Industrial and Management Systems Engineering


Date of this Version

Fall 12-3-2010


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, Under the Supervision of Professor Erick C. Jones. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2010
Copyright 2010 Angela Garza


Inventory accuracy is critical for NASA astronauts in space. In 2004, astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) nearly had to de-man their outpost due to the fact the replenishment of consumables were uncertain. Automated Identification Technologies (AITs) such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) can be utilized to minimize the occurrence of situations like this one. RFID has been used to aid inventory management systems by providing real time availability of the item information including location and status. The benefit of RFID over barcodes is immense as it allows users to employ continuous review models. Barcodes are only capable of being used in conjunction with periodic review models as inventory is not able to be monitored continuously.

Although RFID has the ability to improve inventory control policies, one must note that it is not 100 percent accurate. Factors such as metal or poor orientation can limit the ability for a tag to be read; thus, reliability of tag reads must be accounted for to provide more accurate inventory policies. In this thesis, we seek to demonstrate how optimizing inventory policies with technologies such as RFID can improve inventory control. The goal of this thesis is to develop a continuous review inventory policy that accounts for the more accurate knowledge of the level of inventory located in a certain area due to the addition of RFID.