News & Events

PDSCM Capstone: PepsiCo Student Wins Best Black Belt Project Prize

16 Nov 2012

The Departments of Food Business & Development and Management & Marketing, University College Cork were pleased to recently host the Postgraduate Diploma / Masters in Supply Chain Management (Lean SCM Black Belt) Capstone Event. This event comprised of Student Research Project Presentations and Poster Sessions, and was complimented by short seminars from Professor John Mangan (The University of Hull) and Simon Healy (Mediaware Digital).

The Postgraduate Diploma/Masters in Supply Chain Management (Lean SCM Black Belt) is a tailored and systematic programme designed to improve global supply chain processes through cost reduction and value-add. The Lean philosophy promotes a systematic approach to eliminating process waste and non-value-add activities and hence increases sustainable profitability. This part-time postgraduate programme seeks to provide participants with an in-depth understanding of the principles and techniques of Lean so that they are empowered to implement sustainable continuous process improvement at both organisational and supply chain levels. 

According to Dr Seamus O’Reilly (Academic Programme Director) the programme “places a strong emphasis on workplace learning and endeavours to provide an interactive learning environment that promotes continuing education and supports a knowledge-based business environment.  The use of blended learning - bringing together classroom, on-line and workplace learning - presents a robust and comprehensive programme design that makes part-time education accessible and useful to many people working in industry”.

The programme attracts career-minded practitioners from a wide range of industries, such as: pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food and drinks, electronics, utilities, distribution and services. Participating companies in this cohort include: DePuy J&J, GE Healthcare, JFC Manufacturing, Kepak, Lean Unlimited, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Ó Crualaoí (Butchers and Delicatessen), and Pepsico.

The research projects presented by the students are the culmination of their Lean studies. These ‘Black Belt level’ projects are awarded to those students who demonstrate not only a competency in lean techniques but also the ability to lead change initiatives within the workplace and achieve continuous and sustainable improvements.  The Lean philosophy adopted in the UCC programme extends throughout the Supply Chain and hence provides part-time students with the opportunity to study supply chain management to a postgraduate level.

The winner of this year’s ‘S A Partners Prize for Best Black Belt Project’ was Vincent Goggin, Supply Chain Manager – Optimisation, PepsiCo.

Commenting on his experience gained through the Postgraduate Diploma /Masters in SCM, the winning student (Vincent Goggin) said that, “The best thing about this programme for me has been the industry lessons learned from other supply chain professionals on the course. Not only has this programme given me the Lean tools and skills to undertake a large change initiative within PepsiCo, the real life Lean journeys of my fellow class mates have helped me adapt and adopt these experiences to my everyday work life. As someone who has worked for the same company all their professional life, this programme has broadened my knowledge of supply chains and given me industry best practices that help me on my journey towards professional development within PepsiCo. It’s also important when a company like PepsiCo invests in your education that you can give them a return on their investment through continuous improvements and this course delivers the Lean skills to do exactly that. I would like to thank Seamus and his team for all their help and I wish every success to all the companies of my class mates involved in this programme.”

Dr Seamus O’Reilly (SCM Academic Programme Director, UCC) commented “this is our fourth consecutive year of Black Belt presentations and the level of improvement introduced, in terms of both value added and cost reduction, across many sectors and numerous companies is most impressive from an educational perspective and encouraging from a global competitiveness perspective. Indeed in total we have had 68 excellent projects to date and pipeline of 26 to come to fruition next year.  The winner was selected on the basis of progress made within the organisation during the course of the project.”  He congratulated all involved and went on to highlight the merits of this UCC-led comprehensive programme, which makes part-time education accessible and useful to many people working in industry.  

Black Belt Prize Giving 2012

Picture (L-R): Barry Evans (Lean Enterprise Research Centre, Cardiff Business School), Vincent Goggin (Supply Chain Manager - Optimisation, PepsiCo), John Quirke (S A Partners), Dr Seamus O’Reilly (SCM Academic Programme Director, UCC) and Dermot Freeman (Lean Black Belt Tutor) 

The prize is sponsored by ‘S A Partners’, which is the UK’s longest standing Lean Enterprise consultancy. It was formed in 1993 to transfer the lessons learned from pioneering research of Professor Peter Hines, through the Lean Enterprise Research Centre (LERC), into the market place.

Discipline of Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management Programmes, 2nd Floor, O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork