Redesign of the Fragile Item Department S.O.P. for an Off-Price Department Store Retailer

Open Access
Nardi, Kara
Area of Honors:
Supply Chain and Information Systems
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Robert Alexander Novack, Thesis Supervisor
  • John C. Spychalski, Honors Advisor
  • SOP
  • Standard Operating Procedure
  • Retail
  • Distribution Center
  • Supply Chain
  • Redesign
Company X is a discount department store retailer that was founded over forty years ago, offering off-price, name-brand clothing, shoes, jewelry, and home and bath items. Within these categories, mainly the home and bath departments, Company X distributes a large amount of “fragile” items. Fragile items are defined as anything liquid or breakable, such as shampoos, perfumes, or glassware. The current fragile work area was designed within the pre-existing warehouse footprint and with limited resources. The Standard Operations Procedure (SOP) within this area includes a large number of touches per item, inefficient packing, and many manual operations. The goal of this thesis is to identify any opportunities to improve the SOP processes (prep, put, or pack) to increase the overall productivity of the department and provide details on how to simplify the tasks of the associates as much as possible. After an onsite visit, best practice research, and data analysis it is recommended that Company X make changes to the box sizes, shelving racks, and pallet organization in the current East Coast processing center. If the SOP was to be recreated given no limitations, in addition to the changes made to the current processing center, it is also recommended that Company X increase automation and alter their put-to-light system to accommodate multiple SKUs at the same time. The incorporation of these changes to Company X’s Standard Operations Procedure for packaging and shipping fragile items will help to improve productivity and lead to a more efficient operation.