Friday, April 5, 2013

Pivot and Rotate method of Facilities Design in Operations Management

Facilities design is an important component of    Operations Management and sometimes a neglected one but  "Facilities Design" forms an important component for successful Operations of any facility. Very often no principles are used around which facilities are designed and one of the simpler ways is to copy the facilities design of some established enterprise. Facilities design might some day come under the ambit of  intellectual property regime and designs may be patented to prevent duplication.

Sometimes I try to study the Facilities Design of the ITI complex itself and find it somewhere an ultimate embodiment of an excellent facility Design.....possibly the facilities designed around a central Circle around which concentrically many facilities have been located from hospital to school to auditorium, the factory itself , the co-operative society and the residential quarters. There is symmetry and harmony and appreciation to the persons who conceived such a complex very astute and rational in its composure.

The challenge of   Facilities Design may pose several questions and designs can be drastically different and to my observation there are two components to a facility design that largely emanates from "statics of an Operation" and  "dynamics of an operation". Statics of an operational environment is when the load factor of the Operations facility is below Optimum and the Dynamics of an Operation is when the facility is operating at near peak. An Airport may have six runways and when only two or less run-ways are being used we are in the static mode as against say five and more are in use when we are in the Dynamic mode. Improper facilities design can hamper an operations facility in the dynamic mode when the facility has to face the brunt of peak or near peak performance.

One of the principles that can be used as a logic or a safe bench mark for facility Design is the Pivot and Rotate approach. Note that any facility must have some inherent lee-way or scope for expansion also called 'Enhancement".

What is basically the Pivot and Rotate is just one of the algorithms around which Facilities Design can be conducted. There might be others but this approach may also form a logic around which facilities may be designed. Two drivers form the key around which facilities are designed namely " Location criticality' and  ' Nearness criticality.'

Let me just explain this with a simple example of say a Hospital which has five entities say;


Generally speaking organizing these facilities can be conducted in a variety of ways but some algorithm must be applied.

OT is location is Casualty. So within the given area these facilities must be given locational priority and all the other entities are thereafter fixed and then  say the X-Ray must be close to Casualty and it is rotated and brought close to it and similarly any other nearness criticalty is considered for example the Consulting rooms and X-Ray. There might me some norms too that drive the way entities are placed in relation to each other but before long this procedure gives a rational facilities design.

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