Supply Chain Solutions with Heart

What We Do

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Distribution Performance Improvement

Software and engineering are foundational and integral components of our services, but alone are insufficient to create desired behavior and performance improvement. Transformational results are found in the daily routines of leaders and associates at each level of the organization, executing with best practices and efficient processes. The applied combination of information, tools and skills affords new conversations and new behaviors. We help our clients establish new routines and habits at each level of the organization to achieve transformational results.

 
You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.
— John Maxwell
 

Lean Performance Management

  • Looking for opportunities to increase productivity and reduce cost in your distribution operations
  • Lean has revolutionized manufacturing and distribution. In fact, its principles transcend industries to address efficiency, eliminate waste, reduce cost, and increase productivity.
  • But Lean alone does not tap into the human spirit of motivation and coaching. Performance Management picks up where Lean leaves off by engaging the workforce through training, coaching, recognition, and rewards.
  • It is the confluence of Lean and Performance Management that enables our clients to achieve transformational results (both P&L and cultural).

Operational Assessment

  • Many of our clients want to know how they are doing relative to their peers - benchmarking
  • What can they be doing differently to improve their performance
  • Often there are symptoms like increased costs per unit, inability to meet service level commitments, lack of associate engagement, lack of leadership effectiveness
  • We take 3-4 weeks with a client to assess people, process, systems, and assets
  • Our clients come away with clear understanding of their current state and clearly articulated priorities based on level of effort and level of impact
  • Often recommendations are low-cost and drive transformational results
  • We help the client craft an immediate game plan and a 6-month/12-month road map
  • This is a low investment, low commitment way to get going on the business of improving

Labor Management/Performance Management

  • We help clients build a business case and a plan for rolling out a Labor Management or Performance Management Program. Is this viable financially? Is it a fit culturally? What are keys to success and pitfalls to avoid?
  • LMS Selection - There are a myriad of different Labor Management Systems (LMS) out there. We help clients quickly articulate their needs regarding an LMS and sift through the options to find the right fit. Our experience and objectivity take the guesswork out of LMS selection.
  • Program Policies and Procedures - Doing the hard work up front to develop the policies and procedures that will govern a Labor Management Program is the difference between getting to the destination you hoped for and having a program that fails or achieves lack-luster results. We work closely with our clients to help them articulate their objectives and craft program policies and procedures that will help guide them to their desired destination.
  • Statistically valid goals - Our team helps our clients build statistically valid goals that are defensible and accurately reflect the effort of their workforce regardless of the work content. Creating meaningful metrics that are believable and accurate in perception and reality is essential to gain buy-in from associates and leaders alike.
  • Training and Change Management - Labor Management Programs fundamentally change the nature of work within an operation. It is essential that leaders and associates through the entire spectrum of the organization be equipped with the tools and learning they need to thrive in the new environment. We partner with our clients through a variety of in classroom and on-the-floor training to ensure our clients capabilities are greater than the challenges they are facing
  • Performance Management Advancement - More than "maintenance", we work with our clients to continuously improve their Performance Management Program. Through training, engineering and data analysis, we are able to help our clients capture the long term performance potential of there program.

Labor Management Program Tune-up

  • There are a multitude of reasons why Labor Management Programs become irrelevant and ineffective: changes in leadership, lack of attention to standards, industrial engineering turnover.
  • These programs require vigilant attention to advance their effectiveness.
  • But if a program is out of whack, take heart, not all hope is lost.
  • We help clients identify the cultural, systems, and engineering updates that are required to bring a Labor Management program back to life.
  • We help clients regain organizational trust through training and communication and avoid those pitfalls associated with a program rendered useless by entropy and neglect.
  • This is a much different effort and approach because often there are established habits, behaviors, and expectations that have to be re-set. This is never easy and requires delicate change management. We help clients traverse the transition, avoiding pitfalls along the way.

Reasonable Expectancies, high-level metrics, and key performance indicators

  • Not looking for full-blow engineered labor standards?
  • Looking for some key metrics to grab hold of and right the ship
  • Often single-variable standards or reasonable expectancies provide some instruments to begin the improvement process - "what gets measured gets done"
  • This is a lower investment, but should be a short-term solution so that a longer-term, multi-variable solution can be developed that accurately reflects work content and effort

Performance Management Maintenance

  • The greatest benefit to Performance Management implementations occur after the consulting partner has left site
  • These programs gain momentum as the habits take hold and the continuous improvement flywheel takes off
  • That is why we invest in post-implementation support to ensure the potential of the program is realized
  • Remote performance and metric monitoring
  • On-site evaluations, maintenance, and updates
  • New industrial engineer training
  • Leadership and Management Training

Continuous Improvement

  • Continuous Improvement is at the foundation of Performance Management
  • Engaging the workforce to improve - getting 1000 problem solvers out on the floor advancing the cause of improvement
  • Developing a process for identifying, prioritizing, and implementing meaningful change to achieve transformational results
  • Creating a culture of continuous improvement where innovation is celebrated and sacred cows are slaughtered
  • Creating a culture where the workforce is actively engaged in improving the business

Project Management

  • Coming up with ideas is easy - getting the ideas successfully implemented is something else entirely.
  • We provide Project Management support to translate great ideas to great results.
  • Our team of certified PMP Project Managers will help your team prioritize and execute.

