Date of Award

Spring 2009

Access Restriction

Campus Access only research projects

Degree Name

Dual Degree in Master of Science & Master of Business Administration


Systems Engineering and Leadership Program

School or College

Seaver College of Science and Engineering


Raw stock is base material that is analyzed, tested, and certified to be machined into space qualified parts. It is very important to get the right parts, at the right time, and at the right price to make customers happy. Not having the right material can cause the unit to not function properly or have a shortened life and can lead to catastrophic results. When the company's raw stock clerk left unexpectedly, we realized he was a single point failure, and that the process deficiencies had been masked for so long. There was no documented process for receiving, verifying, storing, and retrieving raw stock. The goal of the project was to save money for the company by reducing the time and cost of the process, while ensuring quality.

Systems Engineering focuses on defining needs, documenting requirements, then proceeding with synthesis and system validation, while considering the complete problem. A Systems Engineering approach was used to evaluate the current process, make improvements, and test the new process to verify if the improvements were beneficial.

During the original process, it took a total of 62 weeks and $32,275 between ordering a particular stock and being able to use it on the product line. After the process was improved, the time to complete the entire process decreased to 4 weeks, 1 day, and 5 hours, and the cost decreased to $5,025. Also, we stopped having any failures in the product lines related to using the wrong material.

Each step of the original process flow was evaluated and improvements were made. Internal documentation was updated, including outdated and unclear specifications. Suppliers were called to reaffirm they understood exactly what we needed in the paperwork we received with the materials. Suppliers that were not meeting our demands were removed from the list of approved suppliers.

The raw stock room was cleaned and organized, and a system was set up to file paperwork to prevent them from getting misplaced or lost. An electronic database was set up for the raw stock clerk that included all the information about the stock he needed, including the steps required to perform the process.

Following company union rules, the responsibilities for completing the steps in the process were assigned to the proper employees that could complete the tasks.

The raw stock clerk was given new tools to perform his job. A new scanning analyzer was purchased that had enormous capabilities. A simple trigger of a button produced significant savings in both time and laboratory costs.

Improving the raw stock process by providing the right tools, software, paperwork, and instruction to everybody involved in this process, generated time savings of about 94% and a cost savings of about 85% for each order of raw stock!

ZareeKradjian_Systems_Presentation_2009.pdf (7050 kB)
Oral Presentation