A project for a Mobis Parts America

The company and the warehouse

Here are the slides from the client visit.

Mobis is a company within the Hyundai-KIA Automotive Group. It supplies modules, such as cockpits or dashboards, to Hyundai or KIA manufacturing sites, such as those in Alabama or Georgia; and it supplies spare parts for Hyundai or KIA vehicles to distributors, who in turn supply dealers, wholesalers, and repair shops.

Mobis operates seven parts distribution centers (PDCs) in North America.

Our client is the Mobis PDC in Miami. Their responsibilities are unusual in that they are completely export oriented, charged with supplying spare parts to the Central and Latin American markets.

The Miami PDC carries about 65,000 skus, and, like most service parts distributors, this number is constantly growing. Many parts PDCs serving the North American automotive market phase out parts after 8-10 years; but vehicles in Latin America typically stay in service 15-20 years and so the Miami facility must hold skus for a longer time. The challenge is to sustain an efficient layout that is flexible enough to absorb additional skus, while retaining pick-path and golden-zone efficiencies.

Each SKU has an assigned activity code, one of A-E, with many sub-levels. This is based on a combination of frequency of requests (that is, number of times ordered; or picks) and the quantity ordered (demand).

The Miami PDC is about 400,000 square feet (40,000 square meters) and was built to suit Mobis operations.


The PDC has three main types of storage:

Most SKUs that are held in less-than-pallet quantities occupy only a single storage location.

Warehouse operations

There are about ten order pickers: 3 in the floor area, 3 in rack, and 4 in bins. The PDC runs one extended shift, from 7AM until about 6PM. Orders are picked from 7AM through noon (or as late as 2PM if the load is unusually heavy).

Orders are classified as one of three types and stock is allocated according to priority. The highest priority orders are the VXR orders (Vehicle of Road), which are shippped by FedEx or DHL. Next most urgent are air orders, which are shipped via air cargo. Least urgent are the stock orders, which are shipped by sea cargo.

Orders received the previous evening (after yesterday's picking has ceased) are ready to pick at 7AM. In addition, orders will arrive during picking and will be integrated into the pick plan.

Goal of this project

Design pick-paths and slot bins to increase pick efficiency so that the current workforce can handle expected growth.

This will require devising the plan, comparing it to the current layout, devising a plan to migrate product to the configuration you recommend, and estimating all costs.

Here are the slides from the client's visit.


The company data is copyrighted and proprietary. You may use it for the purposes of this course only. If you would like to use it for something else, please contact me.

Suggested approach

Estimate work to pick from current layout. Revise the layout and estimate work to pick. Devise plan to migrate from current layout to new one and estimate the cost. Repeat until you have identified those changes that are worthwhile.

First steps