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Lean Warehousing

Complete Table of Contents

1. Why get lean?
The ultimate goal of lean warehousing is to cut waste for a more effective use of the limited resources of time and space.

  • Eliminating waste
  • Eight kinds of waste
  • The five Ss
  • Focus on flow
  • Pull replaces push
  • Transparency or visibility?
  • Perfection
  • Why get lean?
  • Lean thinking
  • Action steps

2. How does it work?
Lean thinking can be applied in your operation by implementing the five Ss: sorting, setting in order, shipping, standardizing, and sustaining.

  • Implementing the five Ss
  • Sortation
  • Straightening
  • Shining
  • Standardization
  • Sustaining
  • Task interleaving
  • Analyzing the sequence
  • Yard management
  • Moving from theory to implementation
  • Action steps

3. Lean storage
Since space is fixed, lean storage is a way to stretch the building through more effective use of existing space.

  • How much can your warehouse hold?
  • Improving space utilization
  • Using space wisely
  • Managing your space
  • Improving the warehouse layout
  • Handling considerations
  • Other layout parameters
  • Options in storage vehicles
  • Inventory management and lean storage
  • Planning for contingencies and the future
  • Action steps

4. Making materials handling lean
While space is fixed, time is elastic. The lean operator uses that time to move materials through the warehouse as efficiently as possible.

  • The problem of managing time
  • Meeting the process needs of warehousing
  • The Puritan work ethic
  • Productivity prejudices
  • Productivity is based on information
  • Handling more product
  • Removing the barriers to productivity
  • Competing against time
  • Don’t neglect the inbound
  • Stock locator systems — why and how?
  • Improving order picking
  • Forces for warehouse productivity gain
  • Action steps

5. Lean tools
Material handling equipment and software systems are the most important tools that warehouse operators must use. Now you can use them more effectively to get lean.

  • Controlling your materials handling fleet
  • Buying equipment
  • Choosing lift trucks
  • Order selection tools
  • Information technology tools
  • The make or buy decision
  • Option in supply chain software
  • Sources of advice
  • Success and failure definition
  • Choosing a software vendor
  • The quarter-million dollar question
  • Keep it simple
  • Action steps

6. Lean consumables
Often overlooked, there are many opportunities to cut waste in warehouse consumables such as fuel, electricity, packaging, package fillers, dunnage, disposable waste, and pallets.

  • Motor fuel
  • Heating and cooling
  • Electricity
  • Packaging for compatibility
  • Dunnage and package fillers
  • Waste disposal
  • Pallets
  • Action steps

7. Building a lean warehouse
Whether you plan to build a new distribution center or rehabilitate an older one, taking a lean approach can reduce waste now and in the future.

  • Inflation and cost-cutting
  • Planning your new warehouse building
  • Setting priorities
  • Floors and yard pavement
  • Roof systems and bay sizing
  • Clear height
  • Dock doors
  • Heating and energy conservation
  • Fire protection systems
  • Utilities
  • Walls and landscaping
  • Offices and other utility rooms
  • Rehabilitating an existing building
  • Land coverage and future use
  • Action steps

8. Lean leadership
Getting leaner requires change. Effective leadership will be essential to implementing the lean techniques discussed in this book.

  • Coaching and listening
  • Why warehousing is different
  • It’s about time!
  • Delegation
  • Maintaining warehouse discipline
  • Management by asking good questions
  • Applying Deming’s 14 points
  • Leadership, quality and productivity
  • Action steps

9. Implementing lean in your warehouse
This collection of checklists will enable you to measure your progress in becoming lean.

  • A checklist for total workflow
  • The signs that a lean warehouse is getting fat
  • Goals for your warehousing system
  • Evaluating the layout
  • Activity relationships
  • Facilities design considerations

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