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The eighth spring event of our LaMa (Law & Management) Alumni Club took place on 1 June 2018. About one in five of our members took a day off to take part in this interesting event in Eastern Switzerland (Gossau SG). At nine o’clock sharp, we met for a welcoming coffee on the premises of Genossenschaft Migros Ostschweiz, the Eastern Swiss division of a nationwide retail cooperative. After a cordial welcoming address and a short presentation of the business by Prof. Leo Staub (Director ES-HSG and Chairman of Migros Ostschweiz), Sandro Feltscher (Head of Logistics Management/IT and member of the Executive Board) provided us with extremely exciting glimpses of the company. With its 10,000 employees, Genossenschaft Migros Ostschweiz is one of Eastern Switzerland’s biggest employers. Sandra Fletscher afforded us great insights into the current challenges in view of the issue of Industry 4.0. In the course of his address, it became clear that Migros Ostschweiz was one of the pioneers of the digitalisation of logistical processes within the Migros Group, but very likely also in comparison with other industrial concerns.
Subsequently, the whole group set out on a guided tour of the operations centre of the cooperative, whose warehouse management, as well as its processing and order-picking logistics are almost completely automated – a revealing illustration of what Industry 4.0 means in practice. After a second address by Sandro Feltscher about the digital future of the ‘front end’ of large retailer Migros Ostschweiz, they invited us to a delicious lunch of tender veal cutlets.
The second part of our Eastern Swiss outing led us to the nearby RUZ, one of the Raiffeisen bank’s centres for entrepreneurs. Kurt Müller (Head of RUZ Gossau) and his great team welcomed us with exciting talks about various extremely innovative SMEs. After this, we split into three groups in order to work out the opportunities and risks based on real participant examples. Thus this day, which was crammed with exciting talks and discussions – typically HSG (!) – concluded with practice-oriented group work and concrete learning effects.
At the end of our visit, the RUZ made a room available for our regular AGM and then invited us for dinks and nibbles. We extend our great appreciation to the teams of Genossenschaft Migros Ostschweiz and Raiffeisen Unternehmerzentrum AG for the fantastically successful spring event!