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MBA students complete consulting projects for local companies

Students in the Elon MBA Advanced Operations and Supply Chain Management course recently completed process improvement projects for five companies located in Alamance County.

Students in the Elon MBA Advanced Operations Supply Chain Management course taught by Professor John Burbridge were tasked this semester to develop process charts for local companies’ current processes using a value stream mapping methodology, and then generate improvements to the current processes.

The groups focused on eliminating waste, removing bottlenecks and reducing cycle times, which would result in speedier delivery or a reduction in the overall cost of the process.  The recommendations and process chart for the improved process were recently presented to company representatives.

The companies and projects were:

Sandvik – Carbide Tools for Deep Hole Drilling
Carolina Biological Supply – AP Biology Kits
Carolina Biological Supply – Specimen Picking and Packing
LabCorp – Toxicology Testing
Aramark at Elon – Mill Point Catering
Luxfer Gas Cylinders – Processing Cylinder Orders

“It is important for students studying operations and supply chain management to gain an appreciation of the subject matter by working on real world projects, whether in the manufacturing or service sector,” Burbridge said. “I am thrilled to have the willingness of the organizations in Alamance County to support this endeavor.”

“As an outsider, we were able to look at the issue without bias and consider solutions,” said MBA student Katie Chung, who worked on the AP biology kits project for Carolina Biological Supply. “Working with a team on real issues, allowed for a chance to take risks without fear of failure.”

“I learned from our project experience that regardless of how technologically advanced an organization is, how they handle their operations and supply chain can often define their success,” said MBA student Byron Bellman, who worked on the specimen picking and packing project for Carolina Biological Supply.  “For example, Carolina Biological Supply and LabCorp are both at varying stages of technological implementation within their operations but both are highly successful market leaders in their industry.  Developing an operation/supply chain that is highly responsive and adaptive to the customer’s needs is critical in an ever-changing market place.”  

“My biggest takeaway from this experience was the exposure to the processes of other companies,” said MBA student Andrew Elliott who was on the Sandvik project team.  “It provided the class with a very broad and positive look at how real organizations manage their day-to-day operations and the challenges they face.  It reinforced the conceptual ideas presented in the class lectures with physical examples you could observe and interact with.”

Nicole Filippo,
3/20/2014 7:30 AM