Section 002 Case: Hiram Miller—A
I, the general manager of Hiram Miller Chicago branch, am considering we should have something done with our current warehouse on Jefferson Street. The basic problem is that the 60-year-old warehouse is not capable for our daily business from many aspects any more as we move into the 21st century. Due to many limitations, the shortcomings to run that warehouse are overwhelming the advantages it remains. Small size, inefficient layout, obsolete facilities, low-tech equipments and bad working environment are dragging our company down within such an intense competition nowadays.
Upon our current situation, size is one of the crucial parts to be improved with our warehouse. 80,000-square-foot and low ceilings are apparently insufficient for efficient 53-foot trailers to work and cannot provide enough space for docks so that they have to load and unload materials much timely and is not convenient for customers picking up their freights. Compared with popular warehouse layouts, the six-story layout is less efficient because it uses elevators and chutes conveying items between each floor and adds complexity to the overall process. The old building has not done yet, but it can barely keep good condition for work. The weak floors cannot burden the heavy equipments like fork lifters and the elevators are always out of work which exacerbates the inefficiency. Besides, with the low-tech equipments we have, warehouse cannot stock various kinds of items. For instance, if we have a modern-design warehouse system, we will have more abilities to store items which are fragile, flammable, short-shelf-life or easy to cracked. The working environment is also not up to expectation. Fallen paint peels make workers sick while they are working.
As far as I concern, there are three alternative decisions that we can...