From objective to concept
A typical, step-by-step approach:
1. Actually, most companies know their short-comings, the main areas for improvement. Such kind of initial information and feedback from is important, as it usually establishes a focus on the most pressing and promising areas for overall increased performance.
2. Once established, an analysis is conducted. All relevant information is established neutrally, from shippers, buyers, and physical points of handling, then visualized in a MIFA (Material & Information Flow Analysis), outlining the areas for improvements, cost structures, lead & transit times, etc.
3. In an environment of change, it is preferable to actively engage everyone ultimately involved in the reorganization – at the earliest stage. If possible, in the analysis and concept stage, already. Ideally, any reorganization should be developed jointly, involving cross-functional representatives within the organization. Obviously, this needs to be limited, in accordance to the size and impact of the reorganization.
4. Depending on the size and regional spread of such logistics revamp, one might pilot-out the first stage, restricting this on a single region within one country, a single country, or a specified product group. During this first pilot phase, some of your staff will be trained to become trainers, who will then be responsible for the full roll-out across the region (training their colleagues in the next wave - and so on, until the new concept has been implemented, throughout your organization).
5. Part and parcel of the roll-out must be the implementation of mutually agree and transparently measured KPIs: Comparing the targets with reality. These KPIs need to be carefully reviewed and compared, in order to set internal benchmarks, identifying shortcomings.
6. On an ongoing basis, all customer complaints and non-conformances need to be reviewed, using the RCFA (Root Cause Failure Analysis), with a subsequent implementation of corrective measures.
7. In order to achieve continuous improvement, suggestions from internal staff, suppliers and customers must be chased for, pro-actively.
8. Once specific KPIs and have been achieved and performance firmly embedded in the organization, those KPIs will be replaced with new KPIs, to further continuous improvement onto the next level.
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