Publication Date

Fall 2019

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Mark Revels (Director), Dr. Asghar Rezasoltani, and Dr. Mark Doggett

Degree Program

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


The increased demand on distribution centers to provide quicker turnarounds from receiving to shipping while maintaining precise inventory accuracies is spurring the acquisition of a warehouse management system (WMS) to improve operations and increase efficiency. With the rapid expansion of WMS technology, it seems inevitable that warehouses will outgrow inefficient operational processes and switch to a system that can accommodate rapid development. Research has explained the financial burdens and benefits of acquiring a WMS, but there’s been minimal research describing the impacts of the actual implementation. This study took place within a 600,000 sq. ft. fulfillment center and focused on the day-to-day activities of its 300+ employees. A qualitative methodology was used while observing daily processes within the inbound, inventory control, outbound, and shipping departments throughout the implementation process to determine the impacts on operational procedures and the people involved. The results describe the adaptations necessary within each department to transform the former manually based processes into automated processes that support the WMS. Also, the configurational oversights within the WMS that led to time consuming complications when performing daily operational tasks. The findings of this study explain the key factors that impact a WMS implementation and opportunities to increase the chances of a successful implementation.


Operational Research | Operations Research, Systems Engineering and Industrial Engineering