Designed a free-standing customer service facility for the repair and upgrade of PC’s to be installed in commercial electronic retail stores. The facility contained a reception counter for interacting with customers and processing service requests, an operating room for executing the service requests on the given electronics, and ample storage cabinetry for systems awaiting service. Generated CAD models of candidate concept structures using SolidWorks. Optimized floor plan layout to maximize storage capacity while minimizing overall footprint within retail store. Coordinated with various vendors to obtain quotes for fabrication of prototype.

Project Lead
Senior Design Project

Executive Summary

The team was assigned a project by Dell Inc. to design a service desk to be installed in existing Staples stores. The team is responsible for the design of the desk, the staffing recommendations for a group of desks in a metropolitan area, and experiments and recommendations to improve the intake process of the service desk. The team divided these tasks into operational and design tasks. Operational tasks include the intake process and staffing analysis. The design aspect was broken down further into front desk, fixture layout and storage.

The goal of the intake process improvements is to reduce the time the customer spends at the desk. This task began by taking experimental data at an existing service desk in Dallas, TX. The results of this experimental data lead to recommendations that lead to a five minute reduction (11 minutes to 6 minutes) in the time the customer spends at the desk. This was done by rearranging intake components to being performed in parallel instead of in series (Sect. 3.1).

The staffing analysis is used to determine the number of employees needed to run the desks in a metropolitan area. Technical staff is determined by the number of transactions a desk takes in and sales staff is determined by the number of hours the desk is open. There are six stores and we assume that each of those stores has seven transactions per day with 80% of transactions being in store and 20% being in home. With these assumptions there will need to be nine full time technical staff members. Each desk will be open for 52 hours per week. There will need to be a total of 9.75 full time sales staff to operate the six desks (Sect. 3.2).

Design of the desk is divided into three parts. The front desk needs to be no wider than 7’10” wide and 2’ deep. The desk must store all necessary POS equipment and meet ADA requirements. The design meets these constraints and is arranged so that the most frequently used equipment is most accessible (Sect. 4.5).

Storage must accommodate 70 units assuming a 50/50 mix of laptops and desktops. The storage must meet ADA requirements, most importantly a cabinet range from 9” to 48” tall for each of the different storage types (Sect. 4.4).

The fixture layout must also meet ADA requirements, specifically a 5’ turning radius and 3’ wide door. The overall footprint must also be less than 125 sq. ft. The goal is to have the entire service desk be constructed for under $20,000 per unit (Sect. 4).

The final design meets all requirements and constraints. The front desk and the back storage area are seamlessly combined into a continuous design that allows for a comfortable work space as well as a comfortable area for customers to interact with sales staff.

Specification Sheet

Fixture Design: Candidate Solution

Fixture Design: Storage Capacity Optimization

Operations: Intake Process Optimization

The team also performed operational tasks to support the desk. The intake process was evaluated and improved using experimental data taken from existing Dell service centers. The time the customer spends at the desk was reduced from 11 minutes to 6 minutes by rearranging the order tasks are performed from series to parallel. Performing tasks concurrently greatly reduces the amount of time a customer spends at the counter. This reduction in time makes the process easier on the customer.

Operations: Staffing Model Analysis

Another operational task was to provide recommendations on staffing for the group of service desks in a metropolitan area. There are a total of six stores in the area and must be staffed with both sales and technical staff. The number of sales staff are determined by the number of hours the desk will be open. Technical staff is determined by the number of transactions the desk performs. There will need to be a total of 9.75 full time sales staff needed to support the six stores in the metropolitan area. The 0.75 will be accommodated by an additional full time employee or a combination of part time employees. There will also need to be nine full time technical staff members. These technical staff will accommodate both in-store and in-home transactions.