Operations Management Class Visits FedEx
By Eric DuCharme
Last month, Dr. Abey Kuruvilla, associate professor of business at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, took two of his operations management classes to Grayslake, Ill., to visit the FedEx North Chicago Automated Facility. This was an excellent opportunity for students to see how a global organization runs effectively and efficiently. Led by FedEx Ground Operations Manager Gabe Nalley, students toured the facility and witnessed how and where packages were unloaded, sorted, scanned, grouped together and loaded to be sent out for delivery.
FedEx Global Accounts Manager John Mahar, who helped arrange the tour, said, "We are delighted to share with UW-Parkside, educational opportunities of this nature that give tangible experiences in learning."
The FedEx North Chicago facility is 300,000 square feet, with 62 load doors and 17 unload doors. Its local operations consist of 144 pickup and delivery van positions. They can process 15,000 packages per hour which is a testament to their operations model and efficiency. Operations management student Tyler Huckabone said, "I like the fact that FedEx has mastered efficiency so well, from the time your package is received at the facility to the time it goes out takes three to five minutes, they are 99.7 percent efficient."
FedEx's efficiency is something that does not go unnoticed, as illustrated by Tyler's quote; it is engrained in everything FedEx does. It's not surprising that FedEx is 26 percent faster than the competition and that they've acquired the top market share for 55 consecutive quarters.
These types of tours and reviews of organizations like FedEx are amazing opportunities for UW-Parkside students to experience engaged learning, and turn theory to practice by witnessing real-life instances of what they are learning in the classroom.
"We have partnered with Fedex regularly in providing real-life experiences for our students through guest lectures, visits and real-life case studies developed for our M.B.A. program," Dr. Kuruvilla said. "I am interested in developing and growing more industry-university partnerships of this nature. The last time we came to FedEx, one student received an internship. We hope there will be more. The educational experience for the student is priceless."
It's truly what operations management is all about!
Eric DuCharme is a senior at UW-Parkside majoring in business management and MIS. He is currently enrolled in Dr. Abey Kuruvilla's Operations Management class.