Masters Week is finally here! All of the golf world has descended upon Augusta, Georgia for April 8-14 for the 2013 Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.
Augusta National Golf Club needs to provide food and merchandise supplies to the various concession stands and golf shop stands all across the course for The Masters, yet also needs to maintain the integrity of the grounds and serene beauty of the course itself by not adding extra buildings.
So what do they do? Temporary warehousing and a fleet of material handling carts!
Augusta National Golf Club employs box trucks as a means of providing temporary warehousing space along a long but narrow temporary loading dock. Box trucks contain concessions and golf shop merchandise for replenishment on the course, and essentially stay in place until they are close to empty and sent back off to be replenished off site (as deemed necessary). All the box trucks stay on one side of the dock and can get in and out of their spaces and the club grounds easily.
On the other side of the temporary loading dock are material handling golf carts that can quickly roll to golf shops and concession stands and replenish only what those stands need. Extra supply is not kept out at the concession areas (as deemed logistically necessary) where inventory buildup at one stand might mean a stockout at another. As stock runs low, supply needs are either radioed to the temporary warehousing area or relayed to the material handling cart drivers stationed at the stands and replenishment begins.
If supplying box trucks wait until they are completely empty before departing for the offsite supplier, a lag in available inventory develops between the truck departing and its return. As a result, trucks will unload remaining supplies when it gets very close to empty so that enough of a buffer exists to supply the stands before the truck returns. Some materials will then be left “outside the warehouse” but it’s a small amount that exists only to handle immediate supply needs and will be the first material consumed.
– Inventory can be better managed in one warehousing location instead of counting what materials are at each stand and being forced into a supply lag and stockouts or excess inventory. This method makes inventory a lot easier to control.
– It’s more aesthetically pleasing to see small golf carts zip by and fit into crowded areas with patrons than to drive around big non-green box trucks that are loud and space hogs.
– Inventory buildup won’t occur much at the stands, providing a safer work environment and avoiding food spoilage.
– All inventory is out of the way of patrons (they don’t normally see this part of the grounds), all logistics situations are handled away from the patrons, and the customer focus can be on the game instead of additional outside distractions like a box truck beeping while in reverse.
It’s an efficient process, especially considering the club’s expectations for customer experience maximization.