Lean Logistics: Making Material Flow

The OpExChange virtual event on October 18, 2022, “Lean Logistics: Making Material Flow” had the highest attendance this year and the second highest of all time. A total of 91 participants from 42 organizations joined this broadcast.

Justin Goethe, President of Allied Logistics, presented on the importance of lean application in warehouse management and material supply to production. Prior to starting his company, Justin spent the last decade at Robert Bosch in Charleston, one of the automotive industries first adopters of the Toyota Production System. He was also involved in Bosch’s Digital transformation and Industry 4.0 implementation. He currently partners with the SCMEP as a consultant in lean and warehouse improvement projects.

Justin offered some very sage advice with regards to both lean tools and advanced methodologies. He advised that if you have not implemented lean processes, do not attempt automation. He stated that you should “learn to crawl before trying to run.” He emphasized that management commitment and involvement on the floor are essential to the success of any lean program.

Justin shared the recent results at one company that improved productivity by 43% in only three months through applying lean warehousing. Note that there was no capital investment needed. He added that he had no “magic pill” or silver bullet to make this happen. This was just applying the basics and supporting the implemented tools.

In this 90-minute session, Justin reviewed several of the tools used in lean warehousing including 5S, Plan for Every Part (PFEP), Kanban, Coupled & Decoupled Routes, Supermarket RE+LO+WI+SA calculation, milk runs, KPI trees, and layered process audits.

On several occasions during the session, Justin reiterated the importance of management and engineering presence in the warehouse. “If you walk through the warehouse and it looks like a bomb hit and you don’t say anything … well, you’ve said something. You’ve said that 5S doesn’t matter.” He also commented that of the lean tools, he views 5S as the most important. “If you are not disciplined enough to maintain an orderly, organized work environment, then you won’t be disciplined enough to implement a material delivery route or to execute a Kanban pull system. And don’t even think about trying Heijunka or leveling!”

The survey results and feedback following the event showed that everyone was super impressed and motivated from Justin’s presentation, passion, and advice. One participant commented that he appreciated the fact that Justin followed the simple route before trying more elaborate, “shiny,” and expensive solutions.

About Applied Logistics
Allied Logistics is a lean-logistics consulting firm with traditional 3PL capabilities.

Allied understand that without the right processes and daily management routines, the day-to-day noise can quickly become an incessant roar preventing our clients from focusing on growing and improving their business.

Allied works with their clients to develop a lean-based culture with internal processes that can be trusted to deliver consistent results allowing our customers time to focus on the future instead of the latest shop-floor emergency.

Allied Logistics

About OpExChange

The OpExChange, sponsored by the South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership, is a peer-to-peer network of manufacturers and distributors in South Carolina known for generating success for members through benchmarking and best practices activities. Member companies host events and share practical examples of industrial automation, lean manufacturing improvements, and leadership development. It is an invaluable resource to South Carolina companies that provides access to others who are on similar improvement journeys. If your company is interested in participating in this collaborative effort to improve both the competitiveness of your operation and South Carolina, contact Mike Demos (Mike@OpExChange.com) or visit the OpExChange website www.OpExChange.com.



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