Output, approach, and ability: Tauber students exceed all expectations at BD

Ann Arbor, MI – In the summer of 2023, Tauber Institute students Maria Guerrero, MBA, and Farzad Siraj, EGL (BSE/MSE Computer Science), began their team consulting project: Capital Equipment Forecast Accuracy Improvement Project. Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) is a dynamic global medical technology leader that touches billions of patients worldwide. The project's primary objective was to analyze the current process, identify pain points, and propose process/tool improvements to improve demand forecasting.

“The scope was to improve forecast accuracy for their capital equipment in the healthcare industry,” said Guerrero. “It was across three different regions: United States, Asia, and Europe.”

“BD operates all over the globe,” added Siraj. “It was eye-opening to see how even the simplest thing becomes complicated once you try to extend it to that scale.”

Post-pandemic demand for BD’s products had become more volatile than ever, making traditional forecasting techniques inadequate to predict demand and supply.

“I think one of the interesting but also fun parts of the experience was working across the different organizations and functions, talking to people in China, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, understanding all of their different challenges, and how that complements in one supply chain,” said Guerrero.

By combining their backgrounds and skillsets in the business and engineering fields, the students were able to grow the project even further.


“I thought it was really interesting the two different perspectives that we brought to the table, to the point that our project ended up splitting into two different work streams because of all the different opportunities that we had to bring to the table,” said Guerrero.

“[They] exceeded expectations in quality of output, approach, and ability to navigate a complex organization,” said Kate Wetzel, Vice President, Business Process Excellence, at BD. “Maria and Farzad both brought unique skills and fresh perspectives. They conducted multiple interviews to derive insights and connect dots that had not been previously understood. They mixed theory and practicalities to offer a pragmatic improvement plan.”

“We got to focus on what we’re good at,” said Siraj. “With my major being computer science, I did all the data analysis and simulation, and with her background being consulting, she was excellent at doing all the process analysis. And I think because Maria had more experience than me in a consulting role, that helped me a lot in terms of coming up to speed with the deliverable or the standard that the company might expect. It was a very good experience overall. It was worth it.”

Because of her time at Tauber and success during her team project at BD, Guerrero was one recipient of the two Tauber Alumni Scholarships awarded during the SPOTLIGHT! 2023 Team Project Showcase and Scholarship Competition. The Tauber Alumni Scholarship Fund endows scholarships that recognize current students for their leadership and involvement in Tauber Institute activities. Each year, the alumni scholarship is awarded at SPOTLIGHT! to students with at least six months of program experience and evidence of program involvement, thought leadership, industry engagement, and/or team and organizational leadership.

“I was impressed by the team’s ability to work independently and across so many functions within BD,” said Wetzel. “The resounding feedback from all stakeholders was extremely positive and they were often surprised that they were interns and had not been here longer. They conducted themselves so professionally.  We also appreciated the Tauber staff's support and willingness to dig into the challenge we were facing and offer different POVs.”

“It took a year and a half to truly understand the value of Tauber not only in my career but in my professional development,” said Guerrero. “If you’re patient and you go through the curriculum which has been built for a reason, you’re going to see the results at the end of it.”

“Coming from the EGL route, it made college a lot harder, but it definitely was more rewarding in the end,” added Siraj. 

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