Supply Chain Club Visits Toshiba Business Solutions

In the true spirit of NC State’s ‘Think and Do’ mantra, supply chain students at the Poole College of Management have the opportunity to participate in events hosted by the Supply Chain Club, which includes touring facilities at some of the area’s most prominent organizations. 

Most recently, students ventured to Toshiba Business Solutions in Morrisville, NC to get a sneak peak behind the scenes of the company’s manufacturing process. “We wanted to show the many efforts we use to manufacture a highly complex product using lean techniques,” said Bob Myers, supply chain and operations manager for the Self Service System at Toshiba Global Commerce.

The first part of the tour featured the self-service manufacturing area, where Toshiba builds self-checkout stations for grocery stores by hand. Students also toured the depot maintenance area of the facility, where they learned about how the company stored products and optimized distribution operations, including how to sustainably manage product waste.

Self-service manufacturing area
Distribution area

“As my first plant tour, I was excited to visit the Toshiba plant and see first hand how supply chain works in U.S. manufacturing,” said Ivy Herring, one of the students who attended. “What sparked my interest initially was to see how Point of Sale (POS) equipment — which is becoming so essential for many corporations and customers — is made and assembled. It was eye-opening to see just how the self-checkout machine — which I use almost every time I go to the grocery store — is manufactured, and all of the intricacies that go into the process.”

Herring said they also got to see a variety of sample products from over the years and how Toshiba has evolved them to meet their customer’s needs.

“Marty is an autonomous robot that uses image capturing technology to report spills, debris, and other potential hazards to store employees to improve your shopping experience. Marty uses embedded cameras to navigate and avoid customers and store displays.” (via automate.org)

Amanda Merlin, another one of the students who attended, said her favorite part of the tour was Marty, a robot that peruses grocery stores and cleans up spills and is being optimized by Toshiba to help manage inventory by scanning products on store shelves. “I believe technology is the key to our future, and the more we embrace it, the better off we will be,” she said.

Bob Myers, who led part of the tour and helped organize the event with the ASCM Triangle Chapter and Poole faculty member Donavon Favre, said, “It was a great tour and always special to have the students tour the Toshiba Facilities. Toshiba already hires many NC State Alumni and looks forward to strengthening that relationship in the future.”

For more information about the Supply Chain Club at NC State, contact Donavon Favre at djfavre@ncsu.edu.

This post was originally published in Supply Chain Resource Cooperative.