Nana Kyeremeh

IMSE Undergrad Class of 2017

PepsiCo Inc. (Gatorade)

What does the company do?

PepsiCo is one of the world’s leaders in the food and beverage industry. Frito-Lay, Quaker, Tropicana, and Gatorade are just a few of the brands that fall into PepsiCo’s business. Grossing over $63 billion in the last year PepsiCo is dedicated to growing its business and meeting the needs of their customers.

Blue Ridge Gatorade in Wytheville, VA is the manufacturing plant that produces Gatorade for the Mid-Atlantic Region.  We run a 24 hour continuous operations facility that is broken down into 2 12 hour shifts and 3 8 hour shifts.

Current Role: Supply Chain Associate

How I got my current role?

  • Industrial Engineer Intern (Gilbane Building Company): – May 2016 – July 2016
  • Supply Chain Associate (PepsiCo): – July 2017- Present

A day in the life of a Supply Chain Associate at Gatorade:

I’m currently going through the rotation program which consists of spending time in the various departments for 2 weeks up to a few months depending on the tasks needed to be completed. Quality Assurance, Safety, Warehouse, TPM, Planning, Finance, Maintenance, and Production are the departments that make up the rotation. This rotation is meant to give you a fundamental understanding of what each department does. The rotation program lasts anywhere from 12 – 18 months and varies for each person.  After completing the rotation, the goal is to find a role that best fits you. I’m currently in my production rotation where I’m serving as a Production Supervisor on 3rd shift Crew.

10:15 PM: My day begins at night, I come in and get a handoff from the 2nd shift supervisor. This handoff will consist of any machine breakdowns, top loss to TE (total efficiency), and any other issues that might have occurred during the shift. After getting this handoff, I begin to prep for the shift meeting.


10:30 PM: I conduct the shift meeting. This meeting consists of going over announcements, reviewing the production schedule, and going over the staffing. Along with this, I lead stretches and go over safety concerns before letting the crew go out to the floor. The 2nd shift supervisor also gives a handoff to my crew.

11:00 PM: I go through my emails and get with the other night time supervisors (maintenance and another production) before going out on the floor. We run 5 lines at our plant, 12oz, 20oz, 28oz, 32oz, Propel, LiveBig and Sobe. Line 2 changes over between 28 oz. & 32 oz., while line 3 changes over between Propel, Sobe and LiveBig. Line 1 and 4 remain constant at 12oz and 20 oz. On this day we are performing a changeover on Line 3, going from Sobe to Propel after completing the last 2 batches of Sobe. We are completing a plan of action to come up vertically.

12:00 AM: One of my filler techs calls me over the radio and alerts me that they are getting a lot of bottle kick outs from the 2B Filler Checkmat.  I call for maintenance to investigate the problem then head out there to check it out.

1:00 AM: I begin eating my lunch before getting another call about bad corrugate (cardboard) on line 1 packer. I head to the floor to find out that the vendor has sent us bad material, I take this material and fill out a Defective Material Report and give it to the Quality Assurance supervisor.

2:00 AM: I catch up on paperwork, and begin working on the Review and Response report, which covers all the issue during the shift.

3:00 AM: Look through Infor and identify any emergency work orders that are still open.

4:00 AM: Check the daily checkmat kick outs and talk with the filler operators about improving yield and reducing waste.

6:30 AM: The other production supervisor and myself give a handoff to the next shift coming in and identify the breakdowns that occurred as well as any watch out issues.

7:15 AM: Time for the Review and Response meeting with the daytime managers & supervisors.  I cover lines 1 & 2 while the other production supervisor covers 3 & 4, this time is set to review production results and any concerns from our shift.

7:45 AM: I send out the report and then head to the gym before heading home!

Why did I choose PepsiCo?

PepsiCo was an exciting opportunity that I was presented with, working with a company that is growing constantly is exciting. The opportunities are plentiful and allow you to find what you enjoy before committing to one department. Also getting an opportunity to work first hand with manufacturing was something that intrigued me. Growing up playing sports, I was always around Gatorade, and working for them was a chance I couldn’t turn down.

What’s the end goal?

An end goal is hard to come up with right now but once completing my rotation program, I plan on becoming a production or maintenance supervisor. This will hopefully springboard me into my next opportunity, whether in production, maintenance, or process improvement engineer. Being open to all roles will open up more opportunities for myself.

Most surprising thing that I didn’t expect coming out of college – Working a 12-hour night shift! I would have never thought I would work nights let alone enjoy it, but it has given me a chance to learn a lot and be thrown into the fire to lead my crew to meet our production goals.

My 2 cents – The first step is building relationships with those you work with, this is important in establishing yourself as a leader, treating everyone with respect and humility will take you a long way. “Getting comfortable being uncomfortable”, putting yourself in challenging situations will only help your development. Never be afraid to speak up and lastly don’t limit yourself!



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