Micro Adjustments Translate to Macro Results

Micro Adjustments Translate to Macro Results

“Pay attention to details. The most important things are often overlooked in the search for things greater than the obvious.
” -Anonymous
When I read the above quote, I literally laughed out loud. The notion of observing the obvious reminded me of a recent On-Site Feasibility Study that a colleague and I conducted for a national apparel retailer.
One process that we observed was workers hanging garments. It immediately struck us – the majority of the workforce at this particular facility was petite. They literally struggled to reach the hanging racks. Once we began managing the production at this facility, one of the many “granular” changes we incorporated was lowering the racks. Productivity in this work cell increased immediately and as you can imagine the shorter than average workers were pleased that the “obstacle” was eliminated.
In another instance, we were conducting micro-movement studies at a reverse logistics company in order to realize efficiency objectives. The process involved picking parts. Parts could be picked from a shelf or a pallet. At the end of our study we factually discovered that workers were 25%-30% faster when they picked the part from a shelf. Logistical shifts in placement between human and object would allow for a significant increase in productivity.
Human factors and ergonomics (commonly referred to as HF&E) has gained attention in recent years but mostly in the area of comfort and occupational health and safety. As the two case studies mentioned above illustrate, human ergonomics is also the practice of designing systems and process that take proper account of the interaction between them and the people who use them.
The question becomes, have you truly observed your processes on a micro-level and would those observations result in a redesign or a small modification that could yield goal achieving results in 2017? To learn more about how our Operational Diagnostic can lead to such positive adjustments to help your team achieve more, visit our booth at the upcoming RILA conference in Orlando.
nGROUP executives will be attending the RILA supply chain conference February 12-15. If you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss how micro-movement studies can positively affect your objectives, please contact Ryan Cates rcates@ngroup.biz . See you in Orlando.
About nGROUP
As an on-site insourcing partner, nGROUP works with companies in a consulting or vested partnership relationship. For over 10 years, the nGROUP Performance System has been adopted by executives in labor intensive industries to meet and exceed corporate objectives. NPS consistently outperforms other methods, increasing productivity, quality, and morale, and reducing labor costs by a minimum of 10-25%.

Would your Distribution Center Win Best in Design?

As Steve Jobs once said, “Design is not what it looks like. Design is how it works.” So when we ask, would your distribution center or warehouse win best in design, the real question becomes, is your facility designed to succeed in meeting your 2017 objectives?

Clearly the designing phase of establishing a production system is the most important since most of the strategic and tactical decisions take place during this phase. While several academic studies seek to find a one size fits all solution to warehouse design, each industry and facility offers unique opportunities and challenges.

Despite the necessity to create custom designs to meet specific objectives, a general guideline keeps management on task when making crucial decisions. As reported by MHLnews.com (Material Handling & Logistics), there are seven essential steps in redesigning a warehouse.

  1. Identify and Document Areas for Improvement
  2. Gather Facility Information and Data
  3. Analyze Collected Data
  4. Develop a Thorough Plan
  5. Plan the Implementation Process
  6. Conduct a Post-Project Review

Throughout our 10 years in partnering with operational facilities, we have seen over and over how the smallest adjustments of motion or placement can dramatically impact bottom line results. Conversely, we have seen how the refusal to “switch things around” stifles a company’s ability to meet their objectives.

At one large distribution center for SONY, we found by rethinking the production flow we could not only improve productivity but improve space utilization by 30% saving the need for outside overflow space.

 

nGROUP Executives will be attending the RILA conference February 12-15. If you would like to schedule an appointment during the conference to discuss 2017 facility design trends, our contact information is below or simply respond to this email. Don’t want to wait until February? Give us a call for a brief phone conversation prior to the conference. See you in Orlando.  

About nGROUP As an on-site insourcing partner, nGROUP works with companies in a consulting or vested partnership relationship. For over 10 years, the nGROUP Performance System has been adopted by executives and managers in labor intensive industries to meet and exceed corporate objectives. NPS consistently outperforms other methods, increasing productivity, quality, and morale, and reducing labor costs by a minimum of 10-25%.