Warehouse labor optimization with measurable productivity indicators and safety system

Posted 07 / 23 / 2021


When it comes to measuring productivity of those areas where employees are not directly involved in the production of the products is very common to encounter lack of key performance indicators, in this case the company was not able to measure employee performance and was experiencing changes in the functions of Shipping, Receiving, Line Feeding and Put Away, therefore making it difficult to staff at appropriate levels for normal operating hours and challenged to adjust labor after changes in demand sometimes not possible to meet due to labor shortages or having to pay for delays due to not having leading indicators to prepare for such fluctuations.


The first set of steps taken by the Team were to understand the various levels of staff per each category of function, perform data collection to understand each function by area, track levels of demand per function and its range of variability. By doing this we now had a clear baseline of the labor conditions at the function level and its demand.


After training the Team on Process Mapping and 8 Waste we identified areas of redundancy, non-productive time, excess and deficit of labor resources per function and key changes needed to harmonize labor functions by eliminating waste and creating flexibility among the workforce to support fluctuations in demand also highlighting labor needs based on demand forecast to plan for such changes.


Once we’ve implemented new standards per function and aligned demand with total labor requirements in advance the company was able to have a clear baseline of required labor and understanding of changes required to adapt to fluctuation in demand in advance.


This event was a key step change for the organization empowering employees and leaders by supplying tools and KPI’s to enable prompt decision making and leverage their knowledge. The Team was able to recognize the increase safety and productivity taking pride of the work done to achieve such an important milestone, this created a clear path for continuous improvement.

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”

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