I went to Primark last summer in the season of sale and there was long queue. But they have organized small products inside the queue to distract the waiting time, which was one of the ways to organize queue. Before 2 months, due to some emergency, I went to hospital Clinico here in Valencia and I have to wait for 3 hours there to get my treatment because there was already a queue of patients. That was awful.
We have studied about queue management system and how it is applied to manage and analyze the flow of visitors and to prevent the formation of queues altogether. It can be applied in a retail store, hospital, mall, etc. But what if there are different places in one location and there is a need of queue management at every places. For example Disney land. There are numerous rides, museums, parks and long queues. Visitors are there to be entertained, but more clearly, to be entertained throughout every part of the Disney World experience. The Magic Kingdom at Disney World in Florida, which had more than 20 million visitors last year. So how they manage it?
Disney world has some interactive television through which a guest can watch a clip or play games while waiting and on some lines queuing system ask guests to text message jokes to a specified number and if their joke is selected then it will be read aloud in the live show. Moreover, they made change in 2014 by introducing smart phone app and magic band bracelets with embedded RFID chips that guests use to schedule ride times, character meet-and-greets, parade viewing, dinning and more. Also, by using Fastpass + from home, guests can adjust their schedules as much as 60 days before they arrive.
Next time be ready with Fastpass+ 🙂
In the class of logistics we learned reorder point and periodic review method to control inventory. As the giant companies like Amazon and Walmart are taking market share from retailers, so it is really important for retailer to make strategy to reduce inventory in warehouse. Moreover, last class was about making complete warehouse, we decided to get all the order from suppliers in one time and we will store it and use it whenever requires, so that we do not have to rely on suppliers every now and then.
But, retailers do not want to store products and they do not consider it as beneficial. Target Corporation is the second largest discount store retailer in the United States behind Walmart. This company is testing a new distribution strategy to speed up its restocking and cut down its replenishment cycle from days to hours which will help them to reduce inventory in store and can make room for online fulfillment. The Company hopes to send shipments to stores in small quantity as per demand and not in bulk. As Target used 70% of its online volume was handled by stores during the 2017 holiday season. Moreover, they have started implementing this system at the New Jersey “flow center”.
Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan said in a conference call with investors in March on Target’s quarterly earnings. “Shipping more orders from our stores reduces our costs, while allowing us to move faster,” he said.
- Company can take corrective action if the first order was defective.
- Changes can be applied according to customer feedback
- Less holding cost
Nowadays, different online companies opt for last mile to deliver the product and using different means to transport product as soon as possible. The variety of different delivery options and quality of delivery is main criteria for online consumer to evaluate the services and products. Therefore, it is important for a company to invest on good and reliable transportation facilities which incur less expense and provide good experience to the customer.
We all know about drone, it is very efficient when product needs to deliver in nearby location within minutes. It is assumed that around 1 supervisor is required per 8 drones. Second is a bike courier. This kind of bike courier is being used to supply prepared food and small number of parcel in nearby location.
Another is Automatic guided vehicle.
This is considered to be future of last mile. In this, customer is notified of exact arrival time of a vehicle and customer has to collect their product from the locker which was assigned to them at the time of placing order. There is requirement of supervisor for 8-10 AGVs.
- Accountability: There is minimum chance of product being misplaced as it is on constant tracking.
- Scheduling: As AGV can be done on-time and time of transportation can be predicted, it is helpful in making reliable schedule to avoid waste.
- Safety: AGVs are equipped with sophisticated collision avoidance systems, so damage due to vehicle is less. Moreover, AGVs always follow their guide path, stop if they encounter an obstacle and provide audible and visual warning of their presences, improving the safety of surrounding personnel.
- Flexibility: Travel path can be changed according to requirements and then can be added to its system.
In last class, we had the Lego task in which we have to prepare our warehouse considering three factors; Inbound, Operations and Outbound. The task was helpful as with the Lego, we can modify it whenever we want from the feedback of professor and other students. But what if something happen to actual warehouse or a manufacturing site? What could be consequences on the customers?
During our visit to Ford, we saw that all assembling of different parts of a car is been done by robots or automated machine. There were hardly 1-2 workers to control the machine and the work was going smooth. The fully automated assembly machine helped Ford for efficient performance and increase the number of output. On the other hand, this automated machine create problem for another car company Tesla. The CEO of Tesla Elon Musk tweeted, “Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake. To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated.”
We all know Tesla. It a company specializes in electric vehicles. Recently, Tesla has shut down the production of Model 3 second time in 3 months. First time it was paused to increase the output and this time it is again paused to modify and improve automation. The assembly line that packages battery cells at the company’s gigafactory near the town of Reno, Nevada, has struggled because of mistake of a subcontractor. There is a problem in software and changes have to be done in mechanical and electrical elements.
