The set covering problem (SCP) is a well-known combinatorial optimization problem. This paper investigates development of a local branching-based solution approach for the SCP. This solution strategy is exact in nature, though it is designed to improve the heuristic behavior of the mixed integer programming solver. The algorithm parameters are tuned by design of experiments approach. The proposed method is tested on the several standard instances. The results show that the algorithm outperforms the best heuristic approaches found in the literature.