Streamlining Supply Pick Operations for the United States Postal Service
LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT INST BETHESDA MD
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The United States Postal Service USPS distributes supplies, repair parts, and equipment across the country from materiel distribution centers MDCs in Somerville, N.J., and Topeka, Kan. Those MDCs ship both loose-issue and case-lot quantities of materiel, and each devotes the equivalent of 24 full- time employees to its loose-issue pick-and-pack operations. USPS Materiel Distribution seeks to find more cost-effective ways to manage those loose-issue pick-and-pack operations while at the same time maintaining current service response times to its customers. The USPS can eliminate between 11 and 15 full- time employees at each MDC by reconfiguring its supply pick lines and investing in new material-handling technology. We recommend a new layout for this reconfiguration that uses one line instead of three and increases the amount of product directly accessible to pickers on the line from 28 percent to 60 percent. It is focused around separating high-activity items from low-activity items and treating them differently. The 341 high-activity items would be stored in gravity flow racks with pick lights attached to each location for improved pick productivity. The 2,147 low-activity items would be stored in horizontal carousels utilizing batch-pick software and light pick aids. Orders would be picked sequentially from zones in a pick-and-pass fashion to eliminate the need for consolidation. The reconfigured line would contain an early exit for orders completed before they have traveled through all zones.
- Information Science
- Military Forces and Organizations