Utilizing simulation to determine a retail best practice
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Utilizing Simulation to Determine a Retail Best Practice. Abstract #A4066 Kate Fisher and Joel Brock West Monroe Partners IIE Annual Conference 2014 – Montreal, Canada. West Monroe Partners (WMP) Operations Excellence (OPEX) Solution Line

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Utilizing simulation to determine a retail best practice

Utilizing Simulation to Determine a Retail Best Practice

Abstract #A4066

Kate Fisher and Joel Brock

West Monroe Partners

IIE Annual Conference 2014 – Montreal, Canada


Introduction

West Monroe Partners (WMP)

  • Operations Excellence (OPEX) Solution Line

    • Our Team delivers IE solutions in the retail industry space

      Joel Brock

  • BS/MS IE from Northern Illinois University

  • 14 years of IE/OE experience

    Kate Fisher

  • BS IE from The Ohio State University

  • Simulation modeling expertise

Introduction

Objectives

Background

The main objectives of this study are:

  • Review how “best practices” play into retail and why simulation is a great tool to help make business decisions

  • Present information on differing stocking methodologies, how these impact the retail store, and why this case study was chosen

  • Portray the approach used in testing the stocking “best practices” using simulation, share how others can use the approach

  • Illustrate the outcomes of the simulation study

  • Share key lessons learned


Why use simulation to determine best practices

Why Use Simulation to Determine Best Practices?

Core Retail Process Examples:

Tools to Analyze Processes

  • Benefits of Simulation as a Process Analysis Tool

  • Ability to model activities that have variable components

  • Ability to test multiple iterations to scenarios without having to facilitate and setup live tests

  • No limitations in a virtual world

  • Develop Current State Processes

Simulation

Register Processing

Process Mapping

Customer Service

Value Stream Mapping

Stocking of Product

Others

When engineering the retail world, fixed measureable processes are integrated with the more randomly fluctuating aspect of the customer. As a retailer develops a process both the controllable aspects of the process and the variable aspects must be considered.

While possible in static models to capture variable elements, simulation provides a virtual environment where multiple variable elements can be modeled to interact as they would in the real world. Simulation can provide backup proof and data that validates that a best practice is truly a best practice.


Common retail stocking methodologies

Common Retail Stocking Methodologies

Stocking with Pre-Loaded Cart

Stocking with Case Spotting

  • Associate stocks with an already loaded cart, relies on knowledge of aisle and product locations

  • Store floor remains clear of obstacles and debris

  • A member of the team with product placement knowledge pre-positions the cases in the correct aisle near the product location for a second group of associates to follow through and stock to final location

  • Creates a double handle of each case and places obstacles in the aisles which can affect the customer


Approach

Approach

Stocking with Pre-Loaded Cart

Stocking with Case Spotting

Baseline – determine a baseline scenario (same cases, aisles, product) that will be modeled utilizing both processes

Build – create two models that utilize the same baseline data run through the two different processes

Analyze – test both models determine which process steps cause the most variability to the outcome

Design – based on the model output, present a preferred best practice that minimizes the labor requirement


Findings

Findings

Stocking with Pre-Loaded Cart

Stocking with Case Spotting

The final results and recommendations will be presented live at the conference session


Key stocking lessons learned

Key Stocking Lessons Learned

Best Practices

Stocking Variables

Staging Location

TBD

Search Time

Cart Travel

Rework

Recommendation

TBD


Questions

Questions?

Contact Information:

Joel Brock

[email protected]

Kate Fisher

[email protected]


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