Shippers that consistently perform at high levels senior level managers play a key role in the successful development and implementation of technologically advanced improvement projects. In these companies the corporate attitude towards material handling operations starts with senior management challenging operating management to find creative solutions to material handling issues. They want projects that will provide substantial benefits such as:
Higher picking and shipping throughput capacity
Optimization of inventory and storage space utilization
Lower per piece handling cost
Shorter order processing cycle times
|•||Greater value-added services capability|
100% order accuracy
Elimination of shipping charge backs
However, the above benefits will not be realized unless senior management actively promotes an environment that encourages others to come forward with creative improvement proposals.
Unfortunately, some shippers are stuck in a 1970’s type warehousing time-warp where paper-driven order picking is done with clipboards and pushcarts. Characteristically, astute individuals who are eager to propose projects involving the application of advanced concepts in material handling technology are discouraged by middle managers who tell them that it’s “too risky - the front office won’t buy it”.
Senior level management must embrace continuous improvement initiatives by spelling out long-range objectives to mid-managers, planners, industry consultants, and system integrators in terms that they can relate to. A business manager who has never received even a preliminary proposal involving creative approaches to warehousing, order processing, and material flow issues should look for answers to the following questions: