Objective of store layout design
Layout planning involves decisions about the physical arrangement of economic activity centres within a facility. An economic activity centre can be anything that consumes space: a person or group of people, a teller window, a machine, a workstation, a department, a cafeteria or storage room, and so on. The goal of layout planning is to allow workers and equipment to operate most effectively. In general, the inputs to the layout decision are as follows:
1. Specification of the objectives and corresponding criteria to be used to evaluate the design. The amount of space required, and the distance that must be travelled between elements in that layout, are common basic criteria
2. Estimates of product or service demand on the system
3. Processing requirements in terms of number of operations and amount of flow between the elements in that layout
4. Space requirements for the elements in that layout
5. Space availability within the facility itself, or if this is a new facility, possible building configurations.
Before making a decision regarding physical arrangement, few questions must be addressed. Can you guess some of the pertinent issues? Well, the first and foremost question could be:
What centres should the layout include?
Centres should reflect process decisions and maximise productivity. For example, a central storage area for tools is most efficient for certain processes, but keeping tools at individual workstations make more sense for other processes.
How much space and capacity does each centre need?
Inadequate space can reduce productivity, deprive employees of privacy, and even create health and safety hazards. However, excessive space is wasteful, can reduce productivity, and can isolate employees unnecessarily.
How each centre’s space should be configured?
The amount of space, its shape, and the elements in a centre are interrelated. For example, placement of a desk and chair relative to the other furniture is determined by the size and shape of the office, as well as the activities performed there. Providing a pleasing atmosphere also should be considered as part of the layout configuration decisions, especially in retail outlets and offices.
Where should each center be located?