2017 3M Company Team Project


The Challenge:
Perform an analysis of historical sales, identifying multiple SKUs that consistently drive demand spikes.

The Solution:
The Tauber team developed a capacity planning tool and associated training documentation that, along with the key SKUs, were communicated to the production facilities to enable them to level load the facilities in preparation for demand spikes. The team then designed a new business process to better align sales, marketing, demand planning, and operations to establish proper metrics and information sharing across all functions. Implementation of the new business process will drastically increase supply chain responsiveness and is expected to lead to an estimated one-time cash savings of $2M – $6M in safety stock reduction for the abrasives portfolio and annual cost savings of $1M – $4M in overtime and expediting fees.

Read the 2017 3M Team Project Executive Summary in the 2017 SPOTLIGHT! book.

Student Team:
Kimberly Moore–Master of Business Administration
David Timmes –Master of Business Administration

Project Sponsors:
Laurie Altman–Vice President and General Manager | Automotive Aftermarket Division
Robert Silbernagel –Global Manufacturing Operations Manager

Faculty Advisors:
Debra Levantrosser–College of Engineering
Eric Svaan–Ross School of Business

About Tauber Team Projects:

The 2017 Tauber Team Projects resulted in $575 million in savings according to sponsoring company calculations, an average of $18.5 million per project over 3 years.

Each two to three person Tauber Team consists of graduate engineering, MBA, and/or MSCM students. Along with receiving high-level corporate support from the sponsoring company, each team is advised by a College of Engineering and a Ross School of Business faculty member and overseen by a Tauber Institute Co-Director. The projects begin on-site in May and continue for 14 weeks.  Students present the results of their projects and compete for over $40,000 in scholarships at the U-M Tauber Institute's annual Spotlight! event, held each September in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Spotlight! provides outstanding opportunities for students and corporate partners to establish relationships while exploring innovations in operations and manufacturing.
Access Spotlight! book for project details.
2017 3M
2017 3M onsite