P16701: MSD Total Supplier Performance and Inventory Control


Project Summary Project Information

Background Information
Each year, more than 300 engineering students participate in the Multidisciplinary Senior Design (MSD) course at RIT as their capstone design experience. The course allows students to use the skills they have learned in their classes to design, build and test their solutions to design problems. Each team has a budget and is responsible for purchasing the parts, and sometimes, the tools needed to realize their design. The MSD office manages purchasing and an inventory of hand tools that students can sign out to use on the 4th floor of the engineering building. Other resources are available around campus, however there is minimal visibility and no organized system for keeping track of these additional resources.

Project Goal
The goal of this MSD project is to develop a supplier performance and inventory control system for the MSD office. The new system will improve the visibility of the inventory, help teams quickly understand the availability of tools and supplies on campus, maintain control of the inventory that is available, and control purchasing to reduce the waste of material, money, time and space. Overall, the team hopes to improve the experience and success of future MSD student teams while reducing time, money, materials, and storage space for the MSD office. Additional project information is included in the Project Readiness Package.

Project Name MSD Total Supplier Performance and Inventory Control
Project Number P16701
Project Timeline Fall 2015 - Spring 2016
Faculty Guide John Kaemmerlen (ISE)
Customer Christine Fisher (MSD)
Jan Maneti (ME Shop)
Elizabeth DeBartolo (MSD)
From left to right: Alex Resnick, Brian Woodard, William Darlington, Keleigh Bicknell

From left to right: Alex Resnick, Brian Woodard, William Darlington, Keleigh Bicknell

Team Members

Name Role Contact
Alex Resnick Lead Web Developer adr8292@rit.edu
Keleigh Bicknell Project Manager klb2489@rit.edu
William Darlington Facilitator wjd8283@rit.edu
Brian Woodard Lead Engineer baw1339@rit.edu

MSDI Phase Summaries

Problem Definition Phase

The team hopes to better understand the project deliverables through conducting customer interviews. These interviews will provide a baseline for establishing the customer requirements and engineering metrics. In addition, the team will assign leadership roles, establish a set of team values and norms, construct a rough project timeline and solidify a problem statement. Various support documents will be generated to aid in better defining the current state and desired state.

Systems Design Phase

The system design phase focused on determining the functionality of the system as well as a design for implementation. Benchmarking was utilized to formulate ideas that could be applied to our system. The designs generated were evaluated against the engineering requirements to ensure the system satisfies the necessary metrics. A feasibility analysis and risk analysis were performed to better understand the potential issues that could arise so a plan could be set in place to mitigate their occurrence. This phase will prepare the team for subsystem design and prototyping in the upcoming weeks.

SubSystem Design Phase

During the subsystem level design phase the team plans to continue developing prototypes of the purchasing and tool loan out software. Web space on the RIT web server will be requested to begin creation of a MSD specific website. Time studies will be performed to document the current state and identify additional areas for improvement. A testing plan will be created to document how the team will receive feedback on the current prototypes.

Preliminary Detailed Design Phase

Throughout this phase, the team plans to continue enhancing the various prototypes based off feedback from the previous design reviews. The team will be meeting with three process experts to receive additional feedback on how the proposed system can be improved. In addition, a survey will be sent to current MSD I and MSD II students to gauge guide response time to purchase requests as well as surplus utilization. The team plans to walk through the prototypes with multiple senior design teams to receive additional feedback on the current prototypes from the stakeholder perspective.

Detailed Design Phase

Throughout this phase the team plans to focus primarily on the transition from MSD I to MSDII. Testing plans, training plans, and a detailed breakdown of our next steps for the first five weeks of MSDII will be discussed and documented. Minor changes will be made to the prototypes. In addition, the team will prepare for the final Gate Review for approval to move towards implementation in the upcoming weeks.

MSDII Phase Summaries

Build, Test, & Prep

Due to the nature of the project, the team previously completed the expected deliverable's for this phase during the Detailed Design phase of MSDI. The team utilized this phase to familiarize themselves the test plans and held multiple meetings with various customers to review what would be occurring. Two meetings to highlight include meeting with the manager of the Electrical Engineering Lab and a collection of 15 guides participating in the MSD program. Loose ends were tied and necessary information received to begin the next phase of MSDII.

Subsystem Build and Test

The team's primary objective during this phase was to begin testing with selective groups as well as get the toolchest organized and color coded. The team spent 6 hours on February 14 consolidating the tools available for loan out through performing a 5S. The team also utilized one of their test teams to get feedback on the purchasing website. There were a few issues that were addressed to improve the functionality of the website.

Integrated System Build and Test

The team used this phase to launch the Purchasing application with the current MSDI students. Designated project teams in MSDII have been utilizing the application and any troubleshooting required has begun. The tool loan out application is up and running and being tested with the MSD office. The team continues to work on developing training documents. An application for the machine shop was developed and presented to the customer. It will be launched during the next phase.

Final Demo & Customer Handoff

Due to the interactive nature of the project, the team considers the last two phases of MSDII "Final Demo". The team has worked closely with the MSD office, Christine Fisher and the office staff to ensure the systems are working properly and effectively. Any issues or desired changes were brought to the teams attention and implemented. Training documents, videos, and final coding changes were all completed during this phase for efficient customer handoff. A new bar-code scanner was purchased to address the scanning issue with the previous scanner. The Machine Shop application was implemented and is in production.

Table of Contents


Project Management

Project Photos and Videos

Imagine RIT

Planning & Execution

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Subsystem Design

Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep

Subsystem Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation


Thank you to the MSD office staff for their flexibility to meet with the team. A special thanks to Jessica VanGiesen and Leslie Bowen for taking time out of their busy schedules to meet with us and provide feedback on the prototypes.