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Scheduling Agency Pick-ups at the North Texas Food Bank

June 5th, 2009

northtexasfoodbankClient: North Texas Food Bank
Team:  Allison Griffin, Pragya Lohani, Megan Walker
Faculty advisor:    Year: 2009
Documents: Report (Final report) Presentation (PPT)

The North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) is a non-profit hunger relief organization that distributes donated, purchased, and prepared foods through a network of feeding programs in 13 North Texas counties. From these counties nearly 700,000 individuals live below the federal poverty level. The North Texas Food Bank’s mission is to passionately pursue a hunger-free community; more specifically their “Close-the-Gap” initiative is to make 50 million meals available annually.1 This project seeks to solve one problem at the food bank that will hopefully help the organization achieve this goal more efficiently and quickly.

During our initial meeting with the Director of Operations, Mr. Sean Gray, we toured the warehouse to understand the daily operations at the food bank. Our objective was to locate the bottleneck and the steps that were creating inefficiency in the process. From the different problems that arose such as facility design and layout, inventory management, processing of orders, food distribution, and forecasting, we realized that streamlining the food distribution method for the agencies that pick-up from the warehouse would be the most beneficial for the NTFB to reach their target goal.

We spent time at the food bank collecting time data, analyzing distribution data, and observing the current process for the agency pick-up. There were several inefficiencies in the process that led us to believe that if the food bank and agencies had a schedule to work by every week, then time could be used more efficiently for both parties.

The model that we developed allows the NTFB to generate a schedule for their agencies in a given week. Variations can be made to the model to accommodate NTFB preferences, agency preferences and other situational constraints. With this schedule and the more stream-lined process we offer in this report, the food bank will be in a better position to cater to their agencies and reach their target goal.

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