Michigan manufacturers find win-win relationship with Tauber talent

February 9, 2015
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The goal of the University of Michigan’s Tauber Institute for Global Operations is to develop professionals that possess the essential skills needed by the manufacturing industry today and into the future. Tauber motivates outstanding graduate students to enter manufacturing careers by offering a rigorous curriculum, access to award-winning faculty, and opportunities to take on meaningful and challenging projects with top manufacturers.

The 2014 Tauber summer projects teams’ locations ran the gamut from international hubs to plants just down I-94 from Ann Arbor. In fact, one third of the sponsoring companies are Michigan-based manufacturers who benefit from the talent and ideas sprouting right in their own back yard.

Close to 1000 professionals now working in manufacturing, health care, energy, technology and logistics around the globe hold the distinction of being Tauber grads. It is no mystery why so many Michigan firms have welcomed a good number of these professionals into their organizations.

Tauber creates outstanding business leaders by utilizing the strengths of U-M's top-ranked business and engineering schools. This combined with strong support and input from industry has made Tauber one of the premier multidisciplinary operations programs in the world.

Learn how Your Company can Sponsor a Team Project.

Tauber graduates can be found working and contributing at the highest levels of a cross section of businesses. Michigan-based manufacturing companies like General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and BorgWarner were among the first on board with Tauber and since then other Michigan firms such as Sunset Produce, Masco Cabinetry, Amway, Steelcase, Alcoa, Dow Chemical, Delphi, BASF, Masco, Whirlpool, Meritor and Woodward Industries have joined ranks and are benefiting from the innovative thinking, problem solving and leadership that Tauber students provide.

“We still maintain a strong manufacturing base. We appreciate the strength we have in the state of Michigan and we think the benefit has gone both ways. They’ve benefited from us because their sponsorship provides the chance to speak on campus and get involved on our Industry Advisory Board, and we deliver to them outstanding students in operational excellence,” said Alan Woodliff, Tauber Institute Industry Co-Director.

2014 Team Projects located in Michigan included:

  • DTE Energy in Monroe, Michigan
  • Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan
  • General Motors in Warren and two in Detroit, Michigan
  • Mac Arthur Corporation in Grand Blanc, Michigan
  • Masco Corporation in Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Sunset Produce in Livonia, Michigan

Tauber students know that global competition, more demanding consumer markets and increasingly complex business relationships now require a new kind of professional, one who understands the technical details of operations and can relate these factors to the competitive environment of business. Representing both the College of Engineering and the Ross School of Business, Tauber students have talents designed to meet the specific needs of many Michigan firms.

"The Tauber program has been a phenomenal experience for me. My most memorable experience was the 14 week Team Project which provided me with a hands-on manufacturing experience and gave me the opportunity to apply concepts that were taught in school in a real world setting. Throughout the project, I was very impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication of the Sponsors (GM GPSC), the Tauber directors, and the faculty members who were advising us on our project. Everyone was deeply invested in ensuring that we got the resources we needed to make the project a success. It was also great fun to see the culmination of our hard work at Spotlight!, and to cheer on the rest of the teams," said Sufen Fong (MBA '15) 2014 Spotlight! 3rd place recipient, General Motors Global Purchasing & Supply Chain.

Sponsoring organizations know that Tauber teams come prepared to hit the ground running and will provide innovative solutions to real problems these companies are facing regarding manufacturing, supply chain, logistics and more. They support specific team projects that put 80 top students to work on their most challenging projects.

Participating Michigan companies are benefiting from Tauber expertise in two ways. First, they benefit from having the latest and most impactful manufacturing operations techniques applied to their businesses, and second -- but perhaps most importantly -- they have access to Tauber’s outstanding management talent.

By seeing Tauber students in action, companies are able to evaluate great talent, and not just that of the students on their project. By being part of Tauber, they receive resume books of all current Tauber students and are invited to meet and potentially recruit students from the annual Spotlight! Team Project Showcase Scholarship Competition where they learn first hand the high-impact project results students saved companies. In 2014, 89 students worked on 35 projects, saving companies $450 million savings over 3 years.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) reports that the manufacturing sector accounts for nearly 16.5 percent of the state’s total output and employs 13.5 percent of Michigan’s workforce. NAM also reports that exported goods support nearly 212,000 Michigan jobs across all sectors. It is important that talented professionals trained in cutting-edge operations are available to help continue Michigan’s upward trend.

For more information on Tauber’s partnerships with industries in Michigan and beyond, contact Theresa Ceccarelli at 734-647-0308, 701 Tappan, ER2616, Ann Arbor, MI 48019, tceccare@umich.edu or visit http://www.tauber.umich.edu.

About Tauber Institute for Global Operations

The Tauber Institute for Global Operations is a joint venture between the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the College of Engineering, and many industry partners to facilitate cross-disciplinary education in global operations management. In addition to a broad array of core and elective courses, the innovative LeadershipAdvantageSM Program provides students with the tools to ascend to major operations leadership roles. Well- designed and managed team projects form the cornerstone of the Tauber Institute experience and allow students to apply their knowledge to real world settings.