In any warehouse structure, there are weaknesses and strengths, and each company must choose which structure best suits their layout and inventory process. Structure usually falls into one of three possible forms: divisional, functional or a combination of the two, often referred to as a matrix. This article will cover the second type: the Functional Structure.
With a Functional Structure in a warehouse, employees working in departments based on what their tasks are: finance, research, engineering, purchasing, maintenance, warehousing, and so forth.
The functional structure increases efficiency in each department since all finance personnel are work together, all maintenance people together, and so on, which places all available expertise in one place and allows for information exchange between all members of the department. The sizes of each department can be kept to a minimum and the company benefits overall due to a more significant reduction in overhead.
The shortcoming of the functional structure is that communication between departments is more difficult and the coordination of departments working concurrently on the same task often suffers. Another weakness is that flexibility is much more difficult to achieve owing to the centralization that occurs within each department.
If your business best suits the Functional Structure in any of its forms, use of SIMMS 2012 Inventory Management software minimizes the weaknesses by universal usage of networked transactions and stock coordination. Thus, companies can retain their divisional processes while drawing from a more centralized command of both physical stock and information available to all divisions.