Distribution Center Space and Dock Door Configuration – UA09-MDLN

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Distribution Center Space and Dock Door Configuration – UA09-MDLN

Thiis project evaluates shape and costs of exiting and new facilitie to make the most efficient use of sorage locations.


Medline Industries, Inc.

Research Team:

Russell D. Meller, Lisa Thomas, Sarah Brotherton

Universities Involved:

University of Arkansas

Start Date:


End Date:



Phase I of the project is to determine the best shape of a facility for a given number of pallet locations while providing an adequate number of receiving/shipping doors, making the most efficient use of storage locations and minimizing the labor associated with the storage and retrieval of product. The decision process includes determining the point at which it becomes more desirable to move from a single-sided dock door configuration to a doors-on-both-sides configuration of the warehouse.

Phase II of the project involves determining the best size for pallet rack openings for a given item to make the most efficient use of storage in the facility while considering in what quantities the item is ordered and the decision’s impact on labor costs.

Phase II may not be completed in the time period specified above.
The tool was used to evaluate four existing Medline facilities and two new facilities.
This analysis allowed Medline to evaluate the performance of the four existing facilities and provided insight into the best shapes to consider for the two new facilities.
Depending on the size of the facility, the one?time construction cost difference among options could be as much as $3M, and the labor can vary by as much as $276,750 per year (using an industry average for hourly wages).