SUSTAIN

DEVLOPING A CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT CULTURE

 

Improvements can only occur once performance is measured. We created digital & automated KPI dashboards for production - KPIs were carefully selected to align with strategic aims and motivate teams on metrics they had direct influence over.

 

Operators now have daily CI huddles, review their key metrics and uncover additional improvement opportunities.

 

Through Lean Six Sigma training, we aligned teams with what ‘best-in-class’ looks like - helping promote engagement and giving confidence to team leaders to solve the problems most critical to their area KPIs.

Warehousing Continuous Improvement Transformation Case Study

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INTODUCTION

In the heart of Colliers Wood, London lies Biscuiteers – a gifting retailer that specialises in hand-iced luxury biscuits.

 

In 2021 Biscuiteers delivered over 3 million biscuits to customers all over the world. With such rapid growth, they needed help to improve dispatch productivity and ensure they could continue to provide an excellent service to their customers.

 

That is where FlowPlus came in…

 

We transformed their warehouse operations and increased daily dispatch output by over 300%.

 

Read on to find out more…

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UNIQUE CHALLENGES

SEASONALITY

 

The challenges within the dispatch department become exaggerated by the extreme seasonality of customer orders. For example, the 3 days up until mother's day accounts for more orders than the whole of June & July.

 

How can you run a dispatch department that is capable of packing & dispatching more than 10x the orders from one month to the next?

SPACE CONSTRAINTS

 

With no option to expand the dispatch area, only a limited no of operators can work within the environment. This means you can’t simply hire extra staff for the busy periods - you need to become more efficient with the same space and resources.

EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE

 

Biscuiteers guarantee that their customers will receive a fresh box of personalised biscuits within a 2-day time window.

 

This means the dispatch department can’t afford to fall behind and carry over orders from one day to the next

FUTURE PROOFING

 

Having sustained year on year growth, Biscuiteers want to ‘future proof’ their dispatch department to ensure it can keep up with the busy periods in years to come.

THE FLOWPLUS TRANSFORMATION PROCESS

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ASSESS

IMPLEMENT

WORKING AS ONE-TEAM

 

Biscuiteer’s transformation process started with a thorough assessment phase to uncover areas for improvement and gain insight into current practices.

 

Working as one team, we collected data, observed operations, spoke with warehouse staff and mapped the processes. Using specialist tools we transformed data into insights, uncovering large untapped improvement opportunities that reduced waste and maximised productivity.

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IMPROVEMENT STARTS WITH DATA.

 

We make data-driven decisions, using facts and insights to guide our solutions.

That’s why we have confidence we can make such a big impact.

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PAVING THE WAY TO OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE.

 

The assess phase is all about identifying & quantifying problems, with the support of data. Taking a holistic view of the entire warehouse & distribution operations, we analysed the motion of operators around the warehouse, the ergonomics of picking & packing stations and the steps required to locate, package and deliver each product.

 

Once all the improvement opportunities had been identified we developed a transformation roadmap – prioritising the most impactful projects on their journey to Operational Excellence.

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IMPLEMENT

EXECUTING THE ROADMAP

 

Following the transformation roadmap outlined in the assess phase, the projects with greatest impact were launched. (These can vary significantly for different clients)

 

1.Route Optimisation

2.Scanning & order picking  warehouse management system

3.Installation of dynamic flowracks

4.Introduction of logistics replenishment trains

5.Ergonomic workstation design

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REAL RESULTS MEASURED

 

We don’t count our days on-site; we judge our success by our results.

 

Increasing the maximum daily output by over 300% could only be achieved by drastically changing processes.

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EXECUTING THE ROADMAP

 

Route optimisation is carried out by analysing historic customer orders to identify trends, complimentary items and order frequencies/volumes. The output of the analysis enables the layout of stock to be optimised to reduce travel times and minimise the waste of motion. Once the new layout has been established, the FlowPlus route optimisation tool calculates the best route to pick items based on their size, weight, importance & location within the warehouse. The result is a highly efficient pick list & route that ensures picking times are greatly reduced and delivered to the packing stations as quickly as possible.

 

Maximising the ratio of Packers:Pickers helps maximise productivity. Once the route had been optimised, pick trolleys were fabricated to help increase the carry capacity and improve the ergonomics to minimise twisting, bending and turning. Now that the picking operation was highly efficient, focus was turned on the packing operations. Using advanced motion study techniques, workstations were redesigned to maximise flow, reduce steps, eliminate handling errors and prevent incorrect orders being sent. By embedding scanning systems into workstations and creating a new packing process – packing efficiency increased by 60%.

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LOW COST SOLUTIONS WERE PICKED FIRST

 

Improvements often don’t require capital heavy investments; the FlowPlus transformation process focuses on removing non-value adding steps, allowing more time to be spent adding-value and delivering products.

SUSTAIN

DEVLOPING A CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT CULTURE

 

Improvements can only occur once performance can be measured. That is why we created digital & automated KPI dashboards within the warehouse & distribution operations. Now operators have daily CI huddles, review their key metrics and uncover additional improvement opportunities. Working closely with Biscuiteers, we trained the warehouse supervisors to hold these effective daily meeting, engage all team members and promote a continuous improvement culture in everything they do.

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AUTONOMOUS PROBLEM SOLVING

 

Within the first month of introducing daily CI huddles with automated KPI dashboards, 5 initiatives have been launched and results are already improving. Identified by one of the operators – a new process for checking in stock has saved an estimated 20 hours manual handling per week.

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