Who is Saint-Gobain Weber?
Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials and solutions which can be found everywhere, in living places of daily live, in buildings, transportation, infrastructure and many in industrial applications. Their products are monocouche through-coloured render, mineral cement based finish (i.e. alpine, cullamix tyrolean) and synthetic finish (i.e. flexirend highbuild which can be used on blockwork, brick, concrete, and cement/sand renders).
Why the visit?
My research has shown that Cranfield School of Management has one of the highest globally ranked master’s programmes in logistics and supply chain management. I have a sales and manufacturing background from Texas, U.S. of A! I wanted an accelerated programme that would make me the best logistics and supply chain management expert within a year, Cranfield University appeared top on my search list. I applied, was interviewed and luckily got accepted. Visiting manufacturing/warehouse facilities like Saint-Gobain Weber, and having the opportunity to talk with their managers including an alumna (Sammy) who now works there, made me understand why Cranfield University is highly regarded as an industry leader.
Does the warehouse meet real world requirements?
The charts and figures displayed around the warehouse showed us how the methods Sammy introduced us to saved them a lot of money. They use existing data to clutch the numbers and distinguish between products that are selling most (high frequency, median, and low selling products) and divide the warehouse into regions to optimize space. Sammy was able to identify to management which products they didn’t need to store in the warehouse and which needed to be strategically located closer to operations to reduce unnecessary motion.
Key take away?
Everything that the managers talked about that have improved the warehouse operations are explained in one of the modules being taught at Cranfield. I left the visit feeling more confident, knowing that I am on the right track to gaining useful skills and knowledge required by the industry. I saw from how Sammy had helped them tackle their issues in different fronts, including in the near future integrating their order picking with RFID scans. This in particular is big for them. When I asked how frequently errors occur due to manual picking, he pointed me to a graph that showed a peak volume compared to other errors. When I think back to my experiences as a Manufacturing Manager, I can now see solutions due to the modules I have studied so far, and visiting this warehouse put everything into perspective.
Pictures and videos?
Due to standard procedure, we couldn’t take pictures of inside the warehouse, however, I was able to capture some cool pictures and videos of the outside, please enjoy! Click on the link! http://www.magisto.com/album/video/JysgXUNSQl8kISwEDmEwCXh3?l=vsm&o=a&c=e