We again have a cohort from BMW in the Road to Production Management program with wonderful new ideas all under the direction of Jennifer Moorefield, our AVP of Economic and Corporate Training.
Is it really over? Did we really do it? How do I feel? To answer these question I will say YES, YES, and I feel PROUD! We did not know what this journey was going to bring, through it all we learned to really home in on what we felt was Important within the company we work for. I can say I learned to use a lot of the skills taught in BUS 299 from leadership principals to how to be an effective listener. While doing the research for my capstone I was able to hear and learn the different perceptions people have on what our company stands for. How we use our Core Values to our advantage and dis advantage. I plan to use what I have learned to assist in incorporating more knowledge to our associates of what we stand for and how we are so successful. All while providing our customers with quality and a sound piece of mind when they are driving around with their families in the luxury cars that we take pride in building.
WE DID IT!
My name is Eboni Stoddard. I’ve chosen to focus on the core values that we operate with in as a company. The process of gathering data to support my cap stone project has been a very interesting road. The knowledge I’ve gained in having to dig deep has been very enlightening. By getting back to the core values we are able to refocus ourselves on why we are a premium brand company. In years passed we have lost some focus on our primary goals. I believe if we retrain, and as we bring in new associates through onboarding we can instill in them the passion we have for our company. With that it will boost morale, communication and help push continued quality and togetherness (teamwork).
With our capstone projects at a close comes a sigh of relief in knowing that everything went well. Overall this project has been an exciting journey. This project has given me a better insight onto preparing a presentation and the rights and wrongs of presenting. I find this very helpful into advancing my career.
In today’s world, leadership is a very important aspect. Leadership styles can make or break a company. To be a cut-throat leader or a leader who encourages their employees to succeed. Which style should you choose? This is the basis of my creative inquiry project. The effects of leadership in our workforce and focusing on positive motivation within the work place. In some of the research I have discovered the many benefits a company can have due to motivating their employees to succeed. The leader who encourages and motivates is the leader that we all enjoy to have and the leader we all should strive to be.
The RPM course is over for the Greenville Tech. portion. I am happy and sad at the same time. The time went very fast and I can’t believe it is over. The instructors were fantastic and I learned a lot. I will be giving positive feedback to the next RPM class that comes through and I look forward to seeing who will be in the class. I hope that they will have as much fun and learn as much as I have to prepare them for their endeavors.
My name is Bobby Hill. My project is the early history of BMW coming to Spartanburg. I believe it is important to study our history if for no other reason than to be able to answer basic questions. How BMW came to Spartanburg has some very interesting aspects to it. For instance the plant almost went to Omaha, Nebraska. The people that were involved in bringing BMW to SC had to outwork and outsmart other sites that wanted BMW. The work and influence that Governor Campbell put in the project have paid off more than most people thought ever would back in the early 90s. I hope to present this to on-boarding classes so they can have some insight into how their employer came to SC.
Business 299, Research and Business, was a course that allowed me to explore my capstone project and present it in a successful manner. Prior to taking this course I had not written a research paper in over twenty years. The course helped me to strengthen my research skills and understand the research method. The class allowed me to work one on one with the instructor, giving me the opportunity to discuss and evaluate my capstone topic. The course also helped to encourage more group research. Working with a group, facilitated an understanding of diversity in opinions which helped us to find solutions for our common goal. Working with the instructor and other students allowed me to develop valuable written and oral skills. The course constantly encouraged professionalism and team work, which will help with my development to be a successful leader. After taking this course I am confident that I have the skills needed to succeed in a leadership role.
In the world of ever changing technology and innovation, we still need to provide a method that will help to continue the success of our company. We need to go back to the basics of what defined great companies. Continuing to allow managers to be coaches and establish processes that will help with the success of all components of the industry. Six Sigma is the methodology leading the way to improve productivity; while still giving managers the opportunity to teach and develop their team members. Six Sigma has proven when the techniques are implemented correctly in the day to day activities of the industry, it leads to growth and success in all areas.
The next year is here already!
I decided to do a project on a plant-wide defect dashboard. The project began to take shape once I was able to do more research at the plant. Through various interviews I was able to gain a vision for a project that I wanted to present to management.
I enjoyed researching and going to different areas in the plant to talk about the project. Setting up these interviews and talking about my ideas certainly took me out of my comfort zone. I can see now how the investigation process will be valuable going forward in my career at BMW.
My favorite part of the Capstone was preparing the presentation. I enjoy trying to craft an argument in a way that will be visually compelling and convincing. A special part of the process for me was working with my daughter to illustrate a short story that I wrote for the presentation.
The presentation went well, and I was glad to see how people reacted to it. Now I need to follow through with the project steps and the feedback that I received. Overall, I am grateful for the opportunity to develop an idea and present it.
So, we’ve just learned about our big class assignment, the creative inquiry, …the Capstone. I’ve never heard of a “Capstone” project before. The word itself is confusing for me in this context. Sure, I’ve heard the word used in the construction world, but not in an academic setting. It looks like I’ll have to do some research. “Research,” now there’s a word. The thought of researching and working on a project makes me start to get nervous. This is not the first project to which I’ve been assigned, which is why I’m a little worried. I understand the amount of work (a lot), and the process involved in developing a good paper, or project…capstone inquiry….whatever this thing is called. I’ll need to break this task down into small steps and not get caught up in what the finished product should look like just yet.
“How will I choose a topic?” is my first question. The possibilities for this project seem very broad. One thing I am interested in is improving the way things are done and creating real beneficial solutions for people’s problems. We all have problems, but what is the best way to solve a problem? Is there just one way? The more data we have on an issue, and the better the quality of that data then we should see quicker and better solutions.
The good news is that this thing isn’t due until next year!
As I write this, we as a team have just returned from lunch. Today we completed our presentations on our capstone projects and simultaneously completed our time at GTC. It is easy to say that we were all a bit anxious about the presentations. Some of us anxious to do them and others just to get them over with. However, I believe all of us are relieved they are completed and graded and in the rear view mirror.
I enjoyed researching my topic, implementing a pre-shift stretching routine. I had some valuable input from the therapists in the E.I. program. The information gathered from them helped guide me in the specific direction that I took.
It has been quite a year and it’s difficult to wrap my head around it being over. Beginning with the classes and the instructors all the way through to the projects, the practicing and the presentations. It has truly been an experience of learning. We have learned leadership techniques in the classroom and in the plant. We have shared experiences and learned about each other as a team and as friends. It gives me pride to see how everyone supported each other in the days leading up to and during the presentations. Not only helping and giving tips, but with the constructive criticism and how well it was received by each of us. So the end of our days at GTC means our training in the RPM program is reaching its conclusion, rapidly. One final rotation with a supervisor and a handful of classes and workshops and then Team 4 will be welcomed in as we celebrate our graduation and step out into our next assignment and adventure. It’s been a lot of fun separating ourselves from our previous laborer’s mentality, away from the plant and all of our longtime coworkers. I can confidently say every one of us has a more mature mentality toward leadership and being a supervisor. Also, we are all looking forward to getting to the team that we are eventually going to be leading. Night shift awaits…tally ho!
Hello, I am Joey Terrill. I researched into a few different ideas for a capstone project until I finally decided on the topic of stretching before work and its many benefits. I wanted to do a project that I actually had some passion about and something that I would enjoy presenting, as well as researching.
At a little over 25 years, building a fit physique has been a mainstay for more than half of my life. I don’t think about it as a passion or a hobby, it just is who I am and what I do. I work out daily and sometimes twice a day. Stretching is a huge part of my daily routine, and I do it throughout the day, not just when it’s time to exercise. I have always known of a lot of benefits to stretching, working out and staying in shape, but during my research, I was able to find other strong benefits that I had overlooked. As a workforce, we work a physical job that puts a large strain on our bodies. The injuries that can occur over the years through constant repetition and straining can be helped with prevention. Stretching is the first step.
My topic was well received and the feedback was positive. With my topic I feel I can take my initial idea and start to implement this idea of reducing the paper foot print at BMW. While researching at BMW I have some good resources to talk with so my idea can become a reality. My next step is meeting with the correct departments to further my idea.
My topic is about reducing the paper foot print at BMW. This topic has been something that I have always felt passionate about at my time at BMW. There are many documents that are printed and only used for a small time then either thrown away or never even looked at. My Capstone is about helping BMW reduce their foot print with documents that are used in both Halls by converting a document that gets printed and required signatures by associates. This document would go from a paper document to an E-sign and has the potential to be incorporated into other documents to help BMW with their paper foot print for the future.
Final Thoughts: Looking back on my time in class, I can’t believe how fast time has flown. When I look back at where I was when this class began, in terms of my attitude and my initial preconceptions, I have come so far and learned so much about myself in the process. I learned to be more flexible in my thinking and decision-making, considering others’ points of view before deciding on a course of action. Being around a diverse group of people gave me exposure to many different points of view.
The creative inquiry project was really fun, because it gave me a chance to step outside my comfort zone and thoroughly explore safety in the workplace. When I began thinking about my capstone project, I only had the vaguest idea of what I would do. It was very interesting watching my project morph from a vague idea about ergonomics to a serious argument for an associate-driven safety management system.
This class taught me how to conduct research more efficiently as well, so that I know how to gather information in order to better support my ideas. That way, when I spoke with Safety Specialists and Section Leaders and Managers, I was able to ask intelligent questions and couch my arguments with well researched data.
Moreover, even though the class is over, I feel that I have gained some valuable mentors who I can call upon for guidance as I prepare for my new role as a Section Leader. I don’t look at this as an ending, I see this as the beginning of a new chapter in my career at BMW.
My name is Lee Garner, and my initial idea was to write about the importance of ergonomics in the prevention of on-the-job injuries. However, the more I explored workplace ergonomics, the more I found that safety was tied directly to it. The health and safety of associates directly affects the quality of their output in measurable ways, such as reduction of errors, labor costs, and lost time due to injuries. Therefore, it is in the company’s best interests to foster a safety culture that embraces the kaizen approach by utilizing associate ideas to drive continuous, incremental improvements in safety and ergonomics.
