Tag Archive for 'Mercury Marine'

Internship Spotlight: Chris Barnett, Mercury Marine

Company Overview

Chris Barnett, Trade and Compliance Analysis

            I am currently a co-op at Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac. I work in the Trade and Compliance department, which is a very broad department, but consists mainly of making sure that the company is complying with laws and regulations while importing and exporting goods across the word.

There are many regulations that the company has to comply with behind the scenes, which I did not know about prior to working at Mercury. For example, every part that is shipped out of the country needs to have a country of origin, harmonized tariff schedule code, and export control classification number along with much more information attached to it. This kind of information is what I work with on a day to day basis.

Obtaining my Internship

Before going to the career fair I put together a list of companies that I wanted to talk to. Mercury was number one on my list. To be quite honest I was a bit nervous when talking to the representatives of Mercury and didn’t think I had a chance to work there.

A month later, I received a call from Mercury asking me for an interview.  When I received the schedule for my interview, I saw that the duration of the interview would be almost four hours long. I had no idea how I could talk about myself for four hours. Almost immediately after my interview however, they had me working as a full time co-op in the Trade and Compliance department.

What I learned

There is so much that I have learned while working at Mercury Marine that could not be taught by a text book or in a lecture hall. The best way to learn what truly goes on in a business is getting that first hand experience and seeing it for yourself. I was taught in QBA how to work in Excel and how to work through mathematical equations in stats, but trying to implement what you have learned in the real business world is a completely different experience.

I have also learned more efficient multitasking skills and gained better discipline with time management. This was very crucial for me to gain because I was also taking 15 credits in school while working full time. If I were to go back in the past however, I would not change a thing. My experience this semester has truly been a life changing one.

Internship Spotlight: Allison Doerr, Mercury Marine

Allison Doerr, Supply Chain Management Major

Company Overview

Mercury Marine is the world’s leading manufacturer of recreational marine propulsion engines. Mercury’s headquarters is located in Fond du Lac, WI with manufacturing facilities in Mexico and China. The company provides engines, boats, services, and service parts for recreational, commercial, and government marine applications.

Obtaining My Internship

I never underestimated the benefits of networking. I was participating in student promotion interviews at the University of Wisconsin- Fond du Lac campus when I met Laurie Krasin. She asked me about school and my major. When I told her I would be majoring in supply chain management, she told me about a friend of hers who worked at Mercury Marine in the supply chain department. She provided me with her contact information, and I e-mailed her about Mercury’s co-op program. When the career fair came around, I went to Mercury’s booth and talked to a few of the gentlemen for a while, mentioned that I had spoken to someone at the company already, and provided them with my résumé. Because I had connected with one of their co-workers already, I feel it really helped me in obtaining my position.

My Internship Experience

I have received more experience that I could have even imagined. I am responsible for numerous back order reports and metrics. I gather data, analyze it, and publish it for distribution across multiple levels of management. My role as a buyer/analyst allows me to develop my negotiation and communication skills. I have had a great experience in working with foreign suppliers from all over the world. I play a large role in inventory management by adjusting inventory discrepancies. Currently, I am involved in working on a lean six sigma project. I have been analyzing data from almost 3,000 lines of part information to perform a SKU rationalization to eliminate parts, resulting in thousands of dollars savings by eliminating part numbers that no longer need to be carried in Mercury’s system.

Looking Forward

I will be graduating this May 2013. I feel very prepared from my coursework and this internship experience to obtain a professional career in purchasing upon graduation.

Internship Spotlight: Eric Hetzel, Mercury Marine

Eric Hetzel, Supply Chain Analyst

Obtaining My Internship

I obtained my internship by attending the career fair provided by the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.  At first, I was not going to talk to Mercury, but I ended up doing it and I got a phone interview.  I missed the call on the phone interview, and I figured I didn’t have a chance at the internship.  Luckily for me, Mercury called again two days later and I did well enough on the phone interview to receive an actual interview at Mercury Marine.

When the e-mail came that delivered the information on the interview, I could not believe it, the interview was going to be four hours.  I had never done anything like that before in my life.  After doing the interview, and getting a call informing me that I had received an offer, I started my first day on May 29th.  I was very anxious about this internship.  I heard that Mercury was a place where they gave you a lot of responsibility, and expected good interns.  I knew that expectations were high and I was going to have to work extremely hard to impress.

What I Do On a Day to Day Basis

When I started at Mercury in late May, I began on the further process desk.  Further process means that we ship parts to another company who machine, paint, or process parts in to the form that is needed.  Then those parts are shipped back to us for use.  Part way through my internship they wanted a full time employee on this desk and co-ops to start using the mechanical desk.  The mechanical desk has the most parts by volume, but they are much smaller and cheaper parts. Every day I start by grabbing the daily reports that are distributed amongst the analysts and buyers within the purchasing department.  These reports are reviewed, and the system may be adjusted to keep the parts on track.  Often time’s phone calls and emails are necessary to contact the supplier and discuss the issues that are occurring.  Orders are then either moved in or out to adjust to the schedule.  Most suppliers are incredibly helpful, and that is nice to have.  The thing that I like most about the job is the random situations that occur.  Rarely are two situations the same, so many variables can occur at any time.  This makes the job intense but interesting.


