Day 11 consisted of two important company visits that directly relate to the management of international supply chain: Columbia Shipmanagement and Medochemie. Medochemie was admittedly one of the most highly anticipated events for me and most of the other people on the trop, because the corporation is responsible for actually manufacturing some of the goods that we have seen being shipped and transported for the past week and a half. I was excited to learn about some of the insider secrets about the process of making pharmaceutical drugs, but the majority of the visit ended up being more lecture and Q&A based. This was a slight disappointment for me since I was looking forward to seeing more of the practical elements of the company (aka the machines and tech) but our presenter still gave us plenty of background information about Medochemie and their practices. In training their employees, for example, each department has its own regulations but regardless of role, all workers have to be trained in accordance with the Good Manufacturing Practice, or GMP, and retrained every 16 months. Medochemie also made it a point to acknowledge their emphasis on quality assurance, in which they continuously inspect all aspects of their production that could affect quality, such as machinery and secondary products. However, when I asked about their efforts to increase sustainability, I received a vague and avoidant answer which makes me believe that their claims of supporting sustainable activity might not be as pertinent to everyday company culture.
Out of all of the ship management organizations that we researched, CSM seemed to be the most put together and the representatives tried their best to keep us engaged throughout the whole tour and the time afterwards. At CSM we got to sit in the designated emergency room and learn extensively what their emergency response policies are for different scenarios, and we saw their one-of-a-kind 360 degrees vessel simulator in practice while in the main control room. Though both companies had their flaws, being exposed to those two environments helped me understand what certain organizations prioritize and what they are willing to set aside.