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ENGR 100.800:  Process and Throughput Optimization (IOE)


Yavuz Bozer (IOE),

Lisa Grimble (TechComm),

Dan Moyer (TechComm)

Winter Term

Course Description:

Pizza has become such a staple in the United States, and indeed around the world, that it’s hard for many people to imagine life without it! However, pizza is not just about that cheesy goodness and our taste buds; it’s also serious business. To successfully operate a pizza chain, or any fast/casual food chain for that matter, we must not only have high-quality and good-tasting products that the consumers crave but a solid and reliable supply chain extending all the way from the suppliers to hundreds of individual outlets where the food is stored, prepared, and served to the end customer. Provided all the necessary ingredients and supplies are delivered to the stores in a timely and reliable manner, the next critical component in the system is the operation of the store itself:

    • What is the process of making pizza?
    • How and where is the dough prepared?
    • How many operators are needed to staff the store?
    • What is the capacity of the oven? How many ovens do we need?
    • What is the throughput of the store in pizzas prepared per shift?
    • How do we deal with variations in demand?
    • How do we control the inventory for the toppings?
    • Are there opportunities to use robotics to automate the store?

The above questions form the foundation of flow, throughput, capacity analysis, inventory control, and labor concerns in Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE). How well we address them often defines the difference between success and failure.
In this section, we will learn how to build models to answer the above questions and learn how to analyze and optimize the store operations. We will also learn how a powerful tool known in IOE as “simulation” can be applied to study the above questions to optimize the flow and deliver value to the customers on a consistent basis. Although the tools and techniques we cover have general applicability, we will use a Domino’s pizza store as our example and the basis of our analysis and discussions.

Term Project

Analyze and learn fundamental concepts such as flow, throughput, response time, and quality in the fast/casual food sector.

Drawing of a robot holding sign that says “I love ENGR 100” on whiteboard
Student drilling two pieces of wood together
Black toolbox filled with colorful parts on table in front of classroom