On any given day in the Huebsch break room, you may overhear a conversation about weekend plans, a sharing of ideas across departments, or an impromptu collaboration between colleagues. On Wednesdays in the spring, you may also find college students hovering over laptops, spreadsheets, and diagrams.
Since 2013 Huebsch has participated in a collaborative lean project partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Huebsch partners with students in the Management 461: Lean Manufacturing Systems and Concepts class. Huebsch works with the students on one to three projects per semester.
Riley Dougherty and Cole Sheridan, UW-Eau Claire Seniors majoring in Supply Chain and Operations, are currently working on a project with Huebsch to document a new uniform processing line, work through any issues, and offer suggestions for process improvement. Dougherty shared the value for students in these project partnerships.
“It’s nice to have something hands on,” said Dougherty. “It’s exciting to apply what we have learned in the classroom about smaller scale operations and help companies like Huebsch to run more efficiently.”
“The students benefit tremendously by being able to gain hands-on experience in real-world lean projects,” said Abraham Nahm, Professor at UW-Eau Claire.
The value of these projects isn’t only with the students. Huebsch reaps the benefits as well.
“Partnering with UW-EC has been an invaluable experience,” said Cory Knutson, Huebsch Production Supervisor. “It’s really great to help out students with hands-on projects and in return we get a new perspective to a challenge we have been facing. It’s truly a win-win!”
Huebsch has long considered both innovation and community involvement to be part of its core values.
“Huebsch has been a wonderful blessing and a great learning experience for our students due to the continuous improvement spirit that the company embodies,” said Professor Nahm. “I am very grateful for, and immensely proud of, the homegrown jewel of an organization that is Huebsch Services.”
Both Huebsch and UW-Eau Claire expect to continue this collaborative partnership well into the future.