Day 13: Optimus Duck and More Closed Churches*

*This post had originally been titled ‘Everything is Awesome’ but a ton of people had already done that so I changed mine.

I finally woke up early enough to take my meds and have breakfast! Win!!! Pete jokingly sent me a text message to let me know that there were no meatballs but instead there were Danishes. Haha Pete, very funny!

We were soon at Lego. First we had a production plant tour where we saw the process of how Lego bricks were made. Best of all: ROBOTS! Though these were not cooly named. They run a pretty tight, smooth ship. There is a lot of automation and conveyor belt systems. It was really interesting to hear how they used to not do the different colors there but, for efficiency, they moved that in-house. By this point certain things are starting to appear to be standard, i.e., the morning meeting where shift managers go over any issues from the previous shift. All the companies that are really doing a great job of implementing lean practices appear to be doing similar things an Lego was no different.

After this we went to another office where we had some interesting lectures on the Lego History and their supply chain. I think everyone who just finished Hatfield’s Strategic Management class was groaning internally when the second speaker pulled up Porter’s Five Forces and gave an overview. I kept hearing Hatfield’s voice in the back of my head saying “Porter isn’t enough. In fact, it’s actually pretty bad!” I think that, in the manner that Lego is utilizing such theory, they are doing a good job of using it for the tool that it is. And their numbers speak for themselves – huge growth! However, I wonder how much of that is due to the increased spending capability of people more so than Lego being creativiely strategic. From a supply chain perspective they are kings – they control and can set the price for almost all of their inputs. However it will be interesting to watch how Lego continues to grow (or not grow) as markets change and fluctuate.

But on a final note – we got free Legos! First we got a brick at the plant visit that said “I was here”. Next, we had a timed activity where we were all given 6 brick, 30 seconds, and were told to create a duck. Next, we were given a truck to build. I of course mounted my duck to the top of my truck and declared it Optimus Duck (not to be confused with Ducktimus Prime). But the best thing – at the end we were given a box of Legos! I chose the 3-in-1 that had a truck, boat, and (most excitingly) a helicopter!!! Who says Lego can’t market to girls!

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Next up was Legoland! I admit that I was not too thrilled. Amusement parks are really not my thing – with all the amazing little towns around the area I’d have rather been dropped off to explore one of those for awhile. That said, Legoland was fun. The miniature village at the beginning was fun to see and Pete and I had fun joking about how all the churches were closed (going back to our unsuccessful attempt in Helsinki to find one open). Doing this though meant that we lost sight of everyone else. After his declaration of “I really don’t like rollercoasters” I inadvertently led him onto one. In my defense, the sign did say “Dragon to the Right” because really, how can you NOT go see a dragon? And of course, when it was our turn to get on the ride broke. He was a good sport, though, and we both survived none the worse for wear. After this we met up with some others for a rousing game of Firetruck. I’ll spare you the details but all you need to know is my team lost. We finally ended the day with the ride to Copenhagen. I personally am excited to get there because Ben landed this morning and it’s been two weeks since I’ve seen him!

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