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Learning activity 9- Evidence 2: Workshop: Understanding the distribution center layout

Student Code

Servicio Nacional De Aprendizaje – SENA

Centro de Manufactura en Textil y Cuero Regional Distrito Capital
Technology Course in Logistics Management
Neiva, Colombia
Learning Activity 9

Evidence 2: Workshop: Understanding the distribution center layout

Your warehouse or distribution center layout greatly affects the performance of

your business. In fact, without a properly configured warehouse layout, you could
face capacity issues and even a decrease in productivity.
Complete the following activities in order to understand the importance of the
layout when designing a Distribution Center or warehouse.

1. Getting familiar with Distribution Centers

a. Read the following description of a Distribution Center and complete it with

the words from the box.


All distribution centers have three

main areas and may have additional
specialized areas. The three main
areas are the receiving dock, also
called loading dock, the storage
area or cargo deck, and the shipping
In small organizations it is possible
for the receiving and shipping
functions to occur side by side, but
in large centers, separating these
areas simplifies the process.
b. Read and match. Read the definition for each of the areas that a distribution center
may include and match the definition with the name of such area.

1. LOADING DOCK A. This area controls and ships large. This

department usually includes forklift truck
drivers to load containers and wagons, and
2 man-up or combi forklift trucks to unload
full pallets from warehouse racking.
2. BULK DEPARTMENT B. This department controls orders which are
leaving the country of the distribution
center. This department is almost identical
in function to a bulk department; however,
workers in this department build pallets
conforming to different standards and sizes.
3. QUALITY ASSURANCE C. This area is in charge of replenishing and
DEPARTMENT 7 storing goods in the store's backroom or
4. TRANSPORTATION D. An area reserved for inventory that is ready
AREA 6 for final assembly or transport.
5. EXPORT E. There are many types of this racking.
DEAPARTMENT However, all types allow for the storage of
palletized materials in horizontal rows with
multiple levels.
6. STAGING LOCATION F. This is an area of the warehouse where
goods vehicles (usually road or rail) are
loaded and unloaded. This area usually
includes pallet wrapping workers, conveyor
belt unloaders, forklift drivers, and
administrative staff
7. STOCKING G. Arranges and coordinates shipments in and
DEPARTMENT 4 out of the distribution center.
8. PALLET RACKING H. This department performs periodic checks
of random samples of stock to check
3 quality, including from the warehouse
racking, goods in, and returned stock.
2. Describing a Distribution Center

Following, you’ll see the very basic design of any Distribution Center. Check the image and answer
the questions:

Fuente: SENA
A) According to the image, complete the following paragraph by selecting the best
preposition for each case.
While creating a layout for your warehouse or distribution center can
be considered a big task, it doesn't have to be complicated. The
following tips can help you navigate the process of laying out your
warehouse and make the most out of your space.

1. Make sure you have enough pallets to store all your goods
on them.
2. Organize your pallets evenly in specific racks in such way
that it is easy for the machinery –forklifts- to access them.
3. There should be enough space for your equipment or
machinery to move through the warehouse.
4. The machinery or equipment station must be far the shipping
and receiving area in order to load and unload freight trucks.
5. The offices must be located in front of the warehouse
racking for you to supervise the activity within the warehouse.

Let’s check another example of a distribution center. Pay attention to the different areas
within this distribution center and answer the questions below:

Fuente: SENA
B) Write sentences to describe the previous distribution center. Do not forget to use
prepositions to describe their location. Check the example:

Where is the…? Answer

- Loading area The loading area is located next to the freezer.
- Value added services area The value added services area is located behind
the line loading.
- Inventory control area The inventory control area is near the batch-
- Quality auditing area The quality auditing area is located in front of
- Order packing area The order packing area is located next to the
quality auditing.
- Refrigerated specialty The refrigerated specialty products area is
products area between the value added services area and high
value products area
- Put-to-store area The put-to-store area is located beside the order

3. Critical thinking – Making decisions

A) Pros and Cons. Read the following statements about Distribution Center Design and
decide in your agree or disagree with the statement. Do some research on the topic
and provide pros and cons for each statement.

Check the example:

Your opinion:
I disagree. I think Distribution Centers
must have a specific design that helps
the regular non-changing flow of
The layout in your warehouse must be
flexible PROS:
-With flexible Distribution Centers you
can ensure your facilities are ready for
anything that comes in the future.

-Flexible Distribution Centers tends to
be more disorganized. It is hard to keep
control of the changes.
Save space: cram as many pallet racks Your opinion: I agree as long as it does
into your warehouse as possible not harm the normal development of
the commercial activity.
PROS: The space is used more
CONS: The visibility and displacement
of workers can be harmed by clutter.
Having an aisle map will help you Your opinion: It makes easy to locate
validate that the correct item is in the and load the product quickly.
assigned location.
PROS: Allows workers to know the
location of all products that are held in
the CEDI.
CONS: If this is not updated, it
damages the worker's proper
performance, affecting the image of
Provide for the level of automation that Your opinion: The person in charge of
can be cost-justified based on your CEDI must have knowledge of all the
particular operation and cost structure. processes.
PROS: Reduces the step by step of a
process for the consecution of tasks.
CONS: Increase in patrimonial costs by
not putting into practice the established

4. Sharing your opinion

It is time to share your opinions about distribution centers design. Study the complementary
material “Expressions for Discussion and Debate” and get ready for your Blackboard
Collaborate session.

Study the following video to have a successful participation in your debate session. Pay
attention to pronunciation and the different expressions to participate in a discussion How
to discuss a topic in a group: