The students will undertake 4 industry projects throughout the course:
- P1 (Michaelmas term, 2 weeks) - Address manufacturing supply chain and operations management topics. Students work in pairs.
- P2 (Lent term, 2 weeks) - Address manufacturing supply chain and operations management topics. Students work in pairs.
- P3 (Lent term, 1 day a week for 6 weeks) - Work with small local firms, typically start-ups, to tackle a strategic or market related topic. Students work in groups of 4.
- P4 (Lent term, 2 weeks) - Address strategic, marketing or related issues. Students work in pairs.
- P5 which takes the form of an integrating essay.
Each of the 2 week projects (P1, 2 and 4) may be based away from Cambridge for their duration. Work is supervised by the host company and the students are treated as if they are a company employees. The projects involve framing the problem, understanding the issues, developing ideas for improvement and making recommendations to the company. The final deliverable of the project is a presentation to senior management, followed by the submission of a concise executive summary.
Each project deals with a live issue relevant to the company. The projects improve the application of course knowledge and require analysis, communication and team working-skills. They play a key role in supporting professional development and provide excellent groundwork for future employment.
Projects are completed across the full spectrum of manufacturing, including: automotive, aerospace, oil and gas, FMCG, food and beverages. Titles are varied and cover areas of operational improvement, strategic decision-making and organisational management. Projects have explored areas as diverse as:
- Production planning, scheduling and inventory optimisation
- Capacity utilisation
- Lead time reduction
- Quality improvement and control
- Make/buy decisions
- Effective maintenance
- Energy usage
- Layout floor planning
- New product development process improvement
- Inter-departmental effectiveness
- Feasibility study in to a new technology
- Market analysis
- Competitive review and positioning
- Product or marketing strategy