Waste #2: Transportation – Part 3 of 8: Addressing the Seven Wastes in LEAN Manufacturing with Corporate Kiosk
It’s time to continue our series based on the seven wastes identified in LEAN manufacturing. It was one of our most popular posts ever, and certainly deserves a fresh look. Today, I’d like to focus on the second area of waste identified in LEAN manufacturing: transportation.
Transportation is a “sneaky” expense for many operations. The word calls to mind trucks and shipping, and that’s certainly a part of it. (Distribution logistics for large concerns often function as a separate entity.) For most companies, “transportation” costs also include the mechanisms that get products, materials, and the necessary documents from one operation to the next. That, almost inevitably, involves people.
LEAN Manufacturing Reveals the Real Costs of Transportation
A closer look shows that “getting things from here to there” is not only expensive but perhaps unnecessarily so. Transportation costs have many layers, and include:
- Manpower. If it’s an internal function, consider the costs of workers assigned to the task. Furthermore, physical hauling is only one dimension. Don’t forget employees who never actually touch a “product.” Keying and re-keying orders as they move through a system is labor intensive. And if you contract for any of these services, you aren’t avoiding these costs. You’re paying them with a markup.
- Fuel. This one is obvious. Energy prices fluctuate, but they seldom spend much time in a downward cycle. And while energy-efficient technologies may help, they can be costly to implement.
- Maintenance. Equipment required for a transportation system needs upkeep. Whether it uses trucks, loading/unloading machinery, even personal vehicles ─ someone needs to keep them operating efficiently to keep your business doing the same. That’s certainly not free, and downtime can be even more problematic.
- Time. Success in almost every business depends upon accomplishing tasks in the least possible time. Therefore, the longer things take to move through a system and get to where they need to be, the more efficiency suffers.
Where Does Corporate Kiosk Come In?
Our Corporate Kiosk™ e-procurement technology streamlines transportation systems in many ways. Just look at a few:
No more moving things from desk to desk. Documents, especially, can be reviewed, edited if necessary, recirculated and approved all online, virtually simultaneously. That saves time and physical effort.
In Corporate Kiosk, orders can be configured to move into and through the organization’s ERP system. Thus, the need to re-key it throughout production, shipping and reconciliation is eliminated.
Once documents are approved and loaded by managers, authorized users throughout the enterprise (from one facility to hundreds) can access, order and take delivery on them as needed. As a result, you realize incredible time saving and benefit from direct shipping.
No Home-office “Handling”
Corporate Kiosk allows each office and department to obtain approved document supplies (from forms to marketing materials) directly. No need for a headquarters “fulfillment” function that wastes space and employee time. This represents LEAN manufacturing principles at their best.
Promotional Products Where/As Needed
Corporate Kiosk’s capabilities in the areas of pre-approved document selection and streamlined delivery also apply to promotional items. Just choose the right item (we can help greatly in that area, too). Then authorized employees in the office or field can order them directly, for shipping to their facility or even to the ultimate destination, like a trade show or convention. No excess transportation (or inflated costs) to deal with.
Eliminate Transportation Wastes Identified by LEAN Manufacturing
Superior Business Solutions is equipped to help you address all seven of the wastes identified by LEAN manufacturing protocols. Transportation is just one area; we’ll be talking about more as this series continues, so check back on Thursday.
But if you want to jump-start the savings, contact Superior today to find out what Corporate Kiosk can do for your business. Or get in touch with one of our knowledgeable sales reps who will be happy to help.
Check Out Other Posts in the Series