Painting a picture of success at Daimler

Ian Bacon

Ian Bacon arrived at Daimler last summer for his MECOP internship ready to use his BIS and accounting studies to create value for the truck maker, and vehicles that leave the factory with better, more efficiently applied paint jobs are the lasting impact of his six months with the company.

“I started out doing the typical BIS sorts of things,” said Bacon, who’ll graduate from the College of Business in June. “Extracting things from databases, finding information for reports, creating process flow diagrams.”

Then Daimler turned him loose to work with information on truck painting that had been collected in a thorough manner but had never been analyzed or put to work.

“I was able to find a lot more useful information than anyone realized was there, kind of surprising findings,” he said “I developed that into a very thorough suite of reports, including a real-time feedback version for the actual paint shops in plants. Before, the company had a system and they put in numbers, but no one ever saw the results – the inspectors, the painters, the engineers, the plant floor people. We were able to put this information into a system for all of their truck plants, to get this thing useful and fun for everyone. Now if something isn’t happening quite right, in can be corrected immediately.”

In addition to his College of Business education, Bacon’s background includes seven years of learning about industrial processes while working at … Disneyland.

“I worked on rides, was the supervisor for rides, supervisor for some special events,” said Bacon, who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. “In 2008 I did the operational testing and adjustments when ‘It’s a Small World’ underwent a major renovation. Working at Disneyland taught me a lot about business and industrial stuff. Disneyland is an industrial environment, even though it doesn’t look like one. You have to get people safely onto rides, rides break down, things happen, there are lots of regulations, lots of business needs behind the scenes, and I took all of that to the truck factory floor at Daimler. I knew how to talk to people and find out what I needed to know.”

After graduation, Bacon will do a second six-month MECOP internship, this one with Garmin AT, the aviation technology subsidiary of the GPS-focused company. Where he ends up after that depends in part on where his wife, who works in social services, attends graduate school.

“Oregon is a fantastic place,” he said. “When I came and visited, I was looking here and down the road in Eugene, but OSU was more directly interested in me and in students in general. It was much more personal, plus it had the MECOP program, which was a selling point.”

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