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Developing a Design Science Based Decision Support Framework for Detailed Design of a Warehouse

Sänneskog, Oliver LU and Karlsson, Mattias LU (2017) MTT820 20162
Engineering Logistics
Abstract
Problem description: Warehouses and warehousing operations are often considered as some of the most crucial elements in a company's supply chain, and often stand for more than 20 percent of a company’s total logistics costs. The actual size of these costs are, together with most of the costs related to warehouse operations, mainly consequences of the decisions made when designing the warehouse. The design of warehouses should therefore be considered as a critical component for any company striving towards increased competitiveness and a more efficient supply chain. When designing a warehouse several aspects have to be considered, including location and size of aisles, P/D location, picking zones, storage assignment and many more. These... (More)
Problem description: Warehouses and warehousing operations are often considered as some of the most crucial elements in a company's supply chain, and often stand for more than 20 percent of a company’s total logistics costs. The actual size of these costs are, together with most of the costs related to warehouse operations, mainly consequences of the decisions made when designing the warehouse. The design of warehouses should therefore be considered as a critical component for any company striving towards increased competitiveness and a more efficient supply chain. When designing a warehouse several aspects have to be considered, including location and size of aisles, P/D location, picking zones, storage assignment and many more. These aspects are often interdependent, thereby making it almost impossible to find an optimal solution to the layout design problem. A structured approach towards decision making is therefore needed.

Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to develop a decision support framework by combining warehousing theory with the methodology of design science. By using design science, the focus of the research shifts from theoretical knowledge creation towards a more problem solving oriented approach, enabling the user to consider several interdependent aspects by the use of iterative processes.

Research questions: How can a decision support framework for the detailed design of a warehouse be conceived by utilizing established warehouse theory in combination with design science? And, can the proposed framework enhance the ability to pursue the warehousing strategy at the case company by improving the physical layout and related processes?

Methodology: By studying research within the fields of both warehousing and design science, frameworks related to both of the topics were established. The design science research framework combines the viewpoints of current research and puts it in a warehouse design context. This framework was then combined with modules, consisting of key topics from the warehousing literature study, in order to create the decision support framework. The framework was then applied to the situation at BorgWarner Sweden AB using a single case study research strategy.

Conclusion: The module based approach used in the decision support framework provides several benefits when merging the concepts of warehousing and design science. The iterative design science methodology needs clearly structured definitions and limitations, which is given by the different modules of the framework. It can also be concluded that, as seen by the case study, the use of the decision support framework resulted in an improved detailed layout that are in line with the strategy of the case company. (Less)
Popular Abstract (Swedish)
Problembeskrivning: Lager och lagerhållningsprocesser ses ofta som några av de viktigaste delarna i ett företags värdekedja, så dessa delar kan stå för över 20 procent av företagets totala logistikkostnader. Storleken på dessa kostnader, och även många andra kostnader relaterade till lagerföring, är huvudsakligen en konsekvens av de beslut som togs när lagren designades. Lagerdesign bör därför ses som en grundpelare i ett företags arbete med att skapa en mer effektiv värdekedja och därmed också öka sin konkurrenskraft. När ett lager ska designas är det en uppsjö av beslut som behöver tas i beaktning, till exempel plockzoner, lagringspolicys, behov av material och mycket annat. Konsekvensen av dessa beslut beror ofta på varandra, vilket gör... (More)
Problembeskrivning: Lager och lagerhållningsprocesser ses ofta som några av de viktigaste delarna i ett företags värdekedja, så dessa delar kan stå för över 20 procent av företagets totala logistikkostnader. Storleken på dessa kostnader, och även många andra kostnader relaterade till lagerföring, är huvudsakligen en konsekvens av de beslut som togs när lagren designades. Lagerdesign bör därför ses som en grundpelare i ett företags arbete med att skapa en mer effektiv värdekedja och därmed också öka sin konkurrenskraft. När ett lager ska designas är det en uppsjö av beslut som behöver tas i beaktning, till exempel plockzoner, lagringspolicys, behov av material och mycket annat. Konsekvensen av dessa beslut beror ofta på varandra, vilket gör det närmast omöjligt att hitta en optimal lösning för den övergripande lagerlayouten. Det finns därför ett behov av ett strukturerad angreppssätt för denna typ av beslutsfattande.

