A former supply chain professional on lean management
Bj Blackburn 2000 orders and only 1 error!? I know the feedback is frustrating but that’s solid work if that was the only issue. nice job! And one customer will not bring you down so do not get discouraged! That’s amazing! I try not to go down the dark road of understanding the psyche of folks that write some of these as it hurts my mindset and I lose my customer service edge. It’sbothersome but sometimes you can just share how rediculous folks are and laugh it off. There are lots of strategies for adding some gap stops in the process. How is inventory stored, comingled (like SKUs together or apart). Here’s an example and this is actually practiced by Amazon – if you had 3 different styles of dolls, one might think to store them together so they are all in one place, maybe it will be more efficient to put and pick it from that location, and so on. However, an uptick in errors started occurring the following few months and this was getting noticed. by management. This could have lead to huge CI projects, employees getting blamed for carelessness, supervisors on high-alert status, mandatory audits by everyone,etc etc!. Meanwhile, someone points out that the boxes look very similar and they are all lined up right next to each other. The lightbulbs start going off in the next meeting, lots of lean buzz words are thrown around, and everyone is high-fiving each other for their brilliance while the employee who had the insight probably got a corrective action for a mispicking the poorly setup inventory. so here the inventory storage process could be changed to not store like SKUs side-by-side, and the company mioght an immediate improvement. Like I said, it sounds like you are doing great and you’re tracking the details so you could easily hypothesize an issue if one came up and experiment. Definitely, important to have an established process so a right way to do the task is clearly defined and can be tracked, I like built-in cross-checking methods like weights or size where if the package weight is significantly different than what it’s supposed to be, maybe there’s a quantity error. Also, visuals like you can use those sticky color dots in a way to create an identifying characteristic if you have several items that are very similar. Maybe they would each get a dot on their master box or something. So, there’s a couple process things and looking at the people aspet more, I would be thinking of ways to continue to simplify whatever it is they are doing. I just purchased a wireless barcode scanner for instance. This is an instant quality gain for me because I am notorious for typing in the wrong UPC or fat fingering things. I am a fan of paretoing your SKUs or doing like an A, B, C group and some type of cycle counts. Rndom audits of your helpers, cycle counts, and even auditing a few finished boxes ready to be loaded is always low hanging fruit if you are currently doing it. One lean term I will use is “5s” as it does help to have everything 5s’d, be obsessively compulsive of these types of things and your processes like pick-pack-ship. Lot’s of benefits to the exact repetitive action of a process like muscle memory and when something is not right, it sticks out much more. And, if you really don’t have clearly defined processes, it’s not ging to help root cause issues and or generate ideas to make improvements becuase they’res no con trol variables so what could be tested. I would confidently say that single part is where a huge number of big corporations fail. I could go on forever and I see that I kind of did 🤔 Anyway it sounded like you were doing some volume so hopefully, something is useful in there.
Everyone is going to make a mistake when they are looking at numbers on boxes, paper, and counting all day. Keep up the great work!