In our last blog post about LEAN supply chains we talked about the “people involvement” principal. The single most important element of the LEAN way of thinking is people.  However, having people within your transportation department perform the supply chain processes right the FIRST time is very important to the company’s overall success. This leads us to LEAN supply chain principal #2, built in quality, or in other words, “getting it right the first time”.

From a supply chain point of view, having an employee who is well versed in the processes leads to a smoother flow of goods, which mean less mistakes, and an overall lower cost of transportation. But where does a company start when it comes to developing supply chain processes? A company needs to engineer its supply chain with its workers in mind. Once a process is designed a FMEA (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis) is performed. A FMEA is a test run in which someone tries to purposely “break” the processes to locate weak points. This helps the developers perfect the process. Next, the developers decide on which metrics will be used to gauge the processes success. Then they document and create instructions that are broken down into steps that an employee can easily follow.

When a company opens a new shipping and receiving facility, it will follow the processes laid out by the developers. The team of developers will monitor and track the processes for the next 90 days. Once the processes are validated, the facility receives a “Steady State” certification. However, when a mistake does happen, it is important to find the root of the problem and ultimately mistake-proof the process.

At Arab Cartage and Agent National, we pride ourselves in being an integral part of your supply chain processes.  We have the capabilities to be the logistics arm of your supply chain to ensure your shipping, receiving, and warehousing operations run as efficiently as possible.  If your company is in need of transportation, logistics, and/or warehousing services, give us a call at 1-800-423-0478 or email us at dispatch@ac-an.com.