As part of its community outreach, TaylorMade Golf Company sponsored two students from Feeding America San Diego to earn their Professional Certificate in Lean Enterprise through SDSU’s College of Extended Studies.
The Lean philosophy is a strategy for achieving significant improvement in performance through elimination of waste in the total business process.
Kevin Limbach, vice president of U.S. operations for TaylorMade, said the idea for sponsoring students came about after his company’s Community Connection group helped sort donated food at a Feeding America San Diego event.
“We saw the opportunity for more food to be sent to hungry people faster if Lean was applied,” Limbach said. “We thought this would be a very impactful project. What’s more important than seeing to it that hungry people are fed?”
Feeding America San Diego is a nonprofit organization that provides nourishment for more than 73,000 children, families and seniors every week. It relies on the support of individuals, corporations and community groups to sustain its critical hunger relief and nutrition programs throughout the region. Through its distribution model, every dollar donated turns into six meals for an individual in need.
Throughout the program at SDSU, students work in project teams applying the Lean concepts to their own work places. They also tour San Diego companies such as TaylorMade to see Lean principles in action.
The two Feeding America students were joined by three TaylorMade students. They worked to devlop a model to improve the efficiency for such tasks as scheduling, receiving, ordering, loading pallets and communicating.
Ultimately, the goal was to ensure that more people’s needs are met in the San Diego region by streamlining production.
Tim Ney, chief operating officer for Feeding America San Diego, has a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certificate and helped organize the sponsorship with TaylorMade.
“I knew this sponsorship meant good, ongoing change for our organization,” Ney said. “We are going to see some dramatic improvements. Lean is the key to stretching our dollars and expediting the process where children, families and seniors get the nourishment they need.”
Mike Osterling, who teaches the professional certificate course, along with Joe Colarusso, said the Taylor Made/Feeding America partnership will serve as a vital outreach.
“This is a relevant way to reach further into the community,” Osterling said. “It’s cool for SDSU to be a conduit between a private and nonprofit corporation and to see the lean philosophy applied in another industry.”