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Involved in carry out, application and maintenance of the company processing system.
Manage business relationship with co-workers, stakeholders, suppliers and customers
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services, in the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods as well as building technology.
163 Ways to Supercharge Your Supply Chain (part 5)
Supply Chain Optimization
Superior supply chain operations are about tending to the details, ensuring continuous improvement, and adapting to change—whether that means boosting inventory accuracy, establishing leaner processes, or managing seasonal peaks. Fine-tune your supply chain with these tips.
91. Pick a quality program and stick with it. Companies can choose from a variety of inventory quality programs such as ISO, lean manufacturing, Six Sigma, kaizen, and Total Quality Management. Make sure everyone in the company supports the program and uses it.
92. Examine your entire supply chain. Create and measure a "perfect order" metric from point of origin to final destination. This allows you to track inventory performance across your entire network and improve accuracy throughout the supply chain. Duplicate these successes and share improvement strategies so all areas of the organization can benefit. Also, hone your forecasting skills and help business partners, vendors, and customers do so as well.
93. Know what you are up against. What is your current inventory accuracy rate? You can't improve what you don't know. Once you establish a benchmark, set an improvement goal—aim either for a specific percentage or dollar figure. Check your results often to ensure you achieve and sustain improvements.
94. Establish product traceability during the distribution lifecycle. Include your entire inventory pipeline—inbound and outbound shipments as well as inventory in the DC. Never move product unless the action is authorized and recorded.
95. Implement a continuous cycle-counting program. Using cycle counting to maintain high levels of accuracy is one of the best ways to identify problem areas. An effective cycle-counting program eliminates the need for physical inventory expenses.
96. Build a well-trained workforce. If employees understand the company's inventory goals, they will help accomplish them by performing processes accurately and consistently.
97. Choose supply chain partners who offer systems that interface with your inventory system. Many inventory issues stem from data and transmission failures. Working with capable supply chain partners and using compatible systems helps improve end-user delivery accuracy and customer service.
98. Make inventory accuracy everyone's job. All employees throughout the organization own inventory accuracy. Every business unit within the company should understand how it impacts that accuracy. Many companies overlook the simple truth: managing inventory effectively is a key to business success.
99. Make your supply chain more compact. Optimize the flow of goods and information through the supply chain. Implement plant and warehouse layouts and designs that streamline inbound and outbound flows.
100. Reduce stock at point-of-use. To support a flexible production schedule, keep a variety of part numbers on hand in the warehouse. By executing Lean logistics techniques such as sequencing and sub-assembly, you can avoid large inventory stocks and their associated costs.
101. Balance the receipt and delivery of goods. Matching the incoming and outgoing flow of material to customer demands minimizes the amount of material stored in the supply chain, resulting in lower costs.
102. Optimize delivery. Avoid unnecessary replenishment through the use of Kanban and other pull systems. These systems result in replenishment based on consumption, keeping inventory lean.
103. Balance the work so your cycle time hits close to Takt Time. Every task performed by an operator needs to fall close to Takt Time—the pace of production in each process that is necessary to satisfy customer demand. This scheduling will help ensure minimal waiting time and maximum productivity.
104. Reduce capital expenditures by closely managing your empty container flow. The reverse logistics process of handling empty containers can be complex, so it needs to be well-managed to guarantee reliable supply and the lowest level of damage. At the same time, a well-managed empty container flow can significantly reduce maintenance and container replacement costs.
105. Optimize transportation routes. Employ recognized transportation best practices to improve the efficiency of moving goods off the production line and into delivery. By applying concepts such as segregating flows into small and large lots, direct dock-to-line feeding, and combining cycles (one full against one empty), you can avoid wasteful internal transportation processes and optimize available resources.
106. Standardize warehouse processes. Implement stable and repeatable processes, and standardize the time it takes to perform tasks such as picking, packing, and putaway. Standardization helps the warehouse interface more accurately and efficiently with operations outside the four walls, such as transportation.
107. Use visual management aids for information flow. Visual aids are an important part of tracking the physical flow of materials in a plant or warehouse. If everyone on the shop floor can "see" the current production status, they can more easily react to peaks and valleys.
108. End and correct line stoppages. Stopping the production line is costly and often unnecessary. When a problem arises, don't let it go and plan to fix it later. Stop and correct the problem now. You might temporarily slow productivity, but in the long run, recurring problems should end.
109. Redefine your facility boundaries. It's not unusual to exceed a facility's standard capacity during peak season. Take stock both inside and out to determine areas you could temporarily repurpose for product storage. Queue up trailers and use your secure truck yard for overflow space, or temporarily use some aisle space to process products.
110. Streamline space via a 5S, Lean, or other quality initiative. Continuous improvement tools aren't just for eliminating waste in business processes. If your company has a Lean team, tackle a detailed space utilization project several months before peak season. This could significantly minimize or eliminate the need for overflow space.
111. Verify and clarify your seasonal labor needs with staffing providers.Whether you use one temporary staffing firm or many, don't assume they will provide all the personnel you need when you need them. Confirm your anticipated requirements and iron out the particulars of your working arrangement in advance.
112. Initiate abbreviated training programs. Well-established, quick-hit training can rapidly acquaint short-term personnel with your facility's most important safety, layout, and process flow information.
113. Revisit shift structure. Maximize your facility's labor capacity by adding extra shifts to each day, tacking an extra day or two onto the work week, or increasing shift lengths.
114. Divide and conquer. For maximum efficiency and minimum stress, leave complex and essential warehousing tasks to your long-term personnel. Use temporary workers for assignments that are simple and/or confined to a small area, such as labeling items.
115. Tune up equipment. Before the peak season, assess the working condition of every significant piece of equipment at your facility. Repair, recharge, and purchase spare parts as necessary. Perform a gap analysis to determine whether you'll need to buy or lease additional items to handle the volumes expected.
116. Consider crossdocking or deconsolidation. Establish crossdocking within your facility so you can unload, stage, and reload hot products without having to wait for receiving and putaway. Or work with a deconsolidation center near your port of entry so certain products can go directly to their final destinations instead of spending time moving to and from your facility.
117. Get to know Plan B carriers. During seasonal down time, ship some items via Plan B carriers to test them in case your preferred carriers are unavailable during peak season.
118. Refresh your knowledge about expedited transportation options. Inventory emergencies or lapses tend to occur during the peak season. Avoid disruptions by learning your expedited service options, such as time-definite ocean transportation, air-sea, sea-air, and team-driver trucking services. Explore these options now, so you can deploy them when activity heats up.
to be continued...