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Designing distribution centres for agile supply chains

By Peter Baker

Abstract

Increasing globalisation and market volatility represent major challenges for many supply chains, and particularly for the distribution centres within them. This paper examines how distribution centres are being designed to be agile even though they are, by their nature, long-term fixed assets. The research is based on semi-structured interviews with warehouse design companies to identify the range of agility types that were regarded as necessary during the design phase, and how these were addressed. The research also explores the cost, time and service level implications, whilst handling variances in demand or supply. The interviewee responses are expressed in terms of qualitative measures on Likert scales. The results indicate that there is generally a slightly or moderately higher cost to design for agility. Based on the literature and the case study responses, a methodology is developed of how to address agility within warehouse design, and areas of further research are identified

Topics: Agility, Flexibility, Distribution centres, Warehousing
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.1080/13675560600859136
OAI identifier: oai:dspace.lib.cranfield.ac.uk:1826/3016
Provided by: Cranfield CERES
Journal:

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