Elon MBA students work to improve local businesses
MBA students in Professor John Burbridge’s Operations and Supply Chain class recently performed process improvement projects with three local businesses: Southland Electric, BuyMeCake and Alamance Regional Medical Center.
“It is important for the MBA students to deal with processes within the operations function in real businesses,” said Burbridge, professor of operations and supply chain management. “Only then do they realize the complexities associated with operations whether in a manufacturing or service environment.”
Students Juan Acosta, James Campbell, Lauren Cox, Nita Hopkins, Jake Pope and Allison Spencer worked with Southland Electric on improving the company’s order fulfillment process. Included in the recommendations were the specifications for an information system for tracking orders, the use of bar scanning devices, and the creation of a quality circle to focus the employees on also improving the process.
“I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to apply our classroom discussions and lessons to a real world client like Southland Electrical,” said Lauren Cox, CPA, MAC, MBA’14. "Applying this knowledge directly to this practical application not only helped me understand the concepts discussed but made it a much more fulfilling learning experience.”
Southland Electric Vice President Mike Griggs said, “We really enjoyed having Elon MBA students come and give us a new perspective on something we work diligently to improve. It was fascinating to see what they perceived as problem areas in our organization and how they thought we should solve them. Overall, it was a learning experience for both the students and us.”
A second team of students worked with Burlington bakery BuyMeCake. Anu Bhattacharjee, Josh Glessner, Jay Harper, Jennifer Kelly, Amy Milslagle and Heather Scheel developed recommendations for the optimal number of the twelve varieties of cupcakes the company should produce to meet the daily demand. They also made process improvement and pricing recommendations.
Brent Hampton, Kara May, Jamie Ridout, Aaron Rodgers, Jeffrey Scheible and Jeremy Teetor worked with the endoscopy unit of Alamance Regional Medical Center (ARMC). The team made several recommendations concerning the process of performing endoscopies, which would result in shorter patient wait times, improved communications, better scheduling, higher patient satisfaction levels and more efficient use of the hospital resources.
By Alyssa Baxter '15