Home' MHD Supply Chain Solutions : MHD Jan-Feb 2017 Contents DRIVING GREATER
ROI IN THE WAREHOUSE
Improving processes isn't just about creating
new flowcharts and Word documents -
it's about improving the consistency and
quality of execution, increasing efficiency, and
facilitating innovation within your organisation.
These are the guidelines and workflows that,
when managed effectively, can define and
improve how your company operates from the
C-Suite to the warehouse teams.
Unfortunately, not all process improvement
efforts are created equal. Efforts that fail to get
buy-in from staff and leadership, fail to link
process adjustments to long-term goals, and fail
to create an ongoing culture of improvement,
are doomed to cause more frustration than
When done right, process improvement
can be transformative. Following are six often
overlooked factors that are critical to the
success of process improvement efforts in
1. Be proactive
Don't wait for things to go horribly wrong before
you improve them. The day a security breach
takes down your mobile handheld services in the
warehouse is not the day to start thinking about
security processes. Being proactive about process
improvement means planning to improve, looking
for issues with your processes, and working
to fix the root causes of process problems.
Management by heroics is not the best approach.
2. Let your staff lead the way
Your logistics staff know your company's supply
processes better than anyone else. A tech
support rep probably knows how to handle
customer complaints better than your CEO.
So it makes sense to get these staff members
involved and make them the drivers of change.
Of course, you absolutely need support from
management and senior leadership as well.
Putting your people in charge of change means:
- They're genuinely involved and more likely to
be engaged with process change.
- Your staff can use their knowledge as an
advantage: they know what works, what
doesn't, and what needs to change to provide
a better experience for your customers.
- Attitudes around change tend to be more
positive when staff feel involved.
- Capability and knowledge is improved ---
because your people improve their own
processes, they don't need to be trained
3. Link improvement
to the long term
Process improvement should always be linked
to strategy and your long-term goals --- if it's just
about putting out fires, it's not going to make
much of a long-term impact on your business.
You can't make things better without knowing
where you're going. Figure this out first, and
then leverage process improvement as a tool to
achieve your long-term goals.
4. Integrate, integrate, integrate
Include all functions of your business in
process improvement. While functions like
risk and Health & Safety are often seen as
separate from the main work of your business,
they're actually key to your success. Integrating
Health & Safety and risk management into the
improvement plan makes these tangible to your
staff --- the processes will become something
everyone does in their everyday work, not just
"something Kevin takes care of."
5. Be flexible
Whether it's Lean, Six Sigma, Kaizen or
another alternative, it's great to find a process
improvement methodology that works for you ---
but it's also important to be flexible depending
on the situation and organisation. Be open to
other ideas and learn from people. Methodologies
should form a toolbox for you to choose from,
rather than you being married to one.
Your business might require a different
approach. The more you can make sure
your approach to improvement works for
your business --- and becomes a part of
everyday business --- the more likely you are
to be successful.
6. Make improvement the standard
Process improvement should be ongoing, not
something you do once and then forget about.
Improving your processes must become part of
your company culture and it must be ongoing
--- something you and your staff think about and
do every day.
Establishing a culture of improvement
means measuring and celebrating success,
rewarding ideas (even if they're not used),
linking improvement to organisational goals as
well as KPI, and making processes visible and
accessible to everyone in the company.
Fail fast, or slow and steady?
Some companies argue the start-up mantra 'fail
fast and learn' is the way to go, whilst others favour
a more cautious, considered approach. Depending
on the situation, a mix is probably right --- analysis
and planning are important, but waiting for
perfection can hold you back. Because process
improvement isn't something that's ever going to
be finished, the most important thing is to actually
start. When it's a built-in, ongoing part of your
business, little mistakes along the way become
opportunities for growth, rather than failures.
Process improvement shouldn't be mysterious.
It's about planning ahead, getting staff involved,
integrating it into everyday operations, being
flexible, and --- most importantly --- making a
focus on improvement a core component of your
warehouse business culture.
Ivan Seselj is CEO of Promapp Solutions, a
provider of cloud-based process management
(BPM) software for creating and managing
business processes online. For more
information email firstname.lastname@example.org
or follow him at @Ivanseselj or visit
"Establishing a culture of improvement means measuring
and celebrating success, rewarding ideas (even if
they're not used), linking improvement to organisational
goals as well as KPI, and making processes visible and
accessible to everyone in the company."
PI -> ROI IVAN SESELJ
MHD SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS --- JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2017 39
SUPPLY CHAIN 39
Links Archive MHD Nov-Dec 2016 MHD Mar-Apl 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page