By Carla Short
2018-01-172018-01-17https://wvuieleaders.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/[email protected]WVU IE200px200px
IMSE Undergrad Class of 2017
What does the company do?
Schneider Electric is a global specialist in energy management and automation. The plant I currently work at manufactures a variety of circuit breakers that get sold to direct customers or other Schneider plants to get used in other products such as panel boards.
Current role: Manufacturing Advanced Development Program (ADP)
A day in life of Manufacturing ADP – The Manufacturing Advanced Development Program through Schneider Electric consists of 4, 6-month job rotations that include the following positions: Materials Analyst, Manufacturing Engineer, Production Supervisor, and Quality Engineer. During this program, you will also move twice to get the experience of two different plants in two different locations. One of the plants will be your typical “Made to Order” manufacturing plant, and the other is a more customized, “Engineered to Order” plant so you will have experience in both areas. My first location is Columbia, Missouri, and I’m finishing my first rotation as a Material Analyst and moving onto my Manufacturing Engineer rotation. As a Material Analyst, you’re responsible for maintaining inventory levels, setting correct reorder points/safety stocks, being proactive, and coming up with creative solutions to ensure that the plant has the parts they need to satisfy customer orders. Every day is different, but here is the most “typical” day that I’ve had in this position:
6:00AM – My work day starts at 6 most days, but most of the analysts come in at 7. I prefer to come earlier to get a jump start on the morning requirements report and catch up on missed emails from the day before. Plus, not a lot of people are in the office yet, which means there’s less of a chance that someone will ask you to do something in that time period. The requirements report is run in SAP and compiles part requirements for the following two weeks to come. This information helps us decide what materials are needed to fulfill the future demand.
7:00AM – The requirements report should be done by this time, which means you can run the MD04 report macro that pulls information from the requirements report, SAP, and other sources and puts together a comprehensive Excel sheet that displays all the information an analyst needs in one convenient location while flagging for parts that are short/in danger of being short. We work off this report all day, and update the comments daily.
9:30AM – By this time, you need to have reviewed all your critical parts that need to be escalated, monitored, etc. so they can be included on the Part Shortage Report that is viewed by the plant and the purchasing’s corporate office. I continue to work through my flagged parts after this time.
10:00 AM – I continue to look through my flagged parts and work with vendors to expedite the certain parts that are needed. I also take this time to take care of any discrepancies/tasks that need to be tended to out on the receiving and shipping docks. For example, sometimes you run into receiving discrepancies where the vendor has invoiced for more parts than we have received in the system or parts have reached our dock without proper paperwork/purchase order numbers resulting in the dock not being able to receive the parts. I’m also in charge of several cross-dock parts that sometimes require me to give specific directions to the shipping dock about what order to ship the available parts against.
11:00AM – I have a meeting with one our vendors that is experiencing a major raw material shortage with their vendor (the joys of supply chain). During this meeting we discuss strategy, dates in which material will be available, what parts I will be allocating/prioritizing the raw material for, alternate materials that can be used as a replacement, and any updates that either party has.
11:30AM – Another daily meeting, but this one is with my team. During this meeting, we discuss any new safety trainings, issues impacting production, 5S, ideas, visitors/events, etc. The purpose of this meeting is to get everyone caught up and bring up any issues that need to be discussed/solved.
12:00AM – Now it’s time to order parts. I run a report that generates all the parts I need to order based on the current inventory, the set reorder points, and the set safety stocks. I still review these parts individually to see if the need is accurate, and if it is I place an order. Depending on the day, this can take anywhere from 15-30 min.
12:30PM – LUNCH TIME!
1:00PM – Weekly Customer Service Huddle meeting where we discuss our customer service for the previous weeks, parts that were issues, and action plans to prevent further part issues.
1:30PM – Catch up on emails, and review LOQ’s. LOQ’s are large order quantities that are not scheduled with the normal lead time because of their large size. These are reviewed by the analysts for part availability and then given dates by the planners to ensure that capacity is also taken into consideration. I pull the BOM for these orders and coordinate with the analysts, planners, and customer service to schedule these large orders.
2:30PM – Production Planning meeting where we meet with the Production team to discuss the production plan, overtime schedule, and parts availability.
3:00PM – Catch up on anything you could not finish during the day, follow up with vendors, etc.
4:30PM – If there aren’t any major fires that I have to put out that day I can usually leave at this time to go home!
Why did I choose a manufacturing rotational program? After doing an office job for my internship, I knew I wanted to go into manufacturing so that I could work closer to the operations. I chose a rotational program because manufacturing has so many different positions that fall under it, and I frankly had no idea what would be my niche. I also felt that it was a unique experience to be able to work in 4 different departments in such a short amount of time. I knew that it would allow me to broaden my perspective, make collaboration between departments easier, and expedite the learning process.
What’s the end goal? My end goal is to have a management role within manufacturing where I would have my own team, facilitate meetings, lead projects, and work to embraces others’ true potential. I’m very people and result driven so I’m hoping to find a career that encompasses both.
Most surprising thing that I didn’t expect coming out of college – I didn’t expect to get as much responsibility as I did right out of college, but looking back on my 6 months I’m glad I did because it really pushed me to learn quickly, showed higher-ups in the company what I’m capable of, and helped me find confidence within myself that I did not have at first as a recent college grad/new employee.
Least favorite thing about manufacturing – In manufacturing there are a lot of different subdivisions that all have different needs, preferences, and priorities, so it is near impossible to find solutions that please everyone.
My 2 cents – Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Change locations, take on new opportunities, volunteer yourself for projects. The most learning takes place when you’re uncomfortable.