It is a good idea to plan the layout of the business on paper: how big each area and subarea are to be, and how each is to relate to the other. This physical plant layout plan should be made while the business is
still in the developmental stage. It allows the owner to think about the business in an organized way and also provides a beginning point for rethinking the layout if expansion is needed later.
Proper sizing of each area and ease of circulation are the keys to a successful layout (Figures 22-1 and 22-2). Examples of sizing have already been given. Circulation patterns are equally important. Both the customers and the employees must be considered. Customers will seek the most direct route from their cars to the products they came to buy.
figure 22-2. An example of proper layout for a production nursery. Predictable circulation patterns are shown. Conflicting intersections are minimal. (Delmar/Cengage Learning)
They do not want to pass through work areas or go past the loading dock in the process. They are generally receptive to passing other products on the way to the product they want, however. Meanwhile, employees do not want to be routed through the customer sales area in order to use the rest room. Neither do employees want to take their coffee break in the sales yard.
A staff organization plan can also be useful when a business is starting out and each time that expansion or reduction in the staff causes duties to be reassigned (Figures 22-3 and 22-4). A staff organization plan helps employees understand their roles within the company. This reduces conflict over who has responsibilities in a particular area. No business is too small to benefit from an organization plan.