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Layout of Facilities

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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? (at least 3 pages and reference please)

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

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Solution Summary

This 992 word document is complete with 3 quality references that tie its ideas together. It outlines the importance of building structures with the future in mind. It answers the questions of what requirements are for building layouts, the importance of such planning, and trade-offs associated with building for the future.

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Layout of Facilities

The art of distributing goods to singular and multiple locations has drastically changed over the years. What once required companies to maintain large warehouses full of product that sat for long periods of time now demands more planning, a workforce of broader intelligence, and equipment that was previously unknown. This trend is one that looks to continue into the future. Since the future is unknown, and technology is ever increasing it is important for companies to plan their facilities in such a fashion that they will be flexible for future technologies and growth.

Building Flexibility For A Changing Future

With the understanding that the future holds endless possibilities for the warehousing industry, how can planning and design accommodate this future change? The answer lies in planning with the future in mind. We can see that new technologies such as RFID are allowing companies to keep fewer items in stock at the warehouse, lower overhead, and minimize liability (Graham, 2003). In addition, new technology is driving unprecedented reliability to the customer at the end-point of a transaction. The problem at the onset of building a structure for both present and future use is that there is no way to know what or when technologies will be introduced in the future. Productive planning manages this problem.

Setting Goals
When developing a building for future use the manager must keep future goals in mind. What kind of business is expected? Where will points of delivery be in the future? Will the ...

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