In part one of our series talking about LEAN supply chains, we gave a high level view of what LEAN was and the 7 types of wastes to target. We also broke LEAN down into the five key principles:

1. People Involvement
2. Built-In Quality
3. Standardization
4. Short Lead Time
5. Continuous Improvement.

In this post we are going to focus on principle #1, people involvement.  Perhaps the most important principal of them all, people involvement is absolutely crucial for the simple fact that without people a company would cease to exist. When applying LEAN principals every employee, including management, must work as a single entity.

When the people embrace the LEAN way of life it creates a trusting and respectful atmosphere within the company. Employees must know they are valuable and are free of fear when it comes to pointing out problems within the supply chain and bringing up suggestions for eliminating waste.

Within your Shipping and Receiving departments, have Managers and Supervisors encourage employees to work in teams.  This empowers employees to figure out more efficient ways to manage your supply chain and is crucial to overall company success. A manger must also stress how team work contributes to the overall efficiency of the supply chain.

While the biggest goal of LEAN is to increase value to the customer by reducing supply chain costs, the employee will often ask “what’s in it for me?” Rewarding employees with visible rewards or even a simple thank you can provide great motivation for that employee.   For example, do you reward your dock employees for the number of hours worked without a bodily injury and/or damage to product?  Create your own metrics and reward systems to promote employee achievements to say “Job well done!”

Within our own company, Arab Cartage and Agent National recognizes safe drivers by giving them a visible reward based on the number of miles they driven without incident. Our safe driver rewards is given to drivers with 250k, 500k, 750k, 1 million all the way up to 1.2 million safe driving miles!  You can review our 2015 safe driver awards here.

At Arab Cartage and Agent National having our employees involved and motivated is crucial to our own and ultimately our customer’s success.  Our 30 plus years of business and countless satisfied customers is proof of that.  If your company is in need of transportation, logistics, and warehousing services give us a call at 1-800-423-0478 or email us at dispatch@ac-an.com.