Measures for Timely Delivery of Materials Transported by Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) in Hospitals
MetadataShow full item record
In recent years there has been an increase in material demand in Norwegian hospitals, and studies show that there are high expenditures for hospital logistics. This signifies the importance of developing favorable logistics solutions for the hospital supply chain. The hospital supply chain is characterized as highly complex with multiple suppliers and many operations that must be coordinated for the internal transportation of materials.St. Olav s Hospital have implemented an Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) system for internal transportation of materials. The hospital is noticing problems related to timely delivery for the AGV system, however there is uncertainty regarding which measures that should be done to improve the degree of timely delivery. Little, if any, literature exists on timely delivery of materials in hospitals by using AGVs. Therefore, the project objective is to improve the transportation of materials performed by AGVs in order to achieve timely delivery.Research questions:1. What is the current characteristics and dependencies of the internal transportation of materials performed by Automated Guided Vehicles at St. Olav s Hospital?2. What measures should be done for the internal transportation of materials performed by Automated Guided Vehicles at St. Olav s Hospital to facilitate timely delivery?The methodology consists of a literature study and a case study. The literature study is focused around finding information on the hospital supply chain, internal transportation in hospitals, and AGV systems in particular. For the case study, the methods used are observations and semi structured interviews. Raw data on the AGV transportation was also retrieved and analyzed from the case company, to investigate the performance of the AGV system in regards to waiting times, transportation times, transportation volume, and transportation capacity. In the literature study, it was found that the hospital supply chain is characterized as highly complex with multiple suppliers and many operations that must be coordinated with the internal transportation. Such as supply and procurement, inventory management, distribution and scheduling, and having a holistic view of the supply chain where beneficial solutions are developed and responsibilities are appropriately allocated. The activities related to the supply chain must be coordinated with the AGV system. The AGV system is responsible for the transportation of consumer goods, laundry, food, sterile goods, pharmaceuticals, and waste. These materials must be internally transported from either in-house suppliers or the goods arrival at the hospital, to ten different hospital centers that each consists of various hospital departments.In the analysis, it was evident that the waiting times for materials waiting to be transported, can often be very high, and will be influenced by the transportation volume and the transportation capacity.A framework for measures for facilitating timely delivery by AGV is presented in the discussion. The framework is categorized into three main measures for achieving timely delivery. These are levelling the transportation volume, reducing the transportation volume and increasing the transportation capacity. So conclusively, this thesis adds to the research on AGV systems in a hospital environment, and gives a framework for possible measures for ensuring timely delivery of materials in hospitals.