McMurdo Station supports all research and activity on the Antarctic continent for the U.S. Antarctic Program. The program comprises research by scientists selected from universities and other research institutions, and related operations and support.
With no master plan in place during its 50+ year history, McMurdo Station had varied storage media, facilities, processes and technology that were very disjointed and inefficient. The station was resupplied only once a year and experienced high turnover in the workforce.
Inventory was widely varied – research equipment, vehicle and systems spare parts, food, clothing, medicine, fuel, etc. – and included Do Not Freeze and temperature-controlled inventory, as well as hazardous materials and outdoor storage. A lack of inventory tracking resulted in redundant and obsolete inventory, in addition to time-consuming processes to locate and distribute required items.
A new master plan for the station consolidated all warehousing of inventory and assets to eliminate aging infrastructure, address the challenges of extreme conditions, and reduce staffing requirements on the continent.
What Sedlak Did
We conducted a 10-day, onsite discovery visit in which personnel were interviewed, operations observed, and 25-plus existing storage locations evaluated.
We provided multiple concepts for warehouse solutions ranging from no/low automation to highly automated, and we performed an analysis of inventory moves to right-size operations, staff and process, and improved flow of product.
Our staff also provided high-level recommendations on spatial allotment, unique mechanical and electrical needs, freezer and refrigerated space, as well as material handling equipment options along with ROM (Rough Order of Magnitude) costs for various solutions.
Our analysis reduced required warehouse space from 125,000 sq. ft. to 40,000 sq. ft. (~65%) that fit the overall master plan design.
Automation concepts improved product flow, inventory visibility, and reduced staff by approximately 25%.
Recommendations included an updated WMS to interface with the existing asset management system.
Our team identified additional opportunities for improvement in upstream supply chain, including labeling, packaging and information flow.