The first tour of our day was GE right outside the city of Melbourne. This was unlike other GE plants in the US. It was unlike the US in that it was a combination of multiple sectors of the business collaborating in one facility. The water, electric, lighting, energy, capital, and transportation all work side by side which promoted a shared learning concept improving the learning curve of the business philosophies. This is how most of the Australian GE plants are. We learned about so much on this trip I couldn’t talk about it all in this one post although I do want to talk about one thing. GE is working on trying to find a way to implement traffic lights that are called “Smart Lights”. The smart lights would be a beacon for information. These lights would detect traffic areas, direct you to areas of easier parking and other useful things by apps on cellular devices. These lights collect “big data” to improve the infrastructure of the city. The other thing I found interesting is that in the lighting department of the company they sell mostly business to consumer. GE is leaning away from this concept due to the fact that now the LED lighting they have come out with will last 20 years. GE is going to perform an internal destruction of their own lighting business and bring the lighting away from a sales business and closer towards a service business. They plan to collect data and optimize the usage of energy consumed by regions with this new idea. This visit was very informative and very fun for me.
The next thing that we did was go to the Melbourne Cricket Grounds. This was one of the coolest cultural things that I have done yet because we got to see something that we can really compare to home with professional and college sports. Learning about the culture was shocking how much pride they take in the sports they love. I learned interesting military and culture history here about the US as well. The Americans came to watch the sporting events during the gold rush. The museum in the basement was very historic and cool containing sporting equipment from hundreds of years ago.
The next stop was lunch and then the Carleton Brewery. We went on a tour of the facility and it felt like I was in an episode of how it is made. The one thing I want to say about this facility is that it was very cool, although it was nothing like Toyota. There were areas that look like there was a lot of inefficiencies and they are just beginning to fix these with quality improvement. Also the lines shut down much more frequently. Disregarding that the products vary and the number of outputs vary I found that the Toyota plant look much more organized and efficient.
Leaving Melbourne I feel like we have accomplished more actual “global experience” than I would if I spent a semester here. I enjoyed everything we did here in Melbourne, so… until next time Melbourne.