So What’s New?

by theleanthinker

Well, I can’t lie, I’ve been terrible in keeping up my regular blog posts. This should be the start of a new ‘era’, so to speak.

So what’s been the delay? Well apart from doing some travelling, ive just recently started a job as a Graduate trainee within an exceptionally good Lean organisation. From now on I shall be regularly updating my blog with new things i am learning, and hopefully providing examples of both good practice and bad practice that i encounter along the way. For personal reasons i won’t be divulging where i work or who the company works with, but I will hopefully be able to include true-life examples, just anonymously.

So after a brief spell of inductions and learning the company principles, our team of 4 graduates have been set a task to improve the pickface accuracy in a warehouse. Currently the accuracy is 35% lower than they would like, so we have been in a deep discovery stage to understand where these inaccuracies are occurring, and what the root cause is.

One thing which i quickly found, was that there was not just one reason, but a whole host of reasons. Reasons such as:

  • Lack of standardised training
  • SOPs are not clear and seldom followed
  • Supplier compliance is poor
  • Products known as breakpack* aren’t clearly labelled
  • Stock-team firefighting by counting large amounts of stock on a daily basis
  • Key terminology such as pyramid picking* just not understood
  • Wrong items in pickfaces
  • Items falling of LLOPs* and potentially created damaged goods.

As you can see there are a number of issues which the team must tackle in the design phase.

I shall update the blog soon with the design phase information, and explain a little more about the plans we intend to implement.

*Breakpack is a product which is shipped in a larger box, and when it is picked from a pickface, the larger box must be opened in order to pick the quantity required from inside.

*Pryamid picking is where pickers pick the boxes closest to them each time, this forms a pyramid shape, with a large stack toward the rear of the pallet, which creates an unsafe pallet.  They tend to fall over as they are unbalanced, losing and breaking products.

*LLOPs are Low Lift Order Pickers.