Your ‘Operation Layout’ can be a hidden efficiency ‘Opportunity‘. There are various degrees of improvement to consider from workstation position to whole-scale layout, building and location change. The ‘main factors‘ to consider in a ‘Layout Optimization’: 1) ‘Time (and Distance) of travel’ for people, materials, products, and information. 2) ‘Cost’ of the current operation. And 3) ‘Savings’ derived from future Layout Optimization.

A logical ‘Lean’ approach to ‘layout improvement’ is a ‘view’ of the ‘Value Stream’. (i.e. the current system used to deliver products and services to the customer). A ‘Value Stream’ analysis will show the ‘sequence of process steps‘ and ‘time to complete‘ from customer request to delivery of product or service. The Value Stream view is the 10,000-foot ‘hard and fast’ realty ‘efficiency metric’.

A full-on team ‘Kaizen Sprint’ can bring together stakeholders to focus on layout improvements. A ‘Kaizen Sprint’ is a team based improvement challenge to ‘deep dive’ on improving operations from ‘current state constraints’ to ‘future state goals’. ‘Just Do It’ and ‘Kaizen Improvements’ are ‘Listed’, ‘Prioritized’ and ‘Implemented’ during the ‘Kaizen Sprint’. Improvements constrained from time, budget and people can be listed as ‘Future’ projects. Depending on optimization focus (i.e. whole system or individual ‘Process’ step), a ‘Kaizen Sprint’ can deliver fundamental ‘optimized systems’.

Simulation can also give a realistic view of production layout options taking constraints into consideration. Layout simulation can give a ‘view’ of ‘Future State’ improvements. ‘Future State’ goal metrics give a ‘focus’ for simulation optimization. Simulation software can allow a ‘quick in-depth view‘ of various layout considerations.

The physical movement of ‘People’, ‘Products’ and ‘Materials’ can be optimized from ‘Supply Chain’ and ‘Production’ data. Metrics can be manually or automatically captured into a database. This information will show ‘fluctuations and trends’ which can be displayed on operation ‘dashboards’ to facilitate team motivation and progress. An optimized layout can deliver on ‘Capacity and Capability’ which is needed to ‘seeinnovation’ and ‘seed’ development for ‘Business Growth’!

Todd Adams

OBR Optimization Engineering: Lean Six Sigma CI, ERP Software Development, Quality Systems Enhancement, Business Process Improvement, CI Project Work.; POC: Todd Adams,; (424) 241-0290.

As the Famous Sales Guru Grant Cardone says, 10X your OBSESSION!

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