Materials handling analysis in supply chain reengineering
Paper in proceedings, 1997
eengineering capability and tools are important in relation to the demands on the supply chains of today and require an understanding of the current structure and activities, including their function in relation to the overall objective of the system. The physical flow is an essential part of the supply chain, including all materials handling activities taking place at different locations in the system. A principal result of the engineering effort is an efficient physical flow. A physical flow that creates conditions for short throughput times, low resource consumption and low risk of goods damage is necessary in order to have an efficient supply chain. These conditions are to a large extent determined by the organization and operation of the materials handling activities. In this paper, a stepwise analysis is outlined considering causes of materials handling activities and the restrictions in eliminating or avoiding them. A detailed description of a case study where the introduced analysis is applied is presented. The results indicate that the analysis is effective not only in identifying and structuring the causes of materials handling but also in identifying alternative designs of the supply chain that improve the effectiveness of the materials handling.