Process Layout is a master plan that incorporates a set of smaller plans related to certain activities to group those activities together by function. It is a blueprint that arranges job elements and creates a working environment in which all the elements can be performed in a cost-effective manner.
Process layout lets establish the overall appearance, relative importance, and relationships between job elements to ensure a smooth flow of work and information movement for maximum effectiveness or impact. Using process layouts ensures flexibility of working environments, because workers are able to do their job with an opportunity for varying their performance within a certain range and given timeframe.
Process layouts are widely used in manufacturing to organize cost-effective working environments. For example, a machine shop can be improved with a process layout that moves all the machines to a single area, so that workers are able to do their job cost-effectively. Process layouts can be also applied to other areas, such as retail sales. For example, a department store is a process layout that combines a range of smaller stores, including a jewelry shop, a shoe department, etc.