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Assignment Questions

Facility Layout in Warehouse

Read the following article and review the background readings,

Graham, D.D., (2003), Warehouse of the Future, Frontline Solutions; Duluth; Apr 2003.

Abstract:

Software will choreograph tomorrow’s warehouse work The warehouse of the future will not be technology-dependent but technology enhanced-a blend of technology, machine, and manpower. Supply chain software, already a critical element today, will actually the work of this new highly automated warehouse, trimming fat, dumping waste, and eliminating redundancy wherever it is found. Workers will be fewer, but more qualified, better trained, and more motivated. What has everyone involved in material handling and warehouse management salivating are radio frequency identification technology systems that are made up of three components – an antenna or coil, a transceiver and a transponder, usually in the form of a tag. Future warehouse management technologies will perform functions impossible today, including finite scheduling and the process sequencing of orders, allowing the operation to take advantage of its capacities while managing its constraints. Those constraints will include labor, physical space, yard capacity, order mix and value added processing, a factor that will loom large in warehouses to come.

Case Assignment

Then in a 3-4 page paper discuss the following questions:

How can flexibility be built into warehouse planning and design to accommodate change for the future? What would it require? What are the trade-offs with respect to allocating resources up front or into the future?

Assignment Expectations

Research the topic with information from the background readings as well as any other resources you find on your own. The paper should be 3-4 pages in length and have a cover sheet and a reference page. Clarity of presentation is important, as well as your ability to cover the topic in a succinct, organized manner with research to back up your points. Use at least 3 different sources of information and annotate your sources of information appropriately on your references page and within the text as necessary. You will be assessed on your ability to demonstrate your knowledge of facility layout with respect to logistics management

Background information below:

Start by reading the article below on Continental Airlines automated storage units.

Anonymous (2002). Continental flying high with automated storage units. Modern Materials Handling. Boston, 57(12), 45.

Abstract:

Continental Airlines recently built a new maintenance building at its Newark hub to better serve the airline’s growth. To save space, the airline installed 6 vertical lift modules that hold important parts and tools in a manner that makes them readily available and in proper condition as defined by Federal Aviation Administration requirements.

Here is an excellent article that discusses how to design an efficient warehouse and distribution center for the beverage industry.

Larose, N. (2001, Apr). Efficiencies within four walls. Beverage Industry; New York, 92(4), 64.

Abstract:

Site layout, building dimensions, column bay dimensions, lighting, dock locations and ceiling heights are all essential design elements for efficient warehousing and distribution. The greatest opportunities to reduce costs in the beverage industry are available in the distribution warehouses. To maximize these opportunities, a distributor must determine the operational plan that best fits its business and the facility in which it operates. The most common mistake made by distributor is a lack of planning, which can result in costly errors. Every facility should have a master plan.

This article discusses how important the dock is to a warehouse.

Freese, T. L., (2000, Jun). The dock: Your warehouse‘s most valuable real estate. Material Handling Management. Cleveland, 55(6), 97-101.

Abstract:

Docks today must be much more flexible, as well as more efficient, to accommodate the increased number and types of receipts and shipments. The number of docks required is determined by a combination of factors: number of receipts and shipments, type of loading and unloading, types and sizes of vehicles, number and timing of carriers, and different areas in which materials will be utilized, stored or prepared for shipment. Today, given the move to JIT inventories and the tendency for shipments to be in close proximity to the manufacturing location, more and more facilities are being constructed with multiple shipping and receiving docks. If your operations require reverse logistics functions, these, too, must be evaluated for environmental considerations. According to OSHA, more than 10 percent of all lift truck accidents result from poor dock layout and overcrowded conditions. Without well-thought-out layouts, good safety practices and staff training, you put some of your most valuable resources at risk – your people.

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