Date of Defense
Date of Graduation
Industrial and Entrepreneurial Engineering and Engineering Management
Safety Glasses USA is a personal protective equipment (PPE) distributor located in Three Rivers, Michigan. The company has recently experienced a massive increase in orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This increase in sales has caused the company to no longer be able to fulfil all of its orders. The team met with company stakeholders and thought of ways to increase warehouse throughput. After finishing a root-cause analysis, the team decided to reduce item pick times through item location optimization.
The team completed this objective by using various Industrial Engineering tools and methodologies. The first step was to analyze the current situation. After, the team could then identify the top 20% of items that accounted for the majority of the company’s sales. This was done because Safety Glasses USA carries over 3,500 SKU’s and it is not feasible to analyze and relocate all of them. Then, the team built a software that could simulate proposed layouts so that changes in item pick times could be analyzed.
Two proposed layouts were generated. The first proposed layout relocated top items to vacant locations near the shipping area. The second proposed layout relocated top items to a new suggested “hot seasonal” area located near the shipping area. Both of these layouts reduced average item pick times.
The first proposed layout reduced item pick times by an average of 0.65 minutes, or a percent reduction of 12%. This layout methodology also increases daily throughput from 160 orders/day to 187 orders/day. This layout methodology is recommended for the short-term and incurs no additional cost to the company.
The second proposed layout reduced item pick times by an average of 1.26 minutes, or a percent reduction of 16%. This layout methodology also increases daily throughput from 160 orders/day to 198 orders/day. This layout methodology is recommended for the long-term. However, this layout does incur a cost to the company. That cost is the cost of setting up and implementing new shelves within the “hot seasonal” area.
Worthy, Jonathan, "Distribution Center Layout Optimization" (2020). Honors Theses. 3369.
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