Skip Navigation Links.

Team Project Descriptions

A representative selection of 2022 team project descriptions:

Project Name Project Description
Amazon In order to prepare for continued growth of Amazon’s fulfillment network, Amazon Robotics has partnered with the Tauber Institute for Global Operations to develop a global manufacturing and supply chain operational strategy. To create a roadmap for robotic operations moving forward, the Tauber team will assess Amazon’s needs as an automation customer, its emerging product portfolio, and broader geopolitical and macroeconomic trends.  
American Industrial Partners: Canam Steel Corporation  
Canam Steel Corporation, a portfolio company of American Industrial Partners, is a leading manufacturer of steel joists and deck structural building products. It currently relies of a legacy system called ‘DESGO’ to estimate the cost and time required to manufacture its products and uses this estimate to calculate pricing for each job. This legacy system is outdated and requires an update on its estimation module of time and cost.

The Tauber team over the summer will work on creating a fresh cost estimation module for Canam’s products, helping the company accurately allocate its overall costs to each of the job it performs and will ultimately use it to create a new software to replace the legacy DESGO system.
American Industrial Partners:
GD Energy
Title: Inventory Management Strategy for GD Energy Products
Working with GD Energy Products, a portfolio company of AIP, to decrease excess and obsolete inventory, increase availability and decrease stocking costs of fluid ends, and develop supply chain metrics to better grade performance. The Tauber team aims to develop an inventory management strategy that will help GDEP sustain its customer service levels while significantly reducing its working capital tied to inventory.
Amazon: Robotics   
In order to prepare for continued growth of Amazon’s fulfillment network, Amazon Robotics has partnered with the Tauber Institute for Global Operations to develop a global manufacturing and supply chain operational strategy. To create a roadmap for robotic operations moving forward, the Tauber team will assess Amazon’s needs as an automation customer, its emerging product portfolio, and broader geopolitical and macroeconomic trends. 
The Boeing Company: 767   
The KC-46 Production Flow Optimization project will support stronger integration and streamlined production of the KC-46 in the Everett, WA facilities. The team will develop recommendations and an implementation plan for re-engineering the production flow, with careful consideration given to current factory layouts and first-pass quality goals, and an aim of reducing re-work. This project includes significant stakeholder management and change management considerations. 
The Boeing Company: Configuration Services  
Boeing Commercial Airplanes is looking to transition their current, legacy Product Lifecycle Management over to a new, model-based engineering software. The Tauber Team will investigate internally within Boeing teams and throughout adjacent industries to report on possible risks and opportunities associated with these large-scale system transitions. By considering both change management and technical systems transformation, the Team will provide recommendations to assist with a successful integration to maintain Boeing's status as an industry leader of engineering innovation.
The Boeing Company: Quality  
The Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) Engineering unit has tasked the Tauber team with assisting in decreasing defects within the manufacturing process, in part by ensuring the appropriate measures are being used as key performance indicators. These defects cause delays down the manufacturing line and result in timely and costly reactionary maneuvers. The ability to locate, eliminate, and prevent these defects and their root causes is integral for improving Boeing’s first pass quality and overall customer satisfaction.
BrandSafway BrandSafway is the leading global provider of construction fixed-access rentals and soft services. The Tauber team will optimize the sourcing and distribution of rental inventory across the network to increase item-availability, minimize freight expense, and maximize return on invested capital; ultimately deploying a decision engine to increase the speed and efficiency of day-to-day fulfillment operations.
Brunswick Corporation  
Mercury Marine is a division of Brunswick Corporation, the leading provider of recreational boats in the United States. In this project, the Tauber team will optimize the gearcase housing production process using Lean Six Sigma methodology. At the end of the project, the team will provide Mercury Marine with a Planning Process Report, detailing how to schedule gearcase housing production based on capacity and demand considerations. 
Dell The goal of the Dell project is to explore using conversational artificial intelligence to build a virtual assistant for handling product returns. The intended results are to increase operational efficiency by creating a 24/7 customer service option, to reduce waste in labor costs for basic return queries, and to drive a self-service adoption into the rest of the company. Dell asked the Tauber team to collect the necessary information, develop the code infrastructure, and create the machine learning models needed to accomplish this task.
Ford Motor Company  
The Tauber team will work with Ford and Microsoft Technical experts to develop a new CAD based data generation and machine learning framework that uses synthetic images to train models that can detect errors in manufacturing. The implementation of the CAD based models will result in time savings of initial setup, advantages of transfer learning, and long-term advantages of a more flexible and generalizable computer Vision Inspection system. The project will include three major proof of concepts workflows for several parts, and a business case detailing the gains with successful implementation.
General Motors Computer Vision for Human Detection in Manufacturing

