Operations Management Students Demonstrate Liberal Arts Practically Applied, Gain Real life Experience and Support Local Businesses!

Business students at CREATE Conference on April 21, 2017.

Led by Faculty Mentor Fatma Pakdil, BUS 260 undergraduate project groups worked with local businesses and analyzed several operations management related topics. “We collaborated with companies located in our community by focusing on their problems, issues, and projects so students could see the real life applications and practices of topics covered in the course” quotes Dr. Pakdil. Teams comprised of up to three students worked with the help of company and academic mentors. In addition to the examples and practice questions analyzed in class, having a real case with various topics to work on was more challenging and showed students what they can expect after graduation. These community based projects underscore Eastern’s commitment to “Liberal Arts Practically Applied”. The following summarizes the students’ projects:

Improving Customer Satisfaction based on SERVQUAL and DINESERV at the Willimantic Brewing Co., was the focus for Majesta Brouillette, ’19/BUS and Cayla Ruiz,’19/BUS. Increasing customer satisfaction is a main goal in the service industry. These students measured customer satisfaction based on the DINESERV scale. Previous studies on DINESERV were analyzed in order to create a questionnaire. During the data collection stage, 115 customer responses were collected over a two week period. Then, data analysis using SPSS 22.0 helped determine what areas should be improved in order to increase customer satisfaction.

Also at the Willimantic Brewing Co., students led by Alexandra Bowker,’19/BUS with Ruchi Patel,’19/BUS and Justin Stannard,’19/BUS analyzed one-year sales numbers in order to identify what menu items are preferred more favorably by customers. Based on sales, the team identified what items should be kept in the menu improvement process.

Additionally students led by Jimmy Yuen,’19/ACCT, with contributions from Trevor Ross,’19/SLM,’20/FIN and Katie Burke,’19/BUS, ’20/BIS observed and measured serving time (the time between receiving an order and order delivery) at the Willimantic Brewing Co., during lunch and dinner services. Using statistical process control, the team analyzed if there was any statistical abnormalities in the service delivery process. After performing normality tests, process capability was analyzed and several control charts such as Run chart, I-MR and Xbar-S charts, were drawn to analyze the service delivery process.

 At General Cable, students Arthur Gifford,’19/BUS Kyle Bulmer,’19/BUS and Ryan Vaillancourt,’20/Explor. Prof. Studies worked on Lead Time Reduction through Raw Material Planning. They analyzed a comprehensive data set including historical data collected by the firm. ABC analysis (an inventory categorization technique) was simply implemented to categorize the raw material. The results of the project were implemented in decision making processes.

Also at General Cable, students Deep Patel,’19/ACCT, Landon Kane,’18/BUS, and Joshua Oyoo,’19/ACCT concentrated on Tensile & Elongations out of Primary as a Predictor of Irradiation Results. The students statistically analyzed and compared elongation values of the cables to their respective tensile strength values using a linear regression model. Further statistical analysis tools were implemented to discover the factors effecting elongation levels of the material.

At the Generations Family Health Center (GFHC), Koren Thomas,’19/BUS, Rebekah Brancato,’20/BIS and Mike Baldassarre,’20/ACCT worked with a project team to implement a fixed asset tagging process. The GFHC staff took yearly inventories but the system was outdated and inefficient which led to many errors and misplacing of equipment and assets. This team helped implement an asset tracking software to simplify the inventory process allowing Generations to better track and take more efficient inventory of their grant purchased assets.

In the light of the Six Sigma Methodology, Maria Taylor, ’16/Gen STUD, aimed to (1) eliminate waste and create better efficiency to help support a growing market with the existing resources and (2) improve the customers experience by focusing on quality. Using the DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) process, the team came up with ideas to decrease waste by focusing on the root causes of the specific problem analyzed in the project.

Some of these accomplishments were shared at the CREATE (Celebrating Excellence and Artistic Talent at Eastern) Conference on April 21, 2017. http://www.easternct.edu/create/files/2014/12/FINAL-CREATE-2017-Program.pdf

Congratulations to all the Spring 2017 Business 260 Operations Management Students for your hard work and accomplishments!