building activity. This consisted of a lot of Q&A and opinion gathering about our team and the Global Supply Chain function in general. We were divided into groups of 4 or 5 (we had 13 people there total) and asked to depict the Supply Chain organization using the metaphor of a boat or boats. Afterwards, we came together, presented our pictures, and discussed them as a group. Following the lunch break, we went outside for some more physical exercise. This was actually a very fun activity. There was a small ring with a tennis ball resting on, placed over a short pipe in the ground. Eight strings were attached to the ring. We were asked to have eight people pick the ball up by pulling outward on the strings, hold it in the air, and place it on another pipe about 10 yards away. We dropped the ball after only a few seconds, but were successful on our second attempt. It was actually a very fun and challenging activity, and one I would recommend. Following this, we went inside for a general discussion and conclusion about where we see are team and some of the changes we would like to see.
Day two was the “business” end of the team event. The two teams, GIP and SCEx, split up and had internal presentations from our management. My boss and I then had the opportunity to present our reporting tool to the entire team. There was one point of contention that involved how to track and report the amount of spend that is under the management of the GIP organization (SUM). A lengthy and heated discussion ensued, but in the end we reached the conclusion that there was actually a prior misunderstanding between my boss and his boss about what the team wanted to be reported. Aside from this reporting issue, the team was happy overall about how the application with simplify the data collection process as well as increase the accuracy and efficiency of reporting. The next step will be to present it to senior management when they come to the U.S. in mid October!