The Association of Operations Management (APICS) played a vital role in the success of this year's Feed My People Food Bank's Empty Bowls event held on Thursday, March 5th at Florian Gardens Conference Center in Eau Claire.
Terry Wells, APICS faculty advisor and operations and supply chain management senior lecturer, contacted Amanda Parkinson, Development Specialist at FMP, to inquire how APICS could assist with the fundraising event. Wells has been involved as a volunteer at FMP.
APICS members met with Parkinson to review current processes and create new ones for the event to operate more efficiently. Members suggested improvements such as rearranging the lobby layout for more effective traffic flow and less congestion. Additional directional signage allowed guests to gain the best experience.
"Terry Wells and the APICS members gave a fresh perspective and analyzed our current practices to ensure the guests were able to efficiently move through the space and enjoy the event," shared Parkinson.
The students' recommendations not only improved the guests' experiences in the lobby area, but also made it easier for volunteers to distribute bowls. In addition, they found space for raffle packages to be displayed.
The process improvements led to the event's most successful year. Over $100,00 was raised to support ending hunger for people in the 14 counties Feed My People serves.
"It's amazing to know that the work we did had an impact on the community. It was a very rewarding and selfless act", said Isaac LaBudda, APICS member, and operations and supply chain management major.
The event served 3,042 guests and over 250 volunteers generously donated their time.
"We are so grateful for the help of APICS at this year's event," added Parkinson. "We look forward to working with the group in the future."
The UW-Eau Claire Chapter is a part of the professional APICS Clearwater Chapter, and one of only six platinum student chapters in North America.
Contact Erik Ohlhues, UWEC APICS president, if you are interested in joining or learning more about APICS.