Guest blog post by Stuward Hsu (MBA ’13)
On November 16th, the UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Operations Management Club hosted an industry trek to Pepsi Bottling Ventures (PBV) to see how the well-known company applies the strategy of continuous improvement and to help students understand sustainable operations and supply chain management.
PBV’s Senior Vice President in Operations & Supply Chain, Matthew Bucherati, led the factory visit and carefully explained each manufacturing process. Through his introduction, we found that the company and employees are really proud of their efforts on product quality, food safety and environmental strategy.
PBV’s sustainability initiatives are far reaching and extend through their supply chain from process innovations in production, to the vehicles used to bring the product to market, to the resource efficiency and recycling of beverage containers. The management recognizes that good environmental practice can lead to good business.
The company has implemented a variety of water-saving programs to save million gallons of water in production operations through water re-use and process improvements such as the use of a state-of-the-art waterless conveyor lubrication system. The Fleet Department tests hybrid vehicles to evaluate how they perform under daily demands. To address its packaging impacts, PBV worked with suppliers to make package design resource-effective, and partnered with governments, businesses, and communities to promote recycling.
During the trek, the workers clearly described the company sustainability goals and how their work drives those goals and the bottom line. It was inspiring to see that PBV’s sustainability initiatives serve as a means to inspire critical thinking about the impact of their business activities.