Operations Layout, Processes and Product Development

Topics: Flowchart, Process architecture, Management Pages: 8 (2775 words) Published: November 12, 2011
Ghana institute of management and public administration
Operations management group assignment

Identifying shops with good as well as bad layout at the Accra mall and assessing efficient and effective or otherwise of operations at the mall and finally creating a new product or service for a particular shop in the mall. By

Patricia Oye Asante

The layout of an operation is concerned with the physical location of its transforming resources, i.e.deciding where to put all the facilities, machines, equipment and staff in the operation. Layout is often the first thing most of us would first notice on entering an operation. It also determines the way in which transformed resources i.e. the materials, information and customers flow through the operation (Slack et al, 2004). Lay out plays an important role in informing customers’ choice thus having overall effect on maximizing sales. Customers comfort and convenience is a key factor to consider in layout. According to Slack et al, 2004, layout, like any design activity, must start with an appreciation of the operation’s strategic objectives. The basic layout is the general form of arrangement of the facilities in the operation. Most practical layouts are derived from only four basic layout types namely: * FIXED-POSITION LAYOUT: - With this type of layout instead of materials, information or customers flowing through an operation, the recipient of the processing is stationary and the equipment, machinery, plant and people who do the processing move as necessary. This could be as a result of the fact that, the product or recipients of the service is too large to be moved conveniently or might be too delicate to move. Example in Kidney transplant operation, patients are too delicate to move and in constructing a dam, the product is too large to move.

* PRODUCT LAYOUT: - This layout is also known as flow or line layout. Here each product, piece of information or customer follows a pre-arranged route in which the processes have been located. Example in Gimpa there are prearranged routines an undergrad must go through to graduate; admission, lectures, quizzes/assignments, semester examinations, project etc.

* CELL LAYOUT:-This layout is one where the transformed resources entering the operations are pre-selected or preselect themselves to move to one part of the operation or cell in which all the transforming resources, to meet their immediate processing needs are located. Example departmental shop where each area can have particular class of products but will have a baby themed department where all goods displayed have common baby themes.

* PROCESS LAYOUT: - With this layout, the needs and convenience of the transforming resources which constitute the processes dominate the layout decision. Here similar processes or processes with similar needs are located together. This may be because it is convenient to group them together or that the transforming resources are improved. It means that when products, information or customers flow through the operation, they will take a route from activity to activity according to their needs. Different products or customers will have different needs and therefore take different routes. Examples of process layout include hospitals where x-rays machines and laboratories are required by several types of patients.

However quite a number of businesses use a mixture of the afore mentioned layouts and take into considerations cost and flexibility. What type of layout an operation should use is also influenced by the nature of the process type, which in turn depends on the volume-variety characteristics of the operation. The objectives of the operation will also be considered.

* Mixed layout. This type of layout combines elements of some or all of the basic layout types. Example a restaurant complex with three different types of restaurants and...
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