Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering
Journal or Book Title
Proceedings of the 2016 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference
2016 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference
May 21-24, 2016
Food hubs aggregate and distribute regionally-produced food and help small and mid-sized farmers find markets for their products. They provide a valuable service as an intermediary between consumers and farmers who value sustainable food systems. However, their internal operations are often highly inefficient, and as a result they struggle to meet their customers’ expectations. To maintain low operational costs, food hubs often depend upon volunteer labor. However, an inconsistent and improperly trained volunteer labor force can lead to inventory and order fulfillment errors. Additionally, because many food hubs are unable to afford sophisticated inventory management software, they employ ad-hoc methods to track inventory and sales. This results in inadequate data collection to support decision making. In this paper we identify the operational challenges that regional food hubs commonly face, and we evaluate methods based on lean principles for overcoming these challenges, including standardized work procedures, process improvement mechanisms, and efficient data capturing techniques.
Mittal, Anuj; Zugg, Michelle; and Krejci, Caroline, "Improving Regional Food Hub Operational Efficiency with Lean Practices" (2016). Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Conference Proceedings and Posters. 108.