How BCIT students improved business efficiency for SPUD

Brendan Evans, Jordan May, and Bradley Wong are BCIT Business Operations Management students who will be celebrating their graduation in June with a guaranteed job-placement and an impressive portfolio of hands-on industry experience, including their recent business consulting project that enhanced business efficiency for local food company, SPUD.

BCIT Business Operations Management students improves business efficiency for SPUD
BCIT Business Operations Management students created a business consulting project that enhanced business efficiency for SPUD. From L to R: Jordan May, Shawn Berke, Bradley Wong, Brendan Evans, Richard Lee, and Ben Parhar.

Revamping reverse logistics and cleaning processes at SPUD

SPUD is a certified B Corporation that offers sustainable grocery delivery services in BC and Alberta. Currently, SPUD has two warehouses located in the Lower Mainland: the Hasting Street Warehouse and the Trapp Avenue Warehouse, run by SPUD’s subsidiary, Food-X.

In this project, the team was challenged with an inefficient cleaning facility at the Trapp Avenue Warehouse. The cleaning facility’s reverse logistics and cleaning processes had reached its operating capacity and could no longer meet the growing demand of SPUD’s rapid growth.

Reverse logistics is the sorting and staging of materials returned from customers, such as recyclable milk jugs. Cleaning is the sanitizing and drying of the materials that have been sorted by reverse logistics. The two together are hugely important for the productivity of warehouse operations.

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Enhancing business efficiency

Over three months, the team conducted extensive interviews, observations, investigations, and data analysis on SPUD’s process inefficiencies. Based on these findings, they designed a new process that is cost-effective, scalable to capacity, and compliant with cleaning standards for the cleaning facility.

Recommended implementation for SPUD included: equipment purchases that increase throughput levels for reverse logistics and cleaning; floorplan layouts which minimize worker travel time and create a linear workflow; workflow standard operating procedures that improve worker consistency and throughput; an input and output data model to measure Key Performance Indicators and project future workstation requirements; and the establishment of scrap rate tracking form as a Key Performance Indicator.

The return on this proposed reverse logistics and cleaning processes were expected to not only enhance business efficiency for SPUD, but also to generate an annual cost saving of more than $579,000. Specifically, SPUD should expect to see 316% increase in throughput capability and 66% decrease in labour cost per item cleaned.

Implementing an analytical and innovative-focused solution

SPUD was highly convinced and impressed by the strong analytical approach and innovative solutions brought forward by Brad, Brendan, and Jordan. Without hesitation, they have already implemented all of the cleaning recommendations and are well underway to implementing all of the reverse logistics recommendations.

“Brad, Brendan, and Jordan delivered a phenomenal report that was thorough and raised the bar for what BCIT students are capable of. Their research findings provided such valuable information that we truly believe in the future of BCIT students to provide innovative solutions for our world. We look forward to working with BCIT again,” shared Richard Lee, Operations Manager for Food-X.

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BCIT students graduate with competitive advantage

As Brad, Brendan, and Jordan wrap up their last semester at BCIT, their demonstrated success in the workforce have already secured them job placements for when they graduate. Jordan will continue to utilize his expertise and work as an Operations Analyst at Pure Sunfarms. Bradley will venture into a new role as Sales Representative CH Robinson, while Brendan will be working as a Production Planner at Regency Fireplace Products.

Congratulations to you all!

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