2017 General Mills Team Project


The Challenge:
Variability has increasingly impacted customer service performance and cost, but the cumulative nature of these impacts is only partially understood by supply chain stakeholders. In order to better serve its customers, General Mills seeks to understand where its supply chain lacks resiliency against variability, and how supply chain robustness can be quantified, monitored, and improved in order to support General Mills’ shift toward agility.

The Solution:
The Tauber team identified four primary sources of variability, then quantified the current impacts of these sources on the supply chain, identified key variability tolerances across supply chain functions, and recommended a decision-making methodology to improve customer service and reduce costs. After adoption of the new decision-making methodology by the General Mills snacks team, the Tauber team anticipates potential savings between $20–25M per fiscal year related to reduced inventory and more accurate forecasting. As the methodology is adopted across different divisions at General Mills, business-wide potential savings may exceed $210M. In addition, the Supply Chain Analytics team at General Mills will use the Tauber team’s deliverables in determining actionable areas of supply chain strengthening over the next two to three years.

Read the 2017 General Mills Team Project Summary

Student Team:
Rajat Bhatia-Master of Supply Chain Management
Teresa Viola-Master of Supply Chain Management

Project Sponsor:
Beth Blaylock-Initiative Leader, HMM & SC Strategy
Stephanie Buscher-Supply Chain Analytics Consultant
Christine England-Senior Manager, Supply Chain Technology, Analytics & Process
Carol Heppes German-Program Manager, HMM & SC Strategy

Faculty Advisors:
Hyun-Soo Ahn-Ross School of Business
Matthew Plumlee-College of Engineering

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 General Mills Team