Standardization of workflow in a large distribution center
Author(s)Greenlee, Stephen Michael.
Sloan School of Management.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Leaders for Global Operations Program.
Stephen Graves and Maria Yang.
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The retail industry is shifting to enable companies to respond faster to consumer demand and expectations. For any retail company, this requires speed in their supply chain from new product generation to final order delivery. Companies that store product in centralized distribution centers must shorten the time it takes to ship a product from when an order is placed. This thesis describes the detailed operations within a large distribution center and uses it as a basis for improving delivery time of a product or order within the four walls of the building. The current system is subjected to increased variability in workflows from work planning to work completion, causing delays within sequential work functions and a longer overall delivery time. These effects are magnified by the inherent tradeoffs in the work process format and the work behaviors of the employees. A new system of work was developed to standardize the workflow at a large distribution center and decrease observed order delivery times. This solution was a work scheduling system that established clear expectations for work completion as well as tools needed to reduce the variability in the system. Under this new system, the average order delivery time is expected to decrease to a third of its current cycle time. This research was conducted in partnership with Nike Inc.
Thesis: M.B.A., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, 2019, In conjunction with the Leaders for Global Operations Program at MITThesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2019, In conjunction with the Leaders for Global Operations Program at MITCataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (page 91).
DepartmentSloan School of Management; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering; Leaders for Global Operations Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sloan School of Management., Mechanical Engineering., Leaders for Global Operations Program.