- Facility Design and Layout: Comprehensive facility operations design and layout requires a systematic process to determining the most appropriate combination of operations processes, material flows, material handling equipment, storage equipment, and information systems to satisfy the planned business requirements of a client. Whenever there is a major change in business the impacts volume, inventory or the customer shipping profile, a facility re-design is likely needed.
Distribution Network Analysis: Every company’s supply chain is in constant flux. Customers change product lines, grow, move, or demand different services. Storage requirements change, leases expire, and value added services may become a requirement. Vendors shift sources, change product configuration, order minimums and delivery conditions. And freight companies appear and disappear, fuel costs change, and new ports and hubs open. Companies merge and divest. Each of these is an imposed change that affects the cost of the supply chain, and how competitive and profitably your company functions.
Project Implementation: Project implementation is the process by which operational changes are made, including those involving new equipment, facility designs, or process improvements. The primary activities that need to be managed are the overall project control, the bidding process, equipment and process installation, and transition planning. Management of a proposed project’s implementation is a crucial step in the ultimate success of the project. Without proper implementation, it becomes increasingly unlikely that the proposed changes in an operation will meet the results that were projected. Allocating responsibility for the implementation to multiple personnel with competing resources does not typically lead to positive results. A single source of project management must be assigned and given the appropriate time and resources, which can often be considerable, to lead the project to successful implementation.
Simulation is a three-dimensional mathematical model that is created to represent a dynamic system. For material handling purposes, simulations are developed to represent existing or proposed material handling systems. Simulation is a great way to evaluate alternatives and test “what if” scenarios before making a large capital investment. The results from a simulation can provide useful information about an existing or proposed material handling system, including the following:
- Capacity constraints
- Design flaws or bottlenecks
- Labor projections and utilization
- Wave size/release criteria
- Equipment utilization
- Impact of differing volumes on an operation’s overall throughput capacity
Companies installing a conveyor or sortation system should consider building a simulation model. Design flaws or bottlenecks can be identified and corrected before any physical equipment is installed, saving time and capital expense.