Syfte: Syftet med den här studien är att utveckla ett ramverk för beslutsstöd genom att kombinera lagerteori med metodik från designvetenskap. Genom att använda sig av denna typ av metodik kan ett mer problemlösningsorienterat angreppssätt uppnås, samt skapa en möjlighet att ta flera aspekter i beaktning trots att dessa kan bero på varandra.

Forskningsfrågor: Hur kan ett ramverk för beslutsstöd vid detaljerad design av ett lager skapas genom att kombinera lagerteori och metodik från designvetenskap? Och, kan det föreslagna ramverket förbättra möjligheterna att följa uppsatta lagerstrategier hos BorgWarner genom att förbättra den fysiska layouten och tillhörande processer i deras lager?

Metod: Genom att studera tidigare forskning inom både lagerteori och designvetenskap kunde ramverk för respektive område skapas. Ramverket för designvetenskap kombinera synvinklar speglade i nuvarande forskning på området och sätter dessa i en lagerdesign kontext. Detta ramverk kombinerades sedan med moduler, bestående av nyckelämnen från studien av lagerteori, för att tillsammans skapa ett ramverk för beslutsstöd. Detta ramverk testades sedan på situationen hos BorgWarner Sweden AB genom en fallstuide.

Slutsats: Det modulbaserade angreppssättet som används i beslutsstödsramverket visade sig ha ett flertal fördelar när lagerteori och metodiken från designvetenskap skulle kombineras. Eftersom metodiken är iterativ i sin grund behövs tydliga definitioner och begränsningar av arbetet för att inte överväldigas av beslut och lösningar. Modulerna kunde här agera som detta genom att hela tiden skala ner mängden simultana beslut. Slutligen kunde det i fallstudien ses att beslutsstödsramverket också skapade en förbättrad detaljerad lagerlayout hos företaget, som också låg i linje med deras övergripande strategi. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Sänneskog, Oliver LU and Karlsson, Mattias LU
supervisor
organization
course
MTT820 20162
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Warehouse design, warehouse layout, warehousing, design science, decision support, decision framework, iterative methodology.
report number
5840
language
English
id
8917833
date added to LUP
2017-06-21 14:28:18
date last changed
2017-06-21 14:28:18
@misc{8917833,
  abstract     = {Problem description: Warehouses and warehousing operations are often considered as some of the most crucial elements in a company's supply chain, and often stand for more than 20 percent of a company’s total logistics costs. The actual size of these costs are, together with most of the costs related to warehouse operations, mainly consequences of the decisions made when designing the warehouse. The design of warehouses should therefore be considered as a critical component for any company striving towards increased competitiveness and a more efficient supply chain. When designing a warehouse several aspects have to be considered, including location and size of aisles, P/D location, picking zones, storage assignment and many more. These aspects are often interdependent, thereby making it almost impossible to find an optimal solution to the layout design problem. A structured approach towards decision making is therefore needed.

Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to develop a decision support framework by combining warehousing theory with the methodology of design science. By using design science, the focus of the research shifts from theoretical knowledge creation towards a more problem solving oriented approach, enabling the user to consider several interdependent aspects by the use of iterative processes. 

Research questions: How can a decision support framework for the detailed design of a warehouse be conceived by utilizing established warehouse theory in combination with design science? And, can the proposed framework enhance the ability to pursue the warehousing strategy at the case company by improving the physical layout and related processes?

Methodology: By studying research within the fields of both warehousing and design science, frameworks related to both of the topics were established. The design science research framework combines the viewpoints of current research and puts it in a warehouse design context. This framework was then combined with modules, consisting of key topics from the warehousing literature study, in order to create the decision support framework. The framework was then applied to the situation at BorgWarner Sweden AB using a single case study research strategy. 

Conclusion: The module based approach used in the decision support framework provides several benefits when merging the concepts of warehousing and design science. The iterative design science methodology needs clearly structured definitions and limitations, which is given by the different modules of the framework. It can also be concluded that, as seen by the case study, the use of the decision support framework resulted in an improved detailed layout that are in line with the strategy of the case company.},
  author       = {Sänneskog, Oliver and Karlsson, Mattias},
  keyword      = {Warehouse design,warehouse layout,warehousing,design science,decision support,decision framework,iterative methodology.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Developing a Design Science Based Decision Support Framework for Detailed Design of a Warehouse},
  year         = {2017},
}