Dr Fallon writes on behalf of the MSc Management tour party:
The day was cold and frosty but we all set out bright and early with considerable enthusiasm, arriving at BMW Mini’s Cowley, Oxford plant in good time for the 11am tour, leaving time for a welcome coffee stop en route. On arrival at the plant, we were kitted up with protective overalls and intercom equipment, so that we were able to hear the expert commentary from the tour guide during our walk around the assembly plant.
The tour took just over an hour, and we were able to track the assembly of a range of mini cars from arrival to final completion. We were all impressed by the state of the art quality and efficiency of the supply chain and operations management techniques that were used in the plant. It was fascinating to see the use of robotics at many stages of production, and the way in which teams of workers were organised using total quality management procedures and insights. The tour party asked many questions, leading to fascinating insights into the way that BMW MINI is run. MINI’s BMW inspired recruitment, training and development and apprenticeship schemes were explained to us during the tour, together with the impact of the BMW takeover on the company’s strategic and operational management, and on the continuing high levels of investment that have made the Oxford MINI plant sustainable. At the end of the tour, there was an opportunity for us to take photographs against the background of MINI cars from different eras.
This was a great tour, which we all thoroughly enjoyed!