Material Flow Analysis – Automotive Parts Supplier

Case Studies Tags: , , ,
Circles of Work Warehouse Diagram


Transition to Fork Free Within Production Areas


Automotive Parts Supplier


A large Detroit, Michigan based automotive parts supplier was tasked with relocating line side sequencing cells to an offline area in order to reduce the amount of material displayed next to the production line.

After establishing the sequencing cell locations, a fork lift free material delivery plan was to be developed to transport the racks of sequenced parts from the sequencing cells to line side. Design Systems, Inc. developed a facility layout that supports the relocation of the sequencing cells with a dock, material flow, and storage analysis.


  • Conduct circle of work assessment of new process to understand material flow within the facility.
  • Perform dock analysis to determine optimal receiving dock locations.
  • Analyze storage space to identify alternative layouts for racking locations.
  • Develop block and detailed layouts of the facility including offline sequencing cells, storage, and docks.
  • Perform labor utilization analysis based on material flow findings.
  • Make high level organizational structure recommendations.


  • Three layout proposals of the facility with varying forklift methods
  • 10% reduction of operators per shift
  • $750,000 saved in head count annually
  • $300,000 saved per year from elimination of different sequencing operations while maintaining or improving efficiency
  • Improved overall morale and productivity through identification of organizational concerns