Ramp-up Management of Automated Distribution Centers - Analysis, Evaluation and Improvement

Nadja Pretzler

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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This master thesis has the objective to investigate the ramp-up of automated Distribution Centers in detail, in order to determine measures and strategies for a successful ramp-up to improve the performance of this process and to minimize problems. The focus is not only on the ramp-up management, but also on the investigation of the ramp-up curve, the description and development of the performance during the ramp-up. In the first chapter the company Knapp Systemintegration GmbH is presented as well as the initial situation of the ramp-up for this thesis. Additionally, the objectives of this investigation are defined and the structure of this document is illustrated. In the second chapter, the theoretical investigation results from literature studies are shown. The objectives of the ramp-up, time, costs and quality as well as effectiveness and efficiency are explained in more detail. The analysis of the ramp-up describes a guideline for using methods to analyze the process. In this sense the customer demand analysis, analysis of open issue list, expert interviews, SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) analysis, Fishbone diagram, ramp-up graph and analysis of variance are proposed. The evaluation of the ramp-up describes the tools key figures systems, the Balanced Scorecard and Benchmarking in order to assess the ramp-up. In the third chapter, the results of the practical application of the analysis and evaluation of a specific ramp-up in Brazil are presented. After the description of the project, the analysis of the ramp-up follows, including customer demand analysis, analysis of open issue list, expert interviews, SWOT analysis, Fishbone diagram, ramp-up graph and the analysis of variance. The evaluation of the ramp-up by applying the Balanced Scorecard and Benchmarking, are described and summarized in the conclusion. In the fourth chapter, the outcomes of the general analysis of the ramp-up and management are described that were collected in expert interviews in and outside of the company Knapp. The description of the ramp-up, the success factors for the ramp-up and the main problems that appear during this phase of the project are determined. In the fifth chapter the final results of the analysis of the ramp-up in Brazil and the general analysis with expert interviews are demonstrated. The areas for improvement are categorized regarding to hard and soft factors. Improvements related to hard factors are sales, planning and specification phase, resource planning, software development, internal acceptance, ramp-up preparation, documentation, training, tests on-site, support, service, ramp-up analysis and knowledge management. Improvements related to soft factors are intercultural issues, cooperation with local agencies and communication. The sixth chapter contains the description of the practical application of the ramp-up checklist on a project in France. After the description of the project follows the summary of the results. The last chapter contains the discussion of the investigation methods and results of this thesis and future steps that should be taken based on investigation outcomes.
Translated title of the contributionAnlaufmanagement von automatisierten Distributionszentren - Analyse, Evaluierung und Verbesserung
Original languageEnglish
  • Pietzka, David, Co-Supervisor (external)
  • Zsifkovits, Helmut, Supervisor (internal)
Award date22 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

embargoed until 01-02-2018


  • ramp-up
  • automated Distribution Center
  • ramp-up management
  • ramp-up process
  • ramp-up curve
  • time
  • costs
  • quality
  • effectiveness
  • efficiency
  • guideline
  • customer demand analysis
  • analysis of open issue list
  • expert interviews
  • SWOT analysis
  • Fishbone diagram
  • analysis of variance
  • key figures systems
  • Balanced Scorecard
  • Benchmarking
  • success factors
  • main problems
  • hard factors
  • soft factors
  • sales
  • planning and specification phase
  • resource planning
  • software development
  • internal acceptance
  • ramp-up preparation
  • documentation
  • training
  • tests on-site
  • support
  • service
  • ramp-up analysis
  • knowledge management
  • intercultural issues
  • cooperation with local agencies
  • communication
  • ramp-up checklist

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