Due to the changing and developing technology, the production and logistics processes have also required to be simplified. With the effect of the pandemic, it has become important to integrate up-to-date technologies, especially in the logistics sector. The establishment of scrum and agile mentality for white-collar workers showed the necessity of entering the same mindset for blue-collar workers.
Factors such as the pandemic have caused many changes. For example, people have started to use e-commerce sites instead of shopping in stores. The workload of e-commerce companies has increased both in production and logistics, and the need to actively adopt different methodologies has arisen.
Lean production is an approach that focuses on reducing waste while increasing productivity in industrial processes. Anything that buyers do not believe provides value and are unwilling to pay for is considered waste. Reduced lead times, lower operational costs, and increased product quality are some of the advantages of lean production. It is a practice that can be implemented by businesses in a variety of industries.
Being prepared for environmental conditions when designing procedures is made easier by simplifying processes. Successful e-commerce enterprises employ strategies such as lean production to improve consumer satisfaction.
What to consider while implementing a leaner production process?
- Do not decide on anything with the past data.
Since the situations change so frequently, it's not always wise to make conclusions based on previous facts. For example, water orders soared last summer as the weather warmed up early in May, but since the weather warmed up only in July this year, the same data does not apply every year. We can use the pandemic as an example once more. Orders are increasing every month as a result of the pandemic, and appropriate solutions must be established. It is vital to have a thorough understanding of both current and past data.
- Make sure you are using the right technological equipment.
Warehouses are no longer limited to physical warehouse space, shelves, warehouse management systems, and handheld terminals. The warehouse now uses robotic technology and new generation hand terminals, such as TIM's Glogi, to keep up with numerous new technologies. In the logistics industry, it is critical to be constantly aware of and follow various technologies and advances.
- Make regular benchmark visits.
Following both similar and dissimilar logistics processes and rivals in logistics operations has become essential. In today's competitive environment, analyzing their relevance and using them if necessary is critical.
Especially in e-commerce companies and retail, how quickly the product reaches the customer, product diversity and how accurately the product is reached are important in terms of ensuring customer satisfaction. It's crucial to keep track of what's going on in the world rather than worrying about whether your competitors are better or worse than you. The fact that all KPIs are related to logistics directly relates logistics to customer satisfaction. Analyzing your competition can also help you figure out ways to increase your market and sector share.
- Technology does not equal lean production.
As previously said, not all technological advancements are appropriate to your operations and may be inefficient. As a result, it is critical to determine the investment's return on investment in advance. Low-cost automation engineers, for example, in the automobile industry, are looking for new technologies that will provide quick results with little expenditure. If you want to calculate how much return you will get from automation in logistics, retail or manufacturing, you might want to check out TIM's ROI Calculator.
- Employees should become leaner, too.
After ensuring that the technology in use is lean, the employee should be lean as well. On their handheld terminals, 95% of employees just check the address and items they use. As a result, the employees benefit from a 95% reduction in complexity due to the simplification of the used handheld terminals. Thread in Motion, for example, provides lean production with its compact, plain, and easy interface, while determining the employee's location via WiFi and sending it to the nearest area also assures that the employee is lean.
- Gamification techniques should be adopted for blue-collar employees.
Marketing teams have lead goals, sales teams also have quota targets. What about blue-collar employees?
It is important for both the firm and the blue-collar to create a competitive environment using gamification tactics such as which team picks better and which is the most efficient. Analyzing data, providing numerical outputs, and emphasizing the team concept are all beneficial to the organization. The gamification guidelines can be found here.
- Track how viable the idea put forward is.
Consider the happiness of the gray, white, and blue-collar workers before making an investment. The blue-collar is where the concepts that will be implemented on the field will be tested, despite the fact that they all have distinct objectives. Employees may be hesitant to use new technology or believe it is ineffective. A positive user experience is crucial at this time. It assists the employee in becoming familiar with and enjoying the technology in order to be evaluated for it.