Wow, time flies!Sorry for the lack of updates, but it’s not for a lack of material or activity.We’re in week 12 here at General Motors, so nearing the finish line.It has been an amazing project thus far.One of the benefits that I’ve seen of Tauber Projects, relative to other MBA internships, is the amount of planning and focus that the project has.Having a sponsor that is engaged in the project, and has done a significant amount of work coming up with a potential scope is extremely important.Instead of showing up to the company and trying to figure out a project for the first few weeks, Tauber projects are generally well thought out and the sponsors often work with you even before you arrive so that you can hit the ground running.
Ed Grubb, my Tauber project partner, and I have been “pedal to the metal” here at GM examining supplier sourcing strategies and how we can best utilize them in key areas to expedite the overall vehicle development process.We’ve had to leverage a lot of our project resources, including our librarian back at the business school, our faculty advisors, as well as our communications coach.
Moving beyond what someone might consider typical “operations” for a predominantly engineering and manufacturing driven company like GM, our recommendations have as much to do with the overarching strategy as well as the physical operations that result from them.We have looked at academic research, case examples from both within and outside of the automotive industry, and the current state analysis of supplier relationships at GM.We then proceeded to focus on a few key areas to study product development and work directly with a cross-functional team within GM and with suppliers to come up with specific process changes that could be proposed for full implementation.While this would represent a drastic shift in culture for GM, we have been given direct and open access with executive level management from all departments and shared our initial findings and hypothesis with them.We used their input and guidance to help formulate our final recommendations, which we are now in the process of presenting back throughout the company.
So we feel like we’ve been working hard for the past 11 weeks, and still have a lot to go through in the next few until the “Spotlight!” presentations in September, but we’re pretty excited to share our results with everyone!Through the help of our sponsors and faculty advisors, we may also look to get our final paper published!
It’s not all work all the time though.We definitely have been given the opportunity to explore and have fun.We have visited supplier and GM factories as well as the GM Powertrain development facility to see the engine test cells.We were able to visit the Battery Assembly Plant, where they put together the batteries for the Chevy Volt.One trip got us into the wind tunnel, where GM was busy testing the aerodynamic properties of a full-scale clay mockup of the next generation Cadillac Escalade.Sorry, no pictures allowed in there, haha.On a daily basis we also see running prototypes of the upcoming Cadillac XTS and ATS and Chevrolet Malibu sedans running around the campus as well as others that are yet to be named…Another great perk is the Ambassador program at GM, which allows employees to reserve and use nearly any car in the GM fleet for either the work week, or a weekend.A few weeks ago I was able to find a Cadillac CTS-V Coupe (pictured above) to use for my weekend trip down to Cleveland.With 556 horsepower, and a 0-60 mile per hour time of 3.9 seconds, if you have the means, I’d highly recommend one.I can even extend you my employee discount.=)