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Operations Management: An Integrated Approach, 5th Edition by Nada R. Sanders, R. Dan Reid

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SPECIAL CASES OF PROCESS LAYOUT

A number of unique cases of process layout require special attention. In this section we look at two special cases: warehouse layouts and office layouts.

Warehouse Layouts

Warehouse layouts have the key characteristics of process layouts: products are stored based on their function, and there is movement of goods. The main difference is that movement within a warehouse is primarily between the loading/unloading dock and the areas where goods are stored. Typically, there is no movement between the storage areas themselves; the primary function of a warehouse is to provide storage space, so the only movement is inbound or outbound. Think about a warehouse that stores computer equipment and supplies. Printers might be stored in one area, keyboards in another, and ink cartridges in a third. Certainly there would be no movement between the keyboard storage area and the area where ink cartridges are stored. The movement would consist of bringing items either in or out of the warehouse.

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In a warehouse distribution center, items are stored based on their function.

Storage Areas of Equal Sizes The primary decision in designing warehouse layouts is to decide where to locate individual departments relative to the dock. Using the same logic we used for process layouts in general, the goal is to assign departments to locations in order to minimize the number of ...

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