Date of Submission
Industrial and Systems Engineering
Dr. Adeel Khalid
There has been a push for automation in countless industries to save time and money, increase customer satisfaction, increase customer purchasing options, increase efficiency, and reduce waste. This design project will focus on optimizing the automated checkout process at major grocery retailers. The goal of the design is to reduce customer wait times at the checkout line, thus increasing customer satisfaction and save the retailer cashier expenses. The design was created using the DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) process tool. Customers were surveyed to define if there was a problem, and 52.5% of customers felt the wait times at checkout were too long. Time studies were conducted to gather data and measure the baseline for later design comparisons. The designs were analyzed using Arena, a system modeling software. Also, a cost analysis was also performed on the design ideas to find the most plausible, effective, and efficient design option. Throughout the design process, weekly meetings were held to review the design, define the roadblocks, and improve upon the design. In section 3.2a, any foreseeable roadblocks were defined, and the solutions were supplied to help management control the design once implemented.
The design starts with customers entering the store. At the entrance, they are given the choice to open the store’s application on their phone and take part in the scan as you go feature. There will be a station to grab a bagging rack that can be clipped to the cart to offer the customer a bag-as-you-go option. There will also be a basket of cellphone clips next to the bagging racks. The cell phone clips will allow the customer to have a touch-free and hassle-free scan-as-you-go experience. The customer will scan their items as they shop and bag the items as they place them in their cart. At checkout, the kiosk will ask the customer to scan the customer QR code in their phone to connect the data of what they have scanned to the kiosk and floor scale. The kiosk will prompt the customer to weigh the scanned produce items on the kiosk scale and place them back into their cart. Then, the kiosk prompts the customer to push their cart onto the floor scale that is next to the kiosk, remove the bagging rack and cell phone clip, step away from the cart/scale, and press weigh. The customer can then pay as normal and exit the system.
In Arena, the standard self-checkout system and the new design were simulated. The results showed that in one hour the self-checkout system could process an average of 36 customers through the system, while the new design could process an average of 57 customers per hour. This is 1.58 times faster. The main reason this new design is more efficient at moving customers though the automated checkout process is because the scale eliminates the need for the customer to scan their items at checkout, and the bagging rack eliminates the need for the customer to bag their items at checkout. This report will breakdown the design process from start to finish, including all visuals.
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