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Applying Lean to the Warehouse

Packages in a warehouse

Do More with Less Within the 4 Walls of the Warehouse

One of the simplest approaches to solving supply chain constraints, such as a reduced labor force, is the application of Lean principles in warehousing operations. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are looking to ramp up production to get the goods we as consumers need during this time. Each of those key nodes within the supply chain should be aggressively looking to utilize all of their assets to ensure commerce continues to flow from their facilities to the retail outlets or via eCommerce channels, such as BOPIS or dropshipping.    

In times of economic contraction, cost cutting and cost-avoidance are vital strategies that companies must consider in order to manage the business. Companies that are committed to this likely outpace their rivals, gain market share, and accelerate beyond their competitors. One approach to cost cutting to drive bottom line savings is through the application of Lean principles. 

The 5 Steps of Lean

Lean is a long-term strategy based on a framework of five steps. The five steps, which can be used to help create a lean warehouse, are:

  1. Defining value from the customer’s perspective
  2. Mapping the value stream of the product
  3. Creating flow of the product
  4. Pulling the product through the supply chain versus pushing out product
  5. Incremental improvements in pursuit of long-term, continuous improvement 
Lean Process wheels

Focus on Incremental Improvements

In times like these, companies should consider employing Lean strategies in order to execute efficiently to drive bottom line savings. By focusing on incremental improvements versus an all-or-nothing, perfectionist approach, they will eventually gain a competitive advantage by driving top-line revenues due to improved ability to execute through increased market share.

Certified in Lean Six Sigma

We are here to help should you ever need it. enVista’s highly experienced warehouse optimization consultants help clients rapidly adapt to massive shifts in demand and the resulting operations and supply chain requirements. Our consultants are certified in Lean Six Sigma and common Lean process improvement tools such as Value Add vs. Non-Value Add, Ishikawa Fishbone, or Five Why Assessments, Value Stream Mapping (VSM), Swim Lane Processing, SOP Documentation, along with Statistical Process Control Charting. 

We are committed to supporting you, communicating with you, and remaining your trusted partner and advisor as we navigate this unprecedented chapter together.

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