Dalton Stanley learned a lot this past summer as a global supply chain management intern with Domino’s.
But one lesson trumped them all for the Eastern Kentucky University senior, as he described the experience to fellow Pikeville native James Kirby Easterling, who returned to EKU in 2014 to head his alma mater’s then-new global supply chain management program.
“If I have learned anything during my time at EKU, it is that Colonels – even those of us from rural eastern Kentucky – are capable of accomplishing anything if we are only given the opportunity,” Stanley said.
After spending his first week training in Michigan, Stanley reported to the food giant’s regional office in Erlanger, Kentucky, where he was assigned his project: to find a more efficient means by which the company’s supply chain centers ship their products.
He gathered and analyzed data – including a Pareto analysis that he learned about at Eastern – to narrow his focus to approximately five key products with the greatest potential to create savings and improve efficiency.
By applying the tools and principles he learned during his time as a supply chain management major, Stanley arrived at a solution capable of saving Domino’s more than $300,000 annually.
He was quick to point out that his work was not accomplished in isolation.
“Communication was absolutely key,” he noted, “and I was privileged to be working in an environment that encouraged collaboration.” Stanley had weekly meetings with the project management officer, his mentor and the director of his supply chain center, and received short daily progress reports. He also met with representatives from Procurement and Quality Control and with regional store managers who provided feedback on his project and gave him different points of view to consider.
The internship culminated with a final presentation of his findings. Admittedly nervous, Stanley “felt more than equipped to face the challenge.”
Troy Ellis, another EKU alumnus who today serves as executive vice president for supply chain management for Domino’s, sat near the front along with his leadership team. A hundred more supply chain professionals filled the room. And Stanley aced his big test.
“I was very prepared to answer all the questions my audience had for me,” he said. “My class presentations and national presentations with Phi Beta Lambda had prepared me well.”
Through his internship, Stanley said he gained many personal contacts and a wealth of valuable knowledge and skills that could only be acquired through such a project.
“The experience of being a part of a close-knit team that always strives to make their company a little bit better than it was the day before, and knowing you were able to contribute to the goal of becoming the number-one pizza company in the world is extremely rewarding,” he said. “I could not have done this without Professor Easterling, the College of Business and Technology, and everyone on campus who has provided me with a firm foundation that prepared me for success in my internship and, hopefully, in my future career field.”
When the internship was announced in March, Easterling said it was “strategically important, as it gives our program yet another top-tier firm for our supply-chain students to gain tremendous experience. It also says a lot about our program, in that Domino’s only recruits from top supply chain management programs.”
Ellis, a member of the EKU Foundation Board, had reached out to his alma mater to inquire about the possibility of employing supply chain management students from Eastern.
For more information about EKU’s supply chain management program, visit management.eku.edu/gsm.
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