2017 Amazon - Problem Solve Team Project


The Challenge:
Amazon plans to open over 10 new Fulfilment Centers in the last two quarters of 2017 alone; with such rapid expansion, the need for robust processes against defects in customer order fulfillment has become more important than ever.

The Solution:
The Tauber team identified the Pack function as the process path where the majority of problem solve labor hours are spent, and missing item shipments as the most prevalent issue in the outbound process. The team redesigned the outbound process to be robust to incoming defects by utilizing the usual workflows of direct functions, as well as the current physical layout and conveyor systems of FCs. In this future state, software buildouts will be employed to automate decision making and guide associates accordingly, thereby enabling problem solving to silently occur on the pack wall. To secure the future of the project, the team led discussions with Amazon Fulfillment Technologies (AFT) and Subject Matter Expert (SME) teams to obtain funding and hand off the project to Amazon Customer Excellence System (ACES) Ops Integration team.

Read the 2017 Amazon - Problem Solve Team Project Executive Summary in the 2017 SPOTLIGHT! book.

Student Team:
Anusha Gundra–MSE Industrial and Operations Engineering
Uygar Ozdemir–EGL (BSE & MSE Industrial and Operations Engineering)

Project Sponsors:
Dave Graybeal –Director, Quality, North American Customer Fulfillment (NACF)
Govind Singh–Principal Program Manager, Amazon Customer Excellence System (ACES) Quality

Faculty Advisors:
John Branch–Ross School of Business
David L Kaufman–College of Engineering

About Tauber Team Projects:

The 2017 Tauber Team Projects resulted in $575 million in savings according to sponsoring company calculations, an average of $18.5 million per project over 3 years.

Each two to three person Tauber Team consists of graduate engineering, MBA, and/or MSCM students. Along with receiving high-level corporate support from the sponsoring company, each team is advised by a College of Engineering and a Ross School of Business faculty member and overseen by a Tauber Institute Co-Director. The projects begin on-site in May and continue for 14 weeks.  Students present the results of their projects and compete for over $40,000 in scholarships at the U-M Tauber Institute's annual Spotlight! event, held each September in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Spotlight! provides outstanding opportunities for students and corporate partners to establish relationships while exploring innovations in operations and manufacturing.
Access Spotlight! book for project details.
2017 Amazon - Problem Solve