Spring 2012 Practicum Projects
During the spring semester of their first year, Sigma Fellows are required to enroll in an Operations Practicum. This allows the students to work on real world business challenges for an organization. The following are descriptions of the projects for Spring 2012.
AMD is a semiconductor design innovator leading the next era of digital experiences with its AMD Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) that power a wide range of computing devices. AMD’s graphics technologies are found in a variety of solutions ranging from game consoles, PCs to supercomputers.
Due to recent events involving natural disasters and human-induced national safety, the threat of business interruption has grown in the recent years. For a firm such as AMD, methods to mitigate such risk are becoming increasingly vital to the organization. In its effort to mitigate risk and proactively prepare for future events in which business continuity is of utmost importance, AMD had identified the Risk Vulnerability Tool and the supplier Financial Risk/Viability Assessment as a potential area for significant risk mitigation, and hence business continuity. AMD recognizes the importance of risk mitigation and wants to make sure that the tool they have in place (Risk Vulnerability Tool) is able to recognize that risk with suppliers so that AMD can effectively and efficiently handle any potential disruptions in the supply chain should the need arise.
The McCombs MBA team will validate best practice process definitions and key performance indicators, create business requirements document (BRD) for future state execution, and create Process Mapping Swim Lane and RACI chart. Deliverables include providing an Updated Risk Validation Tool including instructions on use and a presentation of the tool with hypothetical situations.
Chevron is one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, with subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide. Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and lubricants; manufactures and sells petrochemical products; generates power and produces geothermal energy; provides energy efficiency solutions; and develops the energy resources of the future, including biofuels.
The goals of the Chevron Lubricants project are to help Chevron strategically reduce domestic transportation costs, maximize freight recovery rates, and maintain service levels related to shipping their lubricant products to customers.
The McCombs team will be building two linear programming models to determine optimal secondary warehouse locations and how to increase efficiency within Chevron’s current delivery model in order to meet the project goals. As part of the project, the McCombs team meets with Chevron on a weekly basis and will travel to Port Arthur, Texas for a plant tour. The project will culminate with the McCombs team presenting their recommendations to key Chevron executives at the company’s San Ramon, California corporate headquarters.
Farmhouse Delivery sources organic produce from local farms and delivers it directly to customers’ homes. The business was founded in Austin in 2009, and has had successful order growth from Austin consumers. Currently, the business is expanding to serve the Houston market as well.
The company is developing its administrative and warehouse operations to meet the challenges associated with rapid growth. As their orders grow they are rethinking the way that they conduct their operations, interact with their customers, and manage information. Removing constraints in terms of time, physical space, and accuracy of fulfillment is of critical importance to their business.
The McCombs team is evaluating their order process in order to estimate potential capacity and make recommendations for improving resource utilization. Beginning with an order received through the company’s website, the team is analyzing the process for billing, route planning, sourcing, order assembly, and the loading of vans for delivery.
The team’s deliverables include capacity estimates for current and future state processes along with recommendations for future state implementation, and will be invaluable in the company’s planning for further expansion.