Business Students Learn about Manufacturing Process Management


Emory and Henry College currently offers an Operations Management class for its business majors. Each class is broken up into teams and given an assignment to engage with businesses. Recently, five business students from this program visited Strongwell. This student team chose and interviewed a “for-profit “and a “not-for-profit” organization to study during the semester with the purpose of gaining a comprehensive understanding of how operations management functions within businesses. Each team had to independently arrange an interview and prepare a paper summarizing its findings and observations.

Emory and Henry students met with Strongwell’s David Oakley (CEO) and Tekai Shu (Social Media and Business Development Manager) for their in-person interviews. During their visit and facility tour, students asked questions regarding how Strongwell’s operations team made decisions about processes, quality benchmarks, capacity, ordering, scheduling, supply chain, and inventory. The students also wanted to know why composites serve a unique purpose against traditional materials. During the Q &A session, students were provided with an understanding as to how globalization and branding provided opportunities for Strongwell to remain as a composites leader with its in-house engineering, manufacturing and research & development resources.IMG_6307wp

At the conclusion of this project, Tekai Shu was invited as a guest in an Emory and Henry class session to illustrate how effective operations management within a manufacturing environment leads to community impact, industrial development and branding in a digital era.

Many thanks to Lebanon Apparel Corporation, State Street United Methodist Church, Town of Abingdon, Trey’s Pizza, Johnston Memorial Hospital, Communities in Schools, Highlands Community Services, Ball Corporation, and the United Way of Southwest Virginia who also participated in this project and presented their individualized operations management plans to the entirety of the class.

Strongwell would like to finally thank Emory and Henry College and Professor Fowlkes for choosing Strongwell as one of their business case studies.