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Management Consulting/Production and materials managements


Sir, pls. help me writing an assignment for the questions below:
"An ideally laid out plant goes a long way in reducing manufacturing costs through materials handling, reduced personnel and equipment requirements and reduced in process inventory" elaborate

Facility layout and design is an important component of a business's overall operations, both in terms of maximizing the effectiveness of the production process and meeting the needs of employees.
The basic objective of layout is to ensure a smooth flow of work, material, and information through a system. The basic meaning of facility is the space in which a business's activities take place. The layout and design of that space impact greatly how the work is done—the flow of work, materials, and information through the system. The key to good facility layout and design is the integration of the needs of people (personnel and customers), materials (raw, finishes, and in process), and machinery in such a way that they create a single, well-functioning system.
Small business owners need to consider many operational factors when building or renovating a facility for maximum layout effectiveness. These criteria include the following:
1.   Ease of future expansion or change—Facilities should be designed so that they can be easily expanded or adjusted to meet changing production needs. "Although redesigning a facility is a major, expensive undertaking not to be done lightly, there is always the possibility that a redesign will be necessary,"

"Therefore, any design should be flexible'. Flexible manufacturing systems most often are highly automated facilities having intermediate-volume production of a variety of products. Their goal is to minimize changeover or setup times for producing the different products while still achieving close to assembly line (single-product) production rates."
2.   Flow of movement—The facility design should reflect a recognition of the importance of smooth process flow. In the case of factory facilities, the editors of How to Run a Small Business state that "ideally, the plan will show the raw materials entering your plant at one end and the finished product emerging at the other. The flow need not be a straight line. Parallel flows, U-shaped patterns, or even a zig-zag that ends up with the finished product back at the shipping and receiving bays can be functional. However, backtracking is to be avoided in whatever pattern is chosen. When parts and materials move against or across the overall flow, personnel and paperwork become confused, parts become lost, and the attainment of coordination becomes complicated."
3.   Materials handling—Small business owners should make certain that the facility layout makes it possible to handle materials (products, equipment, containers, etc.) in an orderly, efficient—and preferably simple—manner.
4.   Output needs—The facility should be laid out in a way that is conducive to helping the business meet its production needs.
1.   Space utilization—This aspect of facility design includes everything from making sure that traffic lanes are wide enough to making certain that inventory storage warehouses or rooms utilize as much vertical space as possible.
2.   Shipping and receiving—counseled small business owners to leave ample room for this aspect of operations. "While space does tend to fill itself up, receiving and shipping rarely get enough space for the work to be done effectively,"
3.   Ease of communication and support—Facilities should be laid out so that communication within various areas of the business and interactions with vendors and customers can be done in an easy and effective manner. Similarly, support areas should be stationed in areas that help them to serve operating areas.
4.   Impact on employee morale and job satisfaction—Since countless studies have indicated that employee morale has a major impact on productivity, -- owners and managers to heed this factor when pondering facility design alternatives: "Some ways layout design can increase morale are obvious, such as providing for light-colored walls, windows, space. Other ways are less obvious and not directly related to the production process. Some examples are including a cafeteria or even a gymnasium in the facility design. Again, though, there are costs to be traded off. That is, does the increase in morale due to a cafeteria increase productivity to the extent that the increased productivity covers the cost of building and staffing the cafeteria."
5.   Promotional value—If the business commonly receives visitors in the form of customers, vendors, investors, etc., the small business owner may want to make sure that the facility layout is an attractive one that further burnishes the company's reputation. Design factors that can influence the degree of attractiveness of a facility include not only the design of the production area itself, but the impact that it has on, for instance, ease of fulfilling maintenance/cleaning tasks.
6.   Safety—The facility layout should enable the business to effectively operate in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines and other legal restrictions.
"Facility layout must be considered very carefully because we do not want to constantly redesign the facility," . "Some of the goals in designing the facility are to ensure a minimum amount of materials handling, to avoid bottlenecks, to minimize machine interference, to ensure high employee morale and safety, and to ensure flexibility. Essentially, there are two distinct types of layout. Product layout is synonymous with assembly line and is oriented toward the products that are being made. Process layout is oriented around the processes that are used to make the products. Generally, product layout is applicable for high-volume repetitive operations, while process layout is applicable for low-volume custom-made goods."
1.   Transport : Movement of materials is a waste. Minimise the amount of movement by arranging processes in close proximity to each other. Factory layouts can often be the fundamental cause of excess transportation. When appropriate, re-laying out the machines within a factory from a functional to a cellular layout has been found by many companies to help not just reduce transportation waste but also reduce WIP and waiting. Items being moved unnecessarily incur a cost
2.   Inventory : Many companies produce above what is required to fulfil the order, this may be due to quality problems along the production process or the often mistaken belief that is saves money by manufacturing larger quantities.. Too little inventory can lose sales, too much inventory can hide problems.
3.   Motion :. Generally, this waste applies to production personnel having to move out of their work area to locate tools, materials, etc. Remove unnecessary motion of the operations and improve the ergonomics of the workplace. People moving unnecessarily also incur a cost.
4.   Waiting : Minimise waiting time (operators waiting for machines or products waiting around in factories either as finished goods or work in progress) Aim for a smooth flow.
5.   Overproduction : Always aim to make exactly what the customer orders, just in time, to the correct quality standard. On the shop floor, this generally occurs because changeover times are high, equipment is unreliable, the process is unreliable (causes defects), and standard cost accounting metrics are used. However, probably the biggest reason for overproduction is poor information flow (communication) between facilities.
6.   OverProcessing : Use machines which are of an appropriate capacity and capable of achieving the required quality standard. This usually refers to using larger scale equipment than necessary; it also refers to building in rework to a process. It can also refer to using the wrong suppliers and/or the wrong process
7.   Defects : Reducing the number of defects directly reduces the amount of waste. Aim for zero defects.

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Leo Lingham


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18 years working managerial experience covering business planning, strategic planning, corporate planning, management service, organization development, marketing, sales management etc


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