Date of Defense
Date of Graduation
Bert R. Hybels is a wholesale bedding plant distributor servicing roughly 3000 independent garden centers, nurseries, and landscapers throughout the United States. Each spring season Hybels is able to deliver to their customers over 2 million flats and over 200,000 baskets, perennials, geraniums, and specialty items from their 16 partner growers.
Hybels has a current system for tracking where carts are at any given time. However, the current system does not have any way to track a specific cart by a unique identifier. Most of the data entry is done manually. Additionally, there are times when drivers will pick up carts from a customer and not properly communicate where they picked the carts up from. As a result, the data in the current system is often times incomplete and incorrect.
In addition to that, Hybels only owns 10,000 carts in total. Since as many as 1500 can move through the hub alone in one day, there is not a lot of wiggle room to have carts go missing. Hybels needs to know where all carts are at all times and ensure that there is a consistent stream of them coming back empty from the customer, then being sent empty to the growers, and then being received back at the hub full of product from the growers before being mixed together into customer orders and then sent to the customer.
When working through the task of taking empty carts received from customers to the growers for fresh products, the growers often need certain configurations of each cart. Different products ship on carts with a different number of shelves. Although the number of shelves on a cart can be changed, it is a time-consuming process. It would be better if Hybels knew how many of each configuration type a specific grower had ready to use. That way as empties come back in from the customer, Hybels will know which growers need to get which configurations of carts to ensure that they can keep pulling product without having to first build carts. Something that the current system does not do very well at all.
The Cart Tracking System was created to address Bert R. Hybels’ need for tracking carts by quick response code, ease of access when it comes to communicating between growers, customers, and the hub, as well as keeping the location and configuration of carts known. The system will be used by 3 types of users, admins, hub workers, and drivers. Admins will be able to view essential cart information and modify them if needed. Drivers will be able to validate the arrival and pickup of carts at customers, as well as view a summary of the route to enhance their delivery process. Hub workers on the other hand will be able to update cart information such as location and configuration. This system meets all the requirements established by the team and Bert R. Hybels, making it an effective solution to Hybels’ needs.
Ung, Selyn Zhi Lin, "Rack Tracking System" (2023). Honors Theses. 3680.