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Business Students Earn Practical Experience

December 10, 2013

ATHENS, Ala. - Students in Athens State University Assistant Professor Kim Roberts' Operations Management course put their knowledge into practice this semester. Students were divided into teams and assigned Operations Management topics such as strategy and sustainability, productivity, capacity utilization, bottlenecks, and service process design to apply at the Grounded coffee shop in Madison.

Grounded opened on County Line Road this summer and is owned by Chris Moore. The class made a visit to the site, followed by several follow-up visits by each group, to analyze the shop's processes. Each team then made a presentation to Moore sharing their observations and recommendations at the end of the semester.

"I appreciate Chris allowing our class to have access to his business, which in turn allowed our students to put business theory into action and build a stronger connection with operations management" says Roberts.

Service process design, presented by Ryan Belue, Jacklyn Cooper, Courtney Moore, and Holly Roberts was selected by Mr. Moore as best overall.

"Working with Professor Roberts and the operations management class from Athens State was a great experience,” states Moore. “At Grounded, we strive to build others, and working with college students is a wonderful opportunity. We showed students a behind the scenes look at our operation and taught them a little of how we do our business. In turn, they came up with some insightful ideas and opportunities for improvement.

Moore continues, “One particular idea we plan to implement into our organization: a written, publicized service guarantee. We look forward to working with the university again in the coming semesters and can't wait to see what the students show us next."

Laura Christ, a junior majoring in management, said what she found most valuable from the class was using various tools to work toward continuous improvements and avoid costly errors.

Christ remarked, "What you learn in this class can not only be applied in a manufacturing or service environment, but it could also be of benefit in your everyday life."


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