Facilities Layout/Process Improvement

Warehouses are normally large plain buildings which are used for commercial purposes for goods storage. They are commonly used by importers, exporters, manufacturers as well as wholesalers. Recent developments in marketing fields have greatly led to the development of warehouse planning and designing styles. Therefore, flexibility can be built into warehouse planning and design to accommodate change for the future in various ways. Warehousing operations ought to adopt to the emerging changes as well as growing need of customers due to the changing trends. Warehouse and distribution operations now tend to pay more emphasis on fewer inventories, larger SKU catalogues, value adding services, and increased customized packaging (Anonymous, 2002). Most companies have deployed new technologies such as Transportation management systems (TMS) and Warehouse management systems (WMS) toward meeting the emerging requirements and reducing costs and improving service levels to the customers.

In order for a warehouse to accommodate change in the future, the use of computers and supply chain software should be taken into consideration. Supply chain software is already a critical element today and it will lead to new highly automated warehouses in future. Therefore, computer would be an effective as well as efficient tool for warehouse management in preparation for the future changes. Computers in warehouses would receive, retrieve as well as provide the necessary information and update records that help in controlling the operations of warehouse efficiently (Berg, 2007).

Flexibility can be built into warehouse planning and design to accommodate for the future by taking location into consideration. Location as well as the warehouse purpose within the network is an essential thing. In addition, convenience is fast becoming one of the primary points of competition for warehouses. In order to accommodate change for the future warehouses should develop flexible space. Warehouse flexibility is becoming a more significant issue as retailers increasingly take their businesses online. Therefore, the building must be able to cope with the demand volatility which is imposed by e-Commerce whether a smaller urban warehouse or a large distribution centre. In relation to design, warehouses should incorporate technology in order to accommodate change for the future. Therefore, a warehouse must be designed in a way that it can accommodate short-term changes in requirements of space as well as delivering operational efficiency’s required levels.

Flexibility can also be built into warehouse planning and design to accommodate change in the future through warehouse management. Warehouse management tends to be a part of logistics as well as supply chain management system which is a vast as well as critical process. The complexity of warehouse management has increased more with the change of business nature due to globalization. Warehouse Management System is considered to be one of those kinds of solution that fulfill all requirements of business need today since it is flexible and provides automated support to process warehouse activities. Warehouse management is no longer limited to a particular warehouse’s boundaries since a wide variety of activities have been associated with this process. Some of the activities include cost management, warehouse design and warehouse process design, container storage and inventory management and planning. There are several benefits of Warehouse Management System. For instance, the system renders flexibility and efficient automated support that helps to manage complex warehouse structure. Moreover, the system efficiently support the warehouse process by defining as well as optimizing material flow using advanced put away and picking techniques.

Questions such as inventory’s deployment as well as well as transportation means are complicated things which can be solved with a systems approach. Therefore, in the future, the software will help in determining most of the choice as well as future decisions will be made using management information systems. Management information systems are quite necessary for decision making for numerous considerations which include the need for all warehouse work. There are various tradeoffs with respect to allocating resources up front or into the future (Graham, 2003). The technology driven market tends to bring in the way regarding complex ordering processes. Warehouses have recently adopted Retrieval Systems (AVS) and Autonomous Vehicle-based Storage as a potential alternative to traditional retrieval systems and automated storage for processing operations at unit-load. A high level pertaining hardware sophistication is provided by autonomy of the vehicles in an AVR thus leading to improvements in operation flexibility which will be necessary in warehouses of the future.

Question 2

Process improvement tends to relate to analyzing or improving a system. In this case, any company enterprise process could be greatly improved. For instance, in transportation, a firm can focus on significantly improving its software system to manage employees, inventory, payroll and even drivers. Moreover, transportation may even focus to improve routes, driver training in reducing hazards as well as increasing safety on the road. In addition, Transportation Management solutions (TMS) can help in taking back control of transportation processes as well as driving out transportation costs (Gilmore, 2002). With the help of process improvement, TMS software also helps a company in controlling process of orders, loads, auditing and payments, and following and tracking shipments.

Moreover, essay writing company  helps in managing the supply chain, especially coordinating and optimizing products and materials movement. In most cases, supply chain management contains transportation operations. Products of TMS tend to serve as logistics thus serving as center in a common network of customers, shippers, carriers and shippers. TMS systems help in keeping track of all of the transportation operations electronically thus convenience and efficiency. Process improvement through transportation systems tends to offer significant tools in maximizing the efficiency as well as reducing costs that are related with the product logistics and shipping (Gilmore, 2002).

Due to the existence of process improvement, there are various functionality which enhance transportation excellence. For instance, automated carrier section helps businesses in determining the carrier as well as mode options for each delivery. Another significant functionality is shipment consolidation which helps business in evaluating all scheduled shipments as well as organizing, and creating efficient bundles. Moreover, it helps in maximizing the load consolidation with each delivery. In addition, route optimization function tends to use maps, traffics data, transportation costs, and modal limitations toward making decision for efficient route. Additionally, another critical function is freight estimate optimization. Regarding this functionality, software calculates the delivery costs based on mode of shipping, weight, distance as well as other variables (Larose, 2001). Thus, business can acquire report in determining the most cost efficient ways after this calculation.

Another important function is payments. In this section, system consist accounting modules which significantly help business in controlling invoices which are shipment related and audit freight bills. Moreover, this module helps in reducing payment errors as well as helps in settling payments. Process improvement might be extended to other areas of logistics planning in various ways. the ability for a firm to control its costs is one of the most visible as well as valuable benefits of continuous process improvement in business logistic planning. Several costs rise over time such as raw materials thus rising costs tend to cut into profits unless organizations can raise prices without affecting consumer demand. Therefore, a business can take control of its costs by continuously improving logistics. Other areas of logistics planning can be reached through process improvement through the use of technology.

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