The main challenges that I face are dealing with stock losses and suppliers who are past due on their shipments.  Stock losses can occur at any time and when they do, you must contact the supplier and try to work magic to bring in enough parts to ensure that the line does not go down.  Past due suppliers are more frustrating then anything.  To get them caught up, you have to remind them of the consequences for shutting a line down.

What I have Learned 

Passing the halfway point in this internship, I have realized that this internship was everything that I could have asked for in terms of experience and enjoyment.  I feel that I am prepared for any job within this field of study because of Mercury’s demand.  The demand can vary so much here, which causes havoc within this job.  If I can handle the fluctuating demand from here, I feel that I can handle anything else as an analyst.

Internship Spotlight: Corbin Stenz, Mercury Marine

What I Do

I am currently in the Trade and Compliance Department at Mercury Marine. I handle export shipments to branches in Australia and Belgium, and less than container loads to customers in Latin America. I also work in import doing the following: import security filings, 7501 entry forms and duty payments. I also monitor our denied party screening database and software.

Trade and Compliance

I personally think that the Trade and Compliance Department is one of the most important not talked about departments in large companies. Our department clears shipments through customs that arrive from foreign suppliers. Without us our production could become slow or nonexistent.  We handle all of the import documentation which if not filed properly or mistakes are made can result in fines in 10,000 per entry.  Our goal is to get freight in as quickly and smoothly as possible while keeping costs at a minimum.

My Experience

This is my first internship/CO-OP  I’ve had and it has been quite the learning experience.  I started my internship on January 16th. Mercury Marine has done a fantastic job at giving me opportunities to learn and be successful. They provide me with training seminars in-house and off site, lunch and learns, and job shadowing. This experience has given me an overview of a department I had no prior knowledge about and a potential new career path.

Lean Six Sigma

Mercury has also given me the opportunity to be a member on a Lean Six Sigma Team. Although I’m not going to play a major role, it’s an opportunity I’m extremely excited for. This project revolves around assists and customs valuation.  This will allow me to see how project are completed in a major company. I will also have the opportunity to work with several people outside of my department allowing me to network and possibly see different departs and how they do things.


Another area in trade and compliance at Mercury is classification. This team classifies parts and engines to tariff codes referred to HTSUS. Currently I am just starting in this area of the department. Classification gives me the opportunity to work with engineers and learn about engines and engine systems. I would have never thought I would get the chance to be an engineer with a business degree.

Overall Mercury has given me great opportunities and I would recommend them to anyone looking for an internship!

Internship Spotlight: Matt Smits, Mercury Marine

Matt Smits, SCOM Major

Mercury Marine Background

Mercury Marine has been in business for over 70 years and was founded by Carl Kiekhaefer in Cederburg, WI. Acquired in the 70’s by Brunswick Corporation, Mercury Marine rose to the top of the market and remains the industry leader in Outboard Engines worldwide. Headquartered in Fond Du Lac, WI, the 1,500,000 square ft facility produces inboard and outboard engines to satisfy global demand. In the Mercury Campus the company does its own casting, machining, and assembly to make the end product.

What I do Day to Day

I began my experience in January 2012 as a Supply Chain Analyst Co-Op from January to August 2012. I am currently responsible for most of the further processed parts used in main assembly, this means that we purchase a part and bring it in house, then it needs to be shipped out to an outside company to have more value added operations done to it (further machining, coating, plating, impregnation, assembly, etc.)

Overall I manage about $14 million dollars of inventory annually between the various plants. Another one of my biggest responsibilities is to ensure our Propeller Casting Plant has inventory to mold, pour, and box roughly 300 propellers a day. I face many challenges dealing with on time supplier delivery, quality of product shipped, and cost reduction to the overall supply chain. There are also many times I must internally communicate cross-functionally and technically with engineers to develop continuous improvements to the overall process.

A typical day for me consists of getting to work and gathering the daily reports for my team of 8 individuals. After I disburse the reports to the team I take a look over my reports to ensure the computer system we use is on track and planning correctly for use on the production line. If I find an issue from the reports I must manually intervene and call the supplier to work out a strategy to get the parts in earlier and expedite them so the assembly line is not shut down.

After this I sift through e-mails and prioritize what needs immediate attention and what I could put off for a couple of hours. These can be anything from lost parts in the plant (so I need to order & expedite more to cover the loss) to suppliers telling me they have a raw material issue and need to push their deliveries out. The emails are very unique to every day and every one requires a different action to correct. The rest of my day is usually filled with either meetings or phone calls- I can hardly find time to squeeze in lunch on some days!

What to Take Away

This position has given me the experience of an entry level employee and I already feel like I am out in the real world. There is really no hand holding and I am responsible for managing my parts and suppliers on my own. I am learning so much about how to apply what I have learned in my coursework to real world scenarios.

Not only does it make me realize how much I have learned in school, but now I will be able to finish my last few classes at UWO in Supply Chain and be able to apply what I have learned in the real world to my coursework. I cannot say enough about how grateful I am to have been presented with this opportunity and how much I have grown from doing it.

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