Monday, September 16, 2013

Meeting With Audi and Catholic University in Ingolstadt - Plus, Team Travels to Frankfurt!

It was quite a stressful and long day for everyone on Monday! We all had to get up early to take the 8:15 a.m. train to Ingolstadt to make it to the 9:45 a.m. appointment with Audi. Not only that, the biggest challenge was to haul our luggage on and off the train (believe me it wasn't easy!). The good news was we were able to store our luggage at the train station. We barely made it in time for the meeting (good thing, the taxi cab was fast)! Whew! But boy, was the day super cold and rainy!

Despite all that hassle, it was wonderful to be at Audi Headquarters for the first time.

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Both Johanna Held and Mrs. Wade welcomed us with warmth and grace. We met with Mrs. Wade from 10-11 a.m. to discuss corporate responsibility from Audi's point of view. In addition, to help us better understand her presentation, she also provided the Corporate Responsibility Report 2012 handbook that stressed on five core values as part of their strategy: Operations, Product, Environment, Employees, and Society. The report is a great testimony to Audi's mission and effort to sustainability. Not only does it specify the activities toward the 5 core values but it also presents the data as measurement of progress and guidelines as reference point. Overall, we had a great discussion with her but unfortunately we ran out of time towards the end.

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The next activity on our agenda was the manufacturing tour at Audi plant. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the tour but here are some photos taken of the team in the waiting area (we got to check out some of the cool cars they had on display!).

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Dr. Kuhn from Catholic University also sent one of his students to join the tour with us. She was very nice and friendly. Once again, we were not disappointed. The tour started at 11:30 a.m. and ended at 1:30pm. First, the tour guide took us to the processing floor where all the robotics work are required (welding, and quality testing). We were very impressed with Audi's advanced technology Audi and especially with the amount of work that is being done by robots. Second, he took us to the assembly line where we get to see operators and technicians assemble interior components to the car. The overall process was very efficient.

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After finishing the plant tour, she and Johanna took us to Audi's café for a wonderful free lunch. To be honest, we did not expect this at all!!! Did we mention that the food was good, too? Yummy...

Next, we took the bus to Catholic University to meet Dr. Kuhn. He and a few of his students were such wonderful and kind hosts. He gave us 30 minute lecture on supply chain management and operations and answered all of our questions we had. After the lecture, they brought us light dinner - drinks and Bavarian food - and the students used the time to network!

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We did not expect to receive too many treats in one day but we really appreciated Dr. Kuhn, Audi, and his students for going out of their way to welcome us to Ingolstadt. We could not ask for anything better.

Finally, we departed Catholic University and continued our journey to Frankfurt.

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It was a 3-hour ride, but we made it to the Sheraton hotel at around 8 pm and called it a day. Yay!

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Don't forget to stock up on cash so you don't get charged an additional 3% fee for every swipe of your card!

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