Company has to produce 2500 cars a week in April but they only produced 2000 cars a week and unable to meet its production goal. Now production is again on hold. Moreover, stock has reduced more than quarter.
This kind of problem occurs in big companies but it is important to see how the problem is being solved and how product is being delivered to the customer on time.
More information on:
Perishable product always needs proper care and attention as they have short shelf life and sometimes it leads to wastage. I bought juice from Mercadona and it expired after 10 days. This is just a case of one juice pack, what about the big companies which sell vegetable and fruits on daily basis. How they maintain their profit margin after deducting this type of lose? Do they have any kind of solution for this waste or to stop product from being expired? Or this going to be manual process that a staff member will have go for a round to check the date of the products?
Well, now Eden can solve this problem. Walmart is developing a technology: Eden, which will detect defect in fruits and vegetable and will be able to determine the shelf life of a product. The technology is still in its production stage and is being deployed in 43 distribution centers and saved $86 million. Walmart always try to maintain its quality requirements so now employees can digitally record detect the defects in food in distribution center itself before it goes to stores. Eden is expected to save $2 million over the next 5 years.
How will this technology work?
Any perishable product which is being transported from different country or any far distance in a truck’s container will get spoiled if it exceed acceptable range temperature. So Eden will reroute the truck to closer destination to prevent wastage. Moreover, it will able to make judgments by comparing images of the product from the distribution center and the images of the product which are acceptable or unacceptable by scanning the images.
It also will be able to predict exact shelf life of a product by incorporating the data like in which temperature a particular product should be stored. In addition to that, this technology is going to extend in the farms of the Walmart’s suppliers. The company will monitor different factors like temperature to determine the quality of the product by drone to fly over the farm.
This technology will be used in supply chains and distribution centers to reduce waste and increase the quality of fresh product and make important decision based on remaining freshness of a shipment of a product.
Airport waiting time is stressful and can cause headache when you had 10-12 hours long flight and still have to stand in queues for another 1-2 hours. You have to stand in line for luggage checking, show travel document, immigration, go through scanning device and then to your terminal. I always have to experience this queue because I have to change 3 flights; Ahmadabad to Mumbai, Mumbai to Madrid, Madrid to Valencia. If you have connected flight from different airport then again you have to stand in line for all this things again. The journey seems exhausted.
There is barcode system to estimate the rush of people at the choke point so that additional staff can be arranged and new queuing channels can be set. Though, this system does not give real time solution for the queues
The new BLIP systems can track the mobile phones and other devices and enable airports to track the movements of a traveler. It is installed Norwegian airports, Birmingham airport, Manchester airport, etc. BLIP system was founded in 2003, is a business intelligence company based near Aalborg, Denmark. In 2010, the queue prediction module was developed to provide airports and their passengers with accurate wait time information.
How BLIP works:
“Airports can use this information to understand things such as which parking spaces, airport entrances and services passengers use, how many people show up at airport processes, when they arrive and how long they wait,” says Christian Bugislaus Carstens, BLIP’s marketing manager. But what if personal data of the traveler reveled and misused. There is a question of security and protection of personal data. But “each mobile device has a unique MAC address which is assigned to the device during manufacturing and cannot be modified. MAC addresses do not link to any individual user data, thus personal information is not revealed, and no personal data is collected, disclosed or otherwise processed by BLIP Systems, in compliance with the EU directive about privacy” says Carstens.
Last class was about building warehouse and calculating the space like number and size of aisle, approximate number and size of boxes and pallets, height. But what if we run of space in warehouse? It is a sign of good business or we store wrong product at wrong place, as a result we are not utilizing maximum space of our warehouse, which is storage mismanagement. There are high chances of storage mismanagement when a company has to replenish very often because of high inventory volume.
There are number of methods and ways that can be used to maintain space in warehouse. One of them is Cross –docking.
What is cross docking?
When a products from supplier or manufacturing plant are directly distributed to customer without handling or storing cost. It is helpful when customer get their product when they exactly want.
When is Cross- docking used?
- The products which need to be transported quickly like perishable goods or sensitive items.
- There are products which are packed for specific kind of customer.
- When there are bulky goods. For example, furniture item or kitchen appliances; this would not be good idea to store in warehouse so cross-docking is easiest and fastest way to reach customer.
Companies that implemented Cross-Docking
- There is a big role of cross-docking in Wal-Mart’s success. The product moves quickly, there is storage space, deliveries are performed rapidly. It helps Wal-Mart to increase inventories and as there is space now, it can be utilized as a shelf for other products.
- Tesco also implemented Cross-docking system. This help Tesco to directly load same store’s products into the trailer instead of distribution center approach.
- Reduction in labor cost
- Customer satisfaction
- Space in warehouse for another product
Here is a video to understand what exactly cross-docking system is all about.