The Tauber project evaluates the use of computer vision, artificial intelligence, and laser/radar technologies for safeguards on automated cells in manufacturing. The use of new technologies has the potential to simplify setup, improve human-machine collaboration and avoid the associated downtime when humans are inside the range of a robot motion either by entering a fenced cell or breaking electronic guards.
Gopuff: MFC  
Gopuff’s network of over 500 micro-fulfillment centers (MFCs) enables delivery of essential goods within minutes. The Tauber team will analyze the process of stocking an MFC—how, where, and when should product be placed? Recommendations to improve inventory management and space utilization will be provided to Gopuff along with a roadmap for a scalable pilot. 
Microsoft Corporation The Connected Customer Experience (CCE) is Microsoft's strategy for delivering a differentiated end-to-end customer experience focused on enabling the mission of delighting the customers and providing a connected customer experience. The Modern Work Customer Success Unit (CSU) within CCE focuses on Microsoft’s M365 Commercial Products. This project will focus on understanding current business processes, orchestration flows, and measurement principles; create and/or update customer journey maps and identify key activities aligned to MW business priorities; and suggest effective measures for monitoring, controlling, and/or improvements to the processes.
MillerKnoll  
MillerKnoll is striving to unify and enhance the performance of legacy companies Herman Miller and Knoll by standardizing and enhancing work processes. The Tauber team was tasked with rationalizing inventory management processes across the two companies using the task seating business as a pilot. This team improved the current raw material efficiency and delivered a go-forward algorithm for inventory management decision-making, replicable across the business. 
NCMS  
The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) is an organization that facilitates the demonstration and adoption of innovative technologies into the US manufacturing base. Because of the complexities of technology today and the disparate needs of its end users it is difficult to predict which technologies are likely to succeed. To this end, this project aims to construct a predictive model for assessing the technologies likelihood for success to ensure each technology advancement opportunity is realized.
Pfizer, Inc: UK  
The Sandwich Solid Dose Manufacturing (SDM) site in the UK is one of Pfizer’s leading R&D facilities worldwide, enabling the company’s objective of bringing 25 new products to market by 2025. A key challenge in achieving this goal is improving clinical supply schedule adherence, which has been impacted by equipment breakdown issues, causing disruptions of planned tasks and downstream activities. The Tauber team is tasked with developing strategies, piloting solutions, and delivering recommendations for a future state operating model, where unplanned downtime is significantly reduced, supporting Pfizer’s mission of delivering breakthroughs that change patients’ lives.
Pfizer, Inc.: USA Pfizer’s research operations and clinical supply chain span the globe with a significant presence in Groton, CT. The Groton site is home to many vital clinical operations that support the manufacturing and delivery of investigational medicines to support Pfizer’s clinical trials worldwide. A key component of all clinical operations at the site is the Global Materials Management Group (GMM), who oversee all activities and facilities related to clinical materials. The Tauber team will be working directly with the GMM team while conducting a thorough analysis of current material handling and GMP storage operations. Througho.ut their time with the GMM group, they will be identifying and implementing improvements that will support GMM’s multi-faceted expansion plans while at the same time reducing complexity and adding optimization, simplicity, and efficiency. Their work will help support and solidify Groton’s GMM group as a key global hub for all clinical supplies routing through the Pfizer portfolio while at the same time offering critical solutions to complex and dynamic supply chain"
Stanley Black & Decker  
The Stanley Black & Decker Tauber team aims to save money for STANLEY Engineered Fastening (SEF) by improving warehouse operations across three sites in Michigan, Iowa, and Kentucky. The Tauber team will reduce overtime, improve data collection and accuracy, and improve customer service. The team will make recommendations to scale their improvements across other SEF sites.
Stoneridge  
The North American service parts manufacturing portion of the commercial vehicles division at Stoneridge is a multi-million dollar business segment that needs to be optimized from a strategic and operational standpoint to achieve the desired financial performance that its current volumes command. The team will be exploring opportunities along the lines of profit enhancement and product line simplification to turn the business back around.
Target Corporation Improving Inbound Freight Problem Resolution
 
In 2022, Target expects to encounter 118.7M defects across 742M cartons through its inbound automated receiving process. This will cost the network over 1.3M labor hours diverted to researching and problem solving these defects, which result in processing line downtime, additional team member touches, and an overall reduced throughput.

This project focuses on process improvements that reduce waste, in addition to defining a working model that permanently reduces defects from Target’s receiving process path.

 

 

My iMpact Search/Sitemap Accessibility Features Privacy Statement University of Michigan - HOME
2022 Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.