systematic layout

Topics: Management, Project management, Office Pages: 18 (2382 words) Published: October 28, 2014
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Construction Office Design with Systematic Layout Planning

2nd World Conference on POM
15th Annual POM Conference
Cancun, Mexico
April 30 – May 3, 2004

James P. Gilbert, Ph.D.
Professor of Operations Management and Quantitative Analysis Rollins College
Crummer Graduate School of Business
1000 Holt Avenue
Winter Park, Florida 32789
Office: 407-628-6375
FAX: 407-646-1550

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Construction Office Design with Systematic Layout Planning
Systematic Layout Planning (SLP) was developed by Richard Muther (Muther, 1961). This technique is presented in many Introductory Production and Operations Management textbooks (Heizer & Render, 2004; Finch & Luebbe, 1995). SLP is a relatively simple process that objectively handles a multi-criteria evaluation process. Recent literature has focused on the use of CORELAP and PLANET for office layouts with few recent, detailed examples of SLP. The case study reported here illustrates the values to a mid-sized construction firm of using SLP. Systematic Layout Planning develops a feasible plan of action through a multi-step procedure. In the progression of working through these steps a great deal of process understanding by those involved results. The company owners and staff were able to develop a vastly improved office layout improving service quality, process speed, and work process understanding. All involved in SLP plan development and implementation discovered aspects of their role and responsibilities and working relationships with others inside and outside the firm. This proven tool for small to medium-sized office layouts is a viable approach for many typical layout and relayout situations that managers confront.

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Construction Office Design with Systematic Layout Planning
Driver Construction Company is a small to medium sized business working in the private and public sectors. The firm was established by its President and Chief Financial officer, Mr. Gerald H. and Mrs. Carol S. Driver. Shortly after completing their engineering degrees the couple married and started a construction business out of their home. Today the firm is successfully competing in both the construction and construction project management sectors. The firm builds high quality, competitive priced buildings. Most often, Driver Construction is building grocery stores, churches, office buildings from one story to 13 stories.

The layout project was an outgrowth of the strategic planning process. During this process the firm set out its objectives for the mid-term future.

To increase annual revenue by 10% or more.
To increase annual profits by 10% or more.
To provide an annual contribution to the company’s profit sharing plan. To achieve and maintain a safety record of no lost work days. To maintain job security for its work force.

It became clear that one key element to achieving their strategic goals was to become much more efficient in the office. The flow of staff and paper was seen by all individuals working in the office as cumbersome. Files and critical papers were not available in a timely fashion. Project managers and staff found themselves walking the length of the office frequently adding no value to the projects and using time better placed on value added activities.

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With the guidance of an outside consultant, the office staff met weekly for one hour sessions for about two months. It was decided that frequent short meetings would allow for the normal flow of work and time to digest and synthesize information from one session to another. These weekly sessions proved invaluable as the entire team discovered aspects of their company that would most likely not have come out in other ways.

Layout Procedures
Layout problems may be solved from a number of approaches. Management science has given us mathematical programming...

References: Finch, B. J. & R. L. Luebbe. (1995). Operations Management: Competing in a Changing
Hassen, M. D. (1994). Computer-Aided Plant Layout. Manufacturing Facilities: Location
Planning and Design
Heizer, J. & B. Render. (2004). Operations Management. Upper Saddle River, NJ, Pearson
Education, Inc.
Luxhoj, J. T. (1990). "A Methodology for the Location of Facility Ingress/Egress Points."
International Journal of Operations & Production Management 11(5): 6-21.
Mohr, J. & M. Willet. (1999). Simplified Systematic Plant Layout. CIRAS News. 34: 5-10.
Muther, R. (1961). Systematic Layout Planning. Boston, CBI Publishing Company, Inc.
Muther, R. (1973). Systematic Layout Planning. Boston, CBI Publishing Company, Inc.
Muther, R. (1977). Six Steps to Making an Office Layout. The Office. 85: 28.
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