Date of Award

Summer 2021

Publication Type


Degree Name



Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

First Advisor

ElMaraghy, H.

Second Advisor

Azzouz, M

Third Advisor

ElMaraghy, W.


Inventory control, Identification, Subassembly tracking, Work order identification




The research encompassed in this thesis includes the development of a work order and subassembly identification and tracking software system created in-house and tested at SPM Automation (Canada) Inc. The research is motivated by the significant losses the company is enduring and the recurring problems occurring at the facility (i.e., excess inventory, late ordering, reordering, misplaced components, etc.). These problems are critical in the progress and profits of the company.

An extensive literature review was completed, and the research gaps were presented. The optimal work order and subassembly process was created using Process Mapping Methodology, Cause-and-Effect Diagrams, and 5Why Analysis. The software architecture diagrams were developed and used to code and program the software. The software was tested on five work orders and results were compared against a previous job. Application of the developed system minimized late ordering by 67%, reordering by 50%, and number of changes to project timelines by 71%. The occurrences of misplaced components for the specific job tested were eliminated using the developed solution.

A cost structure model was used to illustrate the associated costs and benefits of the developed system. There would be a one-time cost for training SPM employees, however, the benefits outweigh the training cost significantly. It was estimated that the implementation of this software system could give the company an average annual cost saving of approximately $40,884 [≈ 1965 average production worker pay] [≈ Toyota Prius] and a time decrease of 77.78%. Since the software system is created in-house, there would be minimal additional costs for implementation and continuous software support. Work order and subassembly tracking issues are not unique to SPM Automation (Canada) Inc. Many small and medium size manufacturing companies are facing these challenges. The methodologies developed in this research would be applicable and useful to other discrete parts manufacturers.