Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Full Day of Operations Management

Today marked a full day of travel to our fifth and sixth (out of seven) company site visits; we began our day by meeting at 7:50 AM in the hotel lobby to greet the bus and make the drive out to Magyar Suzuki. There is a lot of history to learn about the establishment of Suzuki in Hungary; with four logistic corridors crossing the country, and a location in the heart of Europe, it allows access to more than 490 million consumers. It was no surprise when Deputy Managing Director Laszlo Urban pronounced today that Suzuki Hungary is #1 in sales of new passenger cars in Hungary for twelve consectuvie years. In addition, one new car is produced on the production line every 57 seconds!

Following a quick lunch at Rozsakert Etterem (complete with American music in the background, compliments of the chef!), we were off to Tetra Pak, Danube. Tetra Pak is a Swedish multinational food processing and packing company. Following World War II, they boasted 100% market share, with Germany claiming the largest share. Tetra Pak's innovation is in the area of aseptic processing liquid food packaging which, when combined with Ultra-high temperature processing, allows liquid food to be packaged and stored under room temperature conditions for up to a year. Our host, Dr. Helga Nemeth, completed her MBA with a specialization in Human Resources and joined a tour of the facilities to provide additional answers to all of our questions.

It has been quite a busy schedule the past three days...we are all looking forward to a day of leisure in Vienna, Austria tomorrow.


Suraj Commuri said...

Hope you are brining back more pictures. Have a fun day in Vienna.

Emeritus said...

Today was our third day of company visits -- and food! The tour of the Suzuki manufacturing plant was fantastic! We were able to get within a few feet of the actual production line. Our host walked us along the line from beginning to end. Each vehicle can be at a work station (remember that the line is constantly moving) for a maximum of 57 seconds; if a process takes more time to complete, then more workers are added to the station. And if something happens that causes a halt in the production line, the cost is $4,000 per minute.

The production facilities at TetraPak were equally impressive, but on a much smaller scale. The Budaors facilty produces the paper used by end users to package their products (for example, the paper material used to make juice cartons). This is a really high-tech operation performed by big (really big) machines. Raw paper stock in rolls 5,000 meters long and 1.3 meters wide enters a printing machine that processes a roll in about 7 minutes. A second machine then applies coatings to the printed paper to produce the finished product. This product is shipped to end users where it is used to package products using built-to-order TetraPax equipment.

Kate said...

This was a good day! One interesting thing about TetraPak was the presentation we heard. It was very complete. They dicussed some of TetraPak's hiring preferences and many interesting statistics about Hungary versus other nations in the area. These statistics make it clear why Hungary is a good place to locate the TetraPak plant. It was a real "soup to nuts" presentation, very good!