Week 7 has been characterized by projects. As I think I mentioned in a previous blog posting I have been working on an extensive transportation cost saving program that will hopefully be implemented at the end of the summer. This has been my primary objective now for the last couple weeks. This week I learned that the first week of August I will have the opportunity to travel to US Foods Corporate in Illinois and preset what I have been working on. This is extremely exciting to get this opportunity to learn about the company at a larger scale and network with some of its top executives. However this is also extremely daunting as the pressure is on to increase the richness and detail of my research and make sure that every scenario is optimized.
In the process of compiling scenarios, my VPO suggested that I set up a skype consultation with the Regional Routing Manager. He was extremely helpful in validating my fixed variable estimates and putting me in the right direction. What I realized is that I was visualizing the costing analysis as profit or loss financial decision. However, I am presenting to a panel of operations management and they prefer to hear figures in terms of cost per case or eliminating total cost. It took a little bit of adjustment to my calculation to get my findings and summaries into this format but in the end it will be more readable to those I need to pitch it to. This also simplified the process of scenario costing because it was labor intensive to estimate the profit per case of various customers and routes. I am so thankful to be given this project and truly believe this is important and valuable experience that I will be able to reference in the future.
I have also made it goal, that when I come back from vacation to reach out to some of the most experienced people in different areas of the division to interview. Specifically the Transportation manager, a long time sales rep that has held nearly every position in transportation and customer service, and finally the highest procurement manager. I think I can learn a lot from each of them and get a better understanding of US Foods as a whole.