After we have finished Operations Management class, Professor Thun has organized a company visit to show us how theory works in practice. Hence, the whole Master in Management class went to Mannheim to visit the John Deere’s plant.
As you probably already know, John Deere is an American manufacturing corporation that has specialized in producing agriculture and forestry products. The information that John Deere is the largest agricultural equipment corporation in Germany really amused us. No wonder it employs more than 7000 employees in 6 locations!
At the moment we have arrived there, we realized how huge the plant is. It took us 2.5 hours to see each part of this massive construction! Fortunately, our guide was with us all the time. Otherwise, we would be lost in a second! As we found out later, the plant in Mannheim is the largest John Deere’s plant in Germany. And that is not all – it is the largest one located outside the USA. That actually explains the fact that 2/3 of the tractors manufactured in Germany are produced there.
This company visit enabled us a unique chance to see how the supply chain theory, studied at the Operations Management class, functions in reality e.g. how a tractor is produced, from the beginning to the very end. While walking through the plant, we have observed the complete production process – how 10 000 combined loose spare parts can build up a 200 horsepower ready-to-use tractor. It was incredible to see such a complex process in 2 hours!
Finally, when we saw the whole production process works flawlessly, we decided to award ourselves with a nice barbeque! We definitely all agreed that the day was a perfect mix of business and pleasure!