Operations management deals with several managerial issues that are linked to planning as well as coordinating the resources that an organization has (Leseure 2010, p. 2). It is common knowledge that a great deal of an organization’s expenditures is controlled in the operations department. Therefore, the designs for the processes, as well as layouts, are among the most trivial decisions that any manager should consider. Such choices pose long term effects for the organizations as well as their norms. If the designs of the plant layouts are not given great consideration, inefficiencies could set in during operations.
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In operations management, four main designs of layout exist. These plant layouts include product layout, process layout, fixed product layout, and lastly cellular layout (Saleemi 2005, p. 12). In a fixed product layout, for instance, products being developed do not typically flow in the production facility in use. However, other important resources such as machinery and personnel are used as they carry out the operations. This type of plant layout is suitable for organizations that develop large products. The second plant layout is the process layout. The plant is designed in regard to the same functions. Facilities are grouped together to undertake similar tasks. For instance, a departmental store that has several compartments would be a good example of a process layout.
Thirdly, product layout is most efficient for a firm that deals with high levels of production but a very low level of assortment in their product offertories. For instance, in an assembly line, product offertories seem to flow fast. The obvious and common disadvantage of a product layout is its ineffectiveness and incapacity to alter the designs of products in an easy and efficient way. Lastly, the cellular plant layout considers grouping machinery into different cells in order to process items that are similar in nature. This essentially implies that matching machineries are arranged in close proximity within the facility.
The main goal of choosing a plant layout is to cut down any function which can be seen to relate to the movement of items. This basically takes care of the absolute material handling expenses, time taken for products to move in the facility as well as the distance traveled in the facility (Shapiro 2004, p. 34). As it is today, the construction of an organization in an urban setting is relatively costly. This is owed to the fact that the supply of land is lacking, and available pieces of land are quite costly. Many firms, therefore, have constrained the convenience of horizontal landmasses and have to develop a vertical axis in the facility hence complicating the design of the plant layout. As any company grows and seeks strategies that can stand the tribulations that come with operations, a good plan has to be designed which is able to produce items that are of high quality in a period of time that would be suitable.
The layout of plants is, therefore, a pertinent element of a firm’s general business operations in regard to maximizing the efficiency of the processes of producing offertories as well as satisfying the desires of the personnel. It is hence important to note that proper planning of a plant layout is pertinent as it eradicates the needless expenses for more space as well as how materials are handled, leading to mass production of products as well as services.
Leseure, M 2010, Key Concepts in Operation Management, Prentice Hall, London.
Saleemi, N 2005, Operations Management, Rout ledge Publishers, New York.
Shapiro, P 2004, Operations Management, Sage Publications, New York.