On the 11th of Sept., Jaipuria Institute of Management, Lucknow organized an industrial visit to Tata Motors for its students in the Operations Management elective. The visit to the plant of the country’s largest automobile company offered a practical learning experience – from the different aspects of operations on a large scale industrial plant to time management and waste reduction, the elective’s twenty-five students gained a lot from this opportunity.
The trip, held under the guidance of Prof. Vinod Kumar Chib, offered students an opportunity to interact with the professionals from Tata Motors. Mr. Prashant Pandey was one of them and he started things off with a presentation on the history of the company. To hear about its achievements was an eye opening experience, as Srajan Gupta recounted later: “The Lucknow assembly plant manufactures Trucks and Bus Chassis. It has an output of 25 buses per day, and everything that goes on here is quite impressive.”
The industrial visit kept the students in the thick of the action as they observed several crucial processes involved in manufacturing. Observing the assembly line with 30 stations used in building the chassis of a heavy commercial vehicle was one of the major highlights of the visit. Besides manufacturing, the students also gained insight into several management concepts and strategies that are applied in a plant for better efficiency. It instantly helped students relate their classroom learning to practical functions.
As one of the students pointed out, “We learned how they reduce the direct material cost to become a cost leader in the market through weight reduction, commonization, elimination of some un-useful parts, and using alternative light material. They also have a value proposition of SQDCME: safety, quality, delivery, cost, morale, environment.” Through the industry visit and their interaction with professionals, students also had a firsthand experience of inventory management, safety measures, and other functions that are integral elements of plant operations.
Sagarika Bharadwaj reflected on her learning from the visit, saying, “The working for such mega plant requires high level of coordination so as to minimize wastage of time and money. Importance of supervision or quality checks in case of heavy production is also crucial.” Students from the institute also got to learn about KANBAN, which is a visual signal that is used to trigger an action. Not only did they understand its importance, but they also figured out its rules, which made for some interesting observations.
The highly engaging industry visit ended with an interactive session where students could ask all the questions they had in mind. Professionals from the company were at hand to answer their queries and clear their doubts. Thus, the visit served up a crucial practical learning experience to students, who went back home enriched. Abhishek Chaturvedi summed up the experience when he said, “Tata Motors makes every step in the process count; work should not stop because in a factory there is no lead time. These lessons were crucial for us and we will remember them for long.” And that would be mission accomplished for the visit.
Student Contributors: By- SagarikaBharadwaj, Abhishek Chaturvedi, Srajan Gupta (PGDM 2014-16)