Eliminating waste, making it Lean: taking decisions on the floor
Waste: we’ve been mentioning the term quite often in our blogs. But what does it look like in practice? Basically, there are eight types of waste. Today, we’d like to highlight two of these – ‘Talent’ and ‘Motion’ – through a real-life example: a top-tier logistics operator that has been working with Texas Digital Europe to become more Lean.
‘Wasting’ Motion and Talent: trouble in the depot
When providing courier services, it’s paramount to work in the most efficient possible way. Yet this company went about it the old-fashioned way. Say, a truck would have to leave its dock at exactly 4 P.M. to head to Amsterdam. Doors open, it’s waiting for depot employees to stock it up with parcels. Pieces of paper on the depot walls would indicate the destination of all parcels, but these were hard to read from a distance. The result: unnecessary motion. Employees would move through the depot in uncoordinated ways, not knowing exactly where to go to empty their carts. Consequently, trucks would sometimes leave later than planned, and some parcels would not be loaded at all. Also, the logistics operator was dealing with the issue of untapped talent: people were not able to use their full potential.
Visual Management: increased efficiency and customer satisfaction
How we handled these waste-related problems? By introducing the company to Visual Management. After we installed small screens with color-coded symbols in the depot, things have changed radically. Now, employees know the exact departure times and destination of each truck. This allows them to prioritize certain parcels and move through the depot in a structured way, ensuring that trucks leave fully loaded and on time. Moreover, talent is utilized, as co-workers can help an employee who’s struggling to fill their cart before the deadline – which is indicated by orange and red symbols on the screens.
Ultimately, the increased accuracy means that parcels arrive on time, which makes for smooth processes and more satisfied customers. And that is what Visual Management is all about: enhancing customer value by making processes more efficient.
Do you want to eliminate waste from your processes? And are you curious to know what Visual Management can do for your company? Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to perform a Quick Scan and discuss your opportunities.