LAYOUT OPTIMIZATION OF SERVICE CENTRES: A CASE STUDY OF GPO HUDUMA CENTRE.

ABSTRACT:

The ever-expanding service industry requires that companies create and sustain competitive advantage over their competitors. One way of achieving this is by increasing customer satisfaction. This can be enhanced through the use of layouts that are optimized. An optimized layout is characterized by high efficiency due to reduced movements thus reducing the time spent by customers within the facility. The aim of this project was to improve the service floor layout of GPO Huduma centre. It was conducted at GPO Huduma Centre. The service centre served a high of 25000 customers in a week. This therefore suggests the extent to which the efficiency of the centre is crucial in serving even more customers. Its strategic location makes it a busy hub and a proper layout will see more customers being served per day due to a decrease in the unit time taken by each customer.

The main challenge that was identified at the centre is the location of counters that were interrelated far apart from each other. Therefore, it takes the customers more walking time to get consecutive services. Through the reduction of these distances, less time will be spent within the facility paving way for more customers being served with the same resources.

The study was carried out for a week by visiting the facility to obtain the relevant data. After this, the data was evaluated using well established scientific methods and procedures as well as softwares to come up with a more optimal layout. SLP procedures, ARENA software and other statistical apparatus were used. Two alternative layout designs were obtained. The more optimal was selected and proposed for the centre. By locating some of the counters close to each other, and considering other crucial factors like customer comfort and queueing space, the layouts were found to reduce the travel distance and hence the travel time for the customers. The high traffic counters were in particular considered in the study as they greatly affect the efficiency realization at the facility.

The best alternative layout is Layout design 1. It produces the best results in terms of reducing the walking distance by the customers within the service facility. The total walking distance is reduced by 68.46%. This will reduce the overall time spent within the facility by 66.05% Thus, this design will increase the efficiency of the layout which will in turn increase the customer satisfaction. The level of competitiveness will therfore increase.