In our article on producing spaghetti diagrams to assess movement in the workplace we discussed the need to reduce unnecessary movement through effective organizational layouts.

A common way of reducing movement is by using a strategy of storage of point of use.

“Point of use” simply means storing what you need (including how much) where you need it. Clearly you shouldn’t store a whole warehouse near the workstation just to reduce movement so you’ll need to identify appropriate bills of materials and tools that are needed against production requirements to form an effective forward stores (or better still utilize a Kanban system! providing the room within the work cell to store the “live” Kanban).

This “forward store” can be located at the workstation providing enough materials and tools to reduce (or eradicate) the need for movement when replenishing stocks.

When reorganizing the work area to reduce movement make sure you also consider shelf heights and storage methods (containers for example) as effective control of these can improve access and minimize handling time.

The most important factor in reviewing your work areas is to take your time – construct and use your spaghetti diagrams to analyse bottlenecks – take into account production patterns and staffing levels – getting it right at this stage will help you avoid making changes later.

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