The University of Massachusetts is a state university with various campuses situated at different locations. For the purpose of our group project, we focused on the Boston Campus operations-referred to it as UMass Boston; furthermore, we would like to analyze its bookstore registry and check-out operations.
During the first and last weeks of every semester, the UMass Boston’s bookstore implements the following process (visualized in Appendix A):
1. Before entering the store, the student must wait in line to check their bag
2. The student browses/finds the books to purchase
3. Student must wait in line to pay for books
4. The student must wait in line a third time in order to retrieve their bags.
This process is being implemented by the University’s book store in order to avoid theft or spoilage that would lead to a loss in inventory and revenues. According the observation, one of the symptoms/problems to analyze is the significant amount of time a student has to spend waiting in line on all three different occasions; this can result on customers (students) seeking more efficient alternatives (ordering or renting books/supplies on-line.)
For the more reliable facts, we designed the survey (Appendix B) and collected the data from the 50 random UMass-Boston Students (Appendix C). We also used five concept chapters from the Operations Management by Heizer and Render. The concepts we used to analyze this problem in the UMass Boston bookstore include design of goods and service, quality management, layout strategy, waiting line models, human resource and job design, and immediate and short term scheduling.
Recommendations based on our analysis from various chapters are multidisciplinary. The bookstore could increase the amount of staff available to improve service process. The bookstore could also implement an online service that will enable students to order their textbooks online and pick them up in store. The bookstore could also change its layout to increase the turnover of students in store, reducing the waiting time. Increasing the number of staff will also lead to a faster turnover of students in the bookstore. Eliminating the bag check-in and check-out process will subsequently lead to a more efficient use of the staff on schedule. The bookstore could also implement an RFID system to prevent theft, eliminating the need for the bag check-in and out process. According the observation, one of the symptoms/problems to analyze is the significant amount of time a student has to spend waiting in line on all three different occasions; this can result on customers (students) seeking more efficient alternatives (ordering or renting books/supplies on-line.)
For the more reliable facts, we designed the survey (Appendix B) and collected the data from the 50 random UMass-Boston Students (Appendix C). We conducted a survey among 50 UMass Boston students regarding the process the bookstore has implemented. With the majority of the student’s time spent waiting in line, we wanted to know how they felt about the process. According to the survey results, the majority of students either agreed that the overall process was reasonable (40%) or were ambivalent (30%). 30% agreed that the waiting time was acceptable, while 32% were neutral on the issue. However, 52% either agreed or strongly agreed that there was no need for a check-in. In order to understand what to do in order to improve the process, we charted the student suggestions to improve the process (see Appendix D). Of the 25 responses, the majority (nine responses) felt that more staff would improve the experience. Of the nine responses, four felt that more floor staff was needed, and five thought there should be more employees working the cash. The second area which could improve the student experience would be to implement…