Change Management

  • Change is hard, and most major change initiatives fail.
  • Over the last 15+ years we have been students of change and have a deep understanding of what it takes to plan for, gain commitment to, and successfully bring a change initiative to completion.
  • Our team will partner with leaders and associates to employ proven change management techniques to bring about the desired results of our change initiative.

Supply Chain Systems

Working with the appropriate technology solutions has a direct effect on the degree of performance improvement and the time it takes to achieve it. We assist our clients in selecting the best solutions to meet your specific needs and your budget.

Labor Management System (LMS) selection and implementation

We have a deep understanding of the Labor Management System (LMS) field. Our operational approach starts with identifying and short listing LMS candidates that meet your specific needs, budget requirements, and desired outcome. We take an unbiased view of the selection process and leverage our experience to guide you in making a confident decision.

Automation business case, selection, and implementation

Utilizing automation to drive efficiency in distribution operations is not a thing of the future - it is now.

We provide an unbiased assessment of automation solutions. We are well-versed in available automatic storage and retrieval systems. Our understanding of their appropriate applications and distinctions helps you leverage them.

Your specific needs and budget guide our assessment. We'll lead you through the various options and determine if there's a solution that fits your requirements.

Technology and Operating Concept Decision Support

Innovation is essential in the increasingly technology-driven supply chain industry. Our team supports technology selection and implementation. We also provide the change management guidance required to survive rapid innovation.

Our diverse experience with operational optimization leaves us deeply knowledgeable of available solutions. We've worked with a variety of operating concepts, technology solutions, and relevant equipment. We'll brainstorm possible applications, shortlist innovative alternatives, and develop a business case.


Supply Chain Strategy

Sustainable growth requires a supply chain strategy that grows with you. Whether it’s time to expand or you need to revisit your operating costs, we’ll guide you in making informed, forward-thinking decisions with lasting results.

Logistics Network Strategy

Growth is exciting, but it can also be terrifying. It often requires making critical, long-lasting decisions and significant financial investments.

Our team aids you in making sure those decisions are confident and data-driven. We emphasize service level commitments, cost, and culture. When we have successfully worked through the Network Strategy modeling process, you’re able to make an informed decision from a range of alternatives.

3PL Partner Selection

Sometimes a Logistics Network Strategy study determines that building a new facility does not make sense. Instead, it exposes that a third party fulfillment relationship is more prudent.

In this case, we help you develop your service level requirements and a request for proposal for a 3PL. Our team will support your in creating a shortlist of candidates based on key variables. We’ll then facilitate the selection process and establish the 3PL contract and relationship.

Transportation cost management

Transportation cost is a significant consideration in the Network Strategy process. We often find our clients have not optimized their carrier contracts and relationships, so we work with you to identify ways to reduce costs through contract negotiation and implementation.


Distribution Center Design

Designing and building a new distribution center is an expensive, disruptive and time-consuming endeavor. But, it is an essential step for a growing company to meet their customers service level commitments.

The decision to design and build a new DC leads to a significant capital expenditure. This makes it essential to partner with an objective expert who will aid in making the best design decisions. An increasingly competitive landscape allows for no other options.

Conceptual Design, Operating Concepts, and Justification

Our team supports you in developing a data-driven conceptual design for your new facility. Our extensive operations expertise allows us to lead brainstorm discussions around various operating concepts. We also assist in the capital justification process.

Process and Workstation Design

Our designs always begin with the end user in mind. Our expertise and commitment to Performance Management tells us where people are actually doing the work is paramount, so we pay great attention to detail in the Process and Workstation Design.

Integrator Selection

We partner with our clients to select the right material handling integrator to bring the final design to completion and the facility to reality.

Project Management

We provide Project Management support through implementation. Our focus is on people, process, systems and assets to bring a facility design build to fruition on time and on budget.

DC Start-Up

Being given the keys to a new facility is often like being given the keys to a high performing sports car: it is important that a person is trained to achieve the performance results promised.

We partner with our clients to start-up new distribution operations with an emphasis on associate and management training. This DC Start-up process accelerates the operation to meet service level commitments and obtain return on investment.


Leadership Training

Leadership effectiveness is vital to successful supply chain execution. Despite labor often being the largest line item on a company's operating budget, we very rarely see meaningful investment in the DC leadership team.

Classroom & On-the-Floor Training

We incorporate in-classroom and on-the-job training into all our Supply Chain Execution projects. While we include training sessions complimentary to our implementations, we don't stop there.

We provide a stand-alone Performance Management Certificate Program. The curriculum includes skills and tactics essential for effective Distribution Leading. Here's what some of those sessions teach:

  • Performance Management Competencies
  • Supervisor and Manager Performance Management Certification
  • Industrial Engineering Training
  • Leading Change
  • Communicating Effectively
  • Having Difficult Conversations
  • Overcoming the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team