Distribution Center Case Study

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1. Overview and evaluation of distribution centre requirements. Throughout the years, there has been a wealthy contribution, regarding the design procedure of a distribution centre. Despite that, there are differences, regarding the number and the content of the steps. Generally, the most commonly described stages are the definition of the business requirements, the analysis of data, the operating methods, the equipment requirements and capacity and the design of the layout (Apple, 1977; Oxley, 1994; Baker & Canessa, 2009; Rushton et al., 2010). It is important, however, before proceeding to the selection of the equipment and the operating methods, the design of the layout and the rest of the steps, to determine the distribution center’s role,…show more content…
Decision trees are used, for instance, the one developed by Rushton et al., (2010) for storage systems. Two types of storage equipment are selected. The fast and medium moving items, due to the fact that in average more than one pallet per SKU is stored, will be stored on back-to-back single deep and wide aisle racking. Twenty lines of racks are needed and the dimensions of each pair are: height=6.5m, length=100m and width=2.4m. On the other hand, for the storage of slow moving items longspan shelving will be used, having a length=120m, height=2.4m and width=1.2m. It should be noted that electrical products are stored in a secured area in the east area of the warehouse and the heavy and large products are located to the south-east part of the storage area, in order to be close to the receiving and shipping operations. The equipment selected for the movement of products within warehouse is the counterbalanced fork lift truck (CBFL), as it can be used in all the operations efficiently. A total of twenty-five CBFL trucks will be needed. A warehouse management system (WMS) has to be created, as well, tailored to the needs of the distribution centre, in order to function properly. Apart from the standard modules, in the WMS additional information system functionalities are installed - staff scheduling, slotting, stock locator, directed putaway and dock management -…show more content…
These requirements demand a shift from conventional wide aisle racking infrastructure to a more automated infrastructure, such as automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS), pick conveyors or sophisticated sortation systems (Baker, 2004). Reflecting on the current warehouse design, potential improvements can be identified and proposed, due to the fact that a few steps in the design are missing and some decisions were taken arbitrarily. These improvements are focused, primarily, on the warehouse operations and on the storage and movement

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