Evaluation of outbound operations improvement projects for distribution centers
Author(s)Yu, Dehui,M. Eng.Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Stephen C. Graves.
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Improving the operations within a distribution center by reducing waste can result in significant cost savings. One area with a large potential for improvement is outbound order packaging. With a limited number of box sizes stocked and available in the distribution center to package orders, some orders will inevitably be shipped in boxes that are larger than needed, thus creating huge waste on the shipping cost. Three potential solutions are proposed to reduce the empty physical volume within shipping packages and thus reduce freight cost and waste. The three solutions are: introducing new packaging options such as envelopes and paks, creating an optimal box selection strategy, and adopting a custom box-making system to the current process flow. For each option a systematic evaluation method is established, containing the analysis on financial returns, implementation difficulty and resources requirements, and the sustainability impacts. The method is utilized to evaluate three solutions proposed for Waters Global Distribution Center specifically as a sample case study. Finally, recommendations are made to Waters Corporation based on the evaluation results.
This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Thesis: M. Eng. in Advanced Manufacturing and Design, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2019Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (page 72).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology