Low-Cost Improvements with Lean Initiatives
(Boonton, NJ, August 6, 2009) Within a year of implementing lean initiatives in its DC, Carl Zeiss Vision realized a number of benefits that went straight to the bottom line:
- Reduced labor requirements by 19 percent
- Reduced overtime by 63 percent
- Reduced freight spending by 19 percent
- Reduced overall operating expenses by 11 percent.
How did they do it? In the August issue of industry newsletter Distribution Center Management, distribution manager, Mark Speagle and Kevin von Grabe, vice president of lean deployment for consulting firm LeanCor tell the story.
"We quite literally went through every key function in the DC. We spent half a day interviewing people and walking through their processes to understand how the work was being done," says von Grabe.
The evaluation included review of how long each process took from a value-added versus a non-value-added perspective. For example, when a product was received, how long did it take to process? How long did it then sit in receiving? If it took two minutes to receive the product, but it then sat for two hours in receiving, that is two minutes of productivity and two hours of waste.
According to von Grabe, most of the findings were centered around layout with small changes accounting for significant savings.
About the Distribution Group
For more than 40 years, Distribution Group publications have helped distribution center and warehouse managers increase productivity, cut costs, and meet increasing customer demands. Distribution Group publishes Distribution Center Management newsletter, books and reports, and a free e-newsletter.