This year’s manufacturing week showed a good turnout. There were 3 groups that came through over the past week and a half. All had great interest in what we do for our customers, as a manufacturing facility and the part we play in our communities.
On September 27th the University of Arkansas had a group of 40 industrial engineering students come through and tour. They brought curiosity and a lot of great questions about manufacturing and how we grew to this size. Our tour guides did a great job fielding questions like how we planned for new equipment, and where we predicted our automation would take us. They were all impressed to hear we sought out our intern’s advice and assigned projects to take advantage of their expertise while they earned real world experiences by having an opportunity to work in a very hands on environment. It was a great way to illustrate how we used planning and teamwork to develop our lab to the largest in the country.
Bureau VERITAS came in on Friday. A small group of company representatives enjoyed being taken on an in depth tour escorted by David Hahn. Bureau VERITAS is a worldwide company with divisions spanning from agriculture and consumer product testing to mining and drilling inspections. They primarily do consumer testing with Walmart ,such as apparel. They were very interested in taking a look here at our facility to see what we did here. With a company that is focused on consumer test and industrial inspection they had a lot of good questions about our quality checks and machine inspections. They were happy to see that we had inspections at nearly every point the lenses were handled. We were able to tell them about why at specific points it was important to inspect the product for defects and how it can diagnose possible machine issues. They were very impressed with how our focus on quality helped ensure we are sending a 1st rate product to the customer.
Also visiting on Friday was Bootsie Ackerman, District Director of the office for Congressman Steve Womack. Mrs. Ackerman was thrilled to hear how Walmart plays a huge part in our communities, not just from home office, but at our lab too. She took special notice to our part in reducing waste and our VAP programs. She was able to visit with a few of the associates and took interest in how well the associates were trained and knowledgeable of their duties. Bootsie was also glad to see that we do nearly all of the job training here, meaning we can hire associates who have never worked in this field and give them the training they need to become a very successful associate with no limits to their advancement. She enjoyed seeing all the pictures of our company events along the wall and was again impressed with how we as a lab and company support our associates finding ways to celebrate so everyone can participate. Mrs. Ackerman was glad to see that our lab also had a diverse culture that truly represented NW Arkansas. As she left we passed by the associates years of service wall and was taken aback at having so many associates dedicated to working here. She felt that this was a very good place to work and offered her and her congressman’s support for any assistance we could think of.