Associates must feel like they are a part of the safety improvement process, or else they will become disengaged and disillusioned with the entire system. That’s why associates need to drive safety improvements within their own cost centers, and managers need to drive safety issues within their own area, so that everyone within the organization is directly involved in improving safety. When everyone takes ownership of their own safety and the safety of their teammates, everyone benefits from a safety and more productive workplace.
What a relief we are all finally finished with our presentations. The feeling of apprehension at the beginning was strong, I haven’t had to write a paper in so long I thought I would be lost. Jennifer telling us to choose a topic that we are passionate about really helped. Now that we are finished I am looking forward to starting the next chapter and hope to actually start implementing things from most the team’s projects. The great part of all the presentations were how they flowed together without being planned.
My name is Matt Garner I have chosen to do my project on what makes a good trainer. I have always been passionate about training and seeing people learn new skills. So when doing some research I came across an article that stated, Ineffective training cost on average 13.5 million a year per 1000 employees. I also noticed during an OJT rotation that the countermeasures to most issues are retrain the associate. If the training they received did not suffice what would make it better? Was it the trainer not following up? Or the trainer not adjusting to the persons learning style. Most trainers have been chosen because they are very good at their job that does not make them able to train. A good trainer needs to have several core qualities. Expert knowledge of the subject matter/skills, good communication skills, passion for teaching or training, enthusiasm/energy, creativity, flexibility, patience, and the ability to work well with others. My main goal of this project is to set up a standard of vetting a trainer having a better training program for the trainers to learn different styles of delivering the information. Each area needs to have its own training programs tailored to the jobs and skills of that area not just a generic program.
Sooooooo! The end has finally came. My experience in BUS 299 was in three stages and they was stress, calm and excited. The stress was being back in a class room environment after 20 years not knowing if I would be able to keep up or do the work. The calm came when I saw that everyone was there to help me succeed in this journey. The excitement was getting through the capstone and presentation phase, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, because I had the guidance and support necessary to get through both with ease. So in the end I enjoyed the whole experience from beginning to end. I’m actually sad it’s over but I would like to say thanks to everyone for everything.
Hello, my name is Robert Brown and my Capstone project is on how team building and employee engagement leads to increase in productivity and profitability. In addition, these initiatives encourage morale indicators, lowered turnover, and less conflict in the workplace.
Through researching for my Capstone Project I’ve learned that you need both to have a successful environment in the workplace. I’ve learned you can build a successful team to help with morale, lower turnover, productivity, profitability, etc. However, to sustain and maintain the team you need employee engagement as well. Research shows that team building and employee engagement goes hand in hand. I have been in manufacturing for 18 years and through my experience you can have a great team but lack employee engagement and it brings down all the company indicators.
I just finished my BUS 299 Research in Business through Greenville Technical College. The class was interesting and I really learned a lot about Business Writing and How to Research and Write a Capstone Project. My topic began with a history of women in the workforce, and concluded with Gender Diversity. My research was extensive and very informative. Overall, I liked the class. The instructor was great, however the power point presentation made me a little nervous. I would definitely recommend this class to other students.
My creative Inquiry Topic began with The History of Women in Management. While researching my topic, I realized the significant impact women have in management roles in the workforce today. I narrowed my topic down to how women in management can double profits, increase employee engagement, and make a company more competitive. By studying gender diversity, and its effect on the workforce I hope to establish myself as a well rounded, effective manager.
I presented my creative inquiry project on Continuous Improvement Facilitation workshops. This was a beneficial exercise for me as it allowed me to really explore the topic and how it could be applied to my new position at work. Evaluating manufacturing processes and being able to add value and efficiency is a skill that will always be in demand. Completing this creative inquiry developed my problem solving and critical thinking skills by making me answer tough questions about how this would work in a real manufacturing environment. Having an idea of how to solve a problem is only half the battle; you have to be able to turn it into a reality by finding ways to fund and implement solutions. I believe that my project on continuous improvement has taught me to be creative in finding answers to tough problems and how to navigate the manufacturing landscape to improve on the status quo.
Continuous Improvement Facilitation
There are many different tools to use when trying to solve problems in manufacturing environments. The end goal of using these tools is to find the root cause and improve the process. Continuous Improvement facilitation, or CIP for short, is tool that is designed to improve processes by seeking incremental improvements and constant process evaluation. CIP uses the company’s human capital to find solutions rather than bringing in outside contractors or consulting agencies. My creative inquiry will focus on defining what a Continuous Improvement Facilitation workshop entails. I will examine the findings of the CIP facilitation workshop that I facilitated for the Body Shop at BMW. In conclusion I will discuss how and why BMW shop floor management should use CIP facilitation as a part of their routine process evaluations. There will always be improvement opportunities in a manufacturing facility; developing associates and management to look for and convert these improvement opportunities into wins is essential to manufacturing success.