Published on February 27, 2014
SIMUL8 at The Kroger Company
The Kroger Co. • • • • • • • Largest traditional grocery retailer in the United States 343,000 associates 2424 stores 1169 supermarket fuel centers 786 convenience stores 328 fine jewelry stores Kroger is the fifth-largest pharmacy operator in the United States (when counting the number of locations), and in 2012 Kroger pharmacists: – – • • 40 manufacturing plants 34 distribution centers – • Filled over 162 million prescriptions Retail value of approximately $8 billion. Traveled 300M miles in 2010 Loyalty cards – – Created partnership in May 2003 with a firm called dunnhumby Partnership called dunnhumbyUSA 2
Use of SIMUL8 • Kroger wants to model before building a solution. • Been using SIMUL8 since 2006 – “Front-end” (cashier utilization) – Manufacturing (dairy plant) – Loading docks (putting pallets on trucks) – Picking products in a warehouse – Tool for training
Front-End at a Store • Model the type of cashier lane – – – – Regular Express SCO (self checkout) “Scan Tunnel” (http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/blog/2011/08/testingout-krogers-new-tunnel-scanner.html?page=all) • Vary customer load/arrival rates – – – – – By 15 minute intervals Size of basket Type of payment Number of coupons …
Screen Shot of Front-End 5
QueVision • Reduces customer wait time to 30 seconds – http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/201305/what-does-military-camera-have-do-groceryshopping?dom=PSC&loc=recent&lnk=1&con=rea d-full-story – Use of this technology driven from observing the output from the SIMUL8 model if we could be proactive in opening up lanes based on predicted customer arrival rate.
Use in Training Courses • I teach several courses at Kroger. One of them is “Working the Numbers” to show the importance to developers of understanding the numbers associated with their applications. • Knowing how queuing affects the throughput/response times is illustrated with several SIMUL8 models.
Queueing • Simple model of a cashier lane:
Little More Complex Model • Larger store operation:
Simple Automated Warehouse Video
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