Department - Author 1

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Industrial Engineering



Primary Advisor

Lizabeth T. Schlemer


This report seeks to improve the operations of the Kaiser Permanente’s Central Refill Pharmacy. In particular, the need for better workstations became evident when witnessing the cluttered appearance of the packing workbenches in the facility. Furthermore, one of Kaiser’s largest problem areas is the physical strain caused by the repetitive motion required of the packing job function. A redesign of the packing workstations has been developed on Microsoft Visio in order to reduce clutter, be more space efficient, and decrease eye and arm movement associated with employee strain. The most significant additions are an automated slide that transfers packages from station to conveyor and the change of table orientation.

Another critical issue is the amount of time consumed by the scheduling/assignment process. The need for improved production control was also apparent in collaborating with supervisors who mentioned how long and inefficient the current process was which consisted of manually writing assignments followed by typing them again into a spreadsheet. A new scheduling/assignment system using Microsoft Access been developed which will cut down on the amount of time spent assigning assistants to a specific workstation. The use of drop-down boxes and queries allow the scheduler to select and assign employees without having to type names in or match availability and specialty with open assignments. It will allow supervisors to view an employee’s assignment history and quickly search for backup employees.

The proposed designs for the workstation and database were chosen from other alternatives considered. The final selections were made based upon input of both partners as well as the Kaiser point-of-contacts with regards to capacity, usability, functionality, and overall benefit.