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H. Pacheco, L. Teixeira, P. Vilarinho, A.L. Ramos

University of Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
In an increasingly global and competitive industrial world with bigger risks for investors, scenarios become increasingly unpredictable. In this way, it is essential to redirect the management of organizations to the management of processes. Business Process Management (BPM) is used more and more as the basis for managing all processes, in order to standardize them and create a discussion and improvement platform shared and understood by the different actors. The Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) defines a global standard for the management and communication of business procedures.

The study presented in this work was developed in the Process Modelling and Integration course of the Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM) integrated master programme at University of Aveiro, in Portugal. The students of the master programme take a one-year business internship in a Portuguese company (usually a SME) and they are incited to solve real-world problems that they encounter during their internship experience. This problem-based learning method aims to prepare the students to solve engineering problems in real business environments using proper industrial engineering tools and methods and establishing effective communications channels between the university and the companies involved in the programme.

In this particular case, the company involved in the internship program was a cork coatings company (a national market leader in cork flooring). The student developed a BPM study in order to analise the current process of calculation of the key performance indicator Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) in an attempt to improve the supporting process. The student was critical in the process as he combined the knowledge of the BPMN with the awareness gained on the production process and line equipment.

This successful collaboration between the academia and the business world through the business internship program sponsored by the University of Aveiro illustrates the benefits of an experiential active learning approach anchored in concrete real problems.