On March 13th, we visited PepsiCo’s manufacturing facility where Tostitos, Cheetos, and many other snack products are produced for all provinces west of Ontario, and distribution centre where all of the logistics are managed, in Lethbridge and Calgary, respectively.
We had the opportunity to learn about the production process, the technology applied in their processes and many aspects of PepsiCo’s value chain. One of my favorite parts of the process was a robot that packed a combination of chip bags in a cardboard box. Each combination was sent to a different client and the robot had an algorithm that knew which chip should be packed in each box. The technology applied in this robot and the speed and accuracy of the packing process was impressive.
In addition to the facilities visits, we participated in a Q&A session with PepsiCo’s Alberta leadership team who provided us with very good insights about the company and business in general. The leaders explained how they perform projects’ economic evaluation, how they motivate the employees through training and recognition and discussed about many other management practices that will be very valuable to our career after the MBA program.
Learning about the food industry, the specific practices used to manage the broad range of PepsiCo’s products and their distribution was a very rich experience. I had a different perspective of manufacturing and supply chain from my previous jobs in the Chemical sector. These differences are salient when it comes to the variety of products and the number of clients, which demand a different approach to manage the supply chain. After visiting PepsiCo, I am very excited to learn more about the techniques they apply in this management system.
Written by: Ighor Salvador
Date of event: March 12th and 13th 2015