Building Flexibility into Warehouse Planning and Design

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Building Flexibility into Warehouse Planning and Design Given the enormous amount of resources that are involved in many warehousing operations, it is important to identify the most cost effective solutions at any given point in time but this analysis has become increasingly complex for two basic reasons. First, innovations in technology in recent years have created numerous opportunities as well as challenges for warehousing planning and design, with some of the industry best practices being replaced with software-driven solutions that were not even envisioned just a few years ago. Second, these technological solutions have been matched by improvements in other aspects of warehouse administration that provide significant flexibility for future needs if some basic design elements are considered in advance. This paper provides a review of the relevant literature to determine how flexibility can be built into warehouse planning and design to accommodate change for the future and the resources required, followed by an analysis of the trade-offs that would be involved with respect to allocating resources up front or in the future. Finally, a summary of the research and important findings are presented in the conclusion. Review and Discussion Building Flexibility into Warehouse Planning and Design to Accommodate Change for the Future The importance of warehouse planning and design is emphasized by Freese (2000) who reports that poor dock layout and overcrowded conditions

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