Archive for October, 2013

Ten Tips on how to sell Compliance in the Organisation

October 28, 2013

It probably seems to you like every time you want to talk about Compliance, everyone runs away and hides, they ignore you and hope you go away, or they fuss and moan. Compliance is a fact of business life, however, Your company must comply with:

Your Customers requirements (quality, safety, performance specifications, quantity, price, prompt delivery, etc.); Industry or other standards and guidelines (ISO 9001, IRFS, etc.); and/or
Regulations (e.g., 8th EU Directive, Food Safety Modernization Act) in order to get or to keep business. Therein lies the problem: compliance is like healthy eating or exercise. We know we have to, but well, it’s so hard to either make the time or get enthusiastic about it! Why is it that “have to” and “want to” always seem to be inversely proportional to one another?

How do you sell yourself and your employees on the notion that compliance is something you want, not something you merely put up with? How do you turn “got to” into “want to”?

First, you have to…

Sell yourself on the idea. You’ll find in life, that is, if you haven’t already that if you don’t have a deep and firmly held belief in your company, your product, or your people, you won’t sell your product or your service. If you lack enthusiasm, conviction, self-discipline, vision, perspective, and some of the other characteristics that define leadership, you won’t have many followers.

Your customers are your ultimate critics. If you don’t meet their requirements, you’re out of business. It won’t matter what other requirements you fail to meet if you fail to meet your customer’s. Have your priorities in order, listen to your customers first.

Include your staff in the development of Policies and Procedures that will ensure your company’s compliance, because: (a) you can’t do it all by yourself; (b) they know more of the day-to-day tasks, operations, and processes than you; and (c) you need to show that you value and trust their judgement if they’re to grow (i.e., micromanagers never win).

Give everyone in your firm the resources they need to do their jobs effectively.

Ensure that your employees are more than adequately trained and experienced.

Make sure they know what they’re doing and more importantly why they’re doing it.

Keep the lines of communication open all the time. Communicate effectively and continually with all levels of your organization.

Get out of your office! Regularly address your employees first hand, directly and openly.

Listen, and then turn what you’re hearing into something your employees — and your customers want to act upon.

Make a habit of meeting with suppliers, subcontractors, and everyone who has a hand in getting your product or service into the hands of your customers. You might not be able to do this often but you shouldn’t let a year go by without visiting with your valuable partners. Communication is key!

Look at failures as opportunities for improvement. Don’t go looking for the guilty party every time something doesn’t go according to plan! You want to keep failure to a minimum, yes, but keep things in perspective. Not every mistake requires Draconian countermeasures!

Share success. Compliance goes beyond merely observing standards or laws, compliance can help you win business! When it does, spread the wealth. Acknowledge the part everyone played in making your company a success, especially those who had a direct hand in your victory.

Sell yourself, then sell everyone else on the importance and value of compliance.

Make them want it! Your customers do.

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Warehouse Management Best Practice.

October 25, 2013

Companies are constantly trying to find ways to improve performance and warehouse operations is area where supply chain managers can focus to gain maximum efficiency for minimum cost. To get the most out of the operation, a number of best practices can be adopted to improve productivity and overall customer satisfaction. Although best practices vary from industry to industry and by the products shipped there are a number of best practices that can be applied to most companies.
When considering the level of effort involved in warehouse operations, the greatest expenditure of effort is in the picking process. To gain efficiencies in picking the labor time to pick orders needs to be reduced and this can achieved in a number of ways. Companies with the most efficient warehouses have the most frequently picked items closest to the shipping areas to minimise picking time. These companies achieve their competitive advantage by constantly reviewing their sales data to ensure that the items are stored close to the shipping area are still the most frequently picked.
Warehouse layout is also important in achieve greater efficiencies. Minimising travel time between picking locations can greatly improve productivity. However, to achieve this increase in efficiency, companies must develop processes to regularly monitor picking travel times and storage locations.
Warehouse operations that still use hard copy pick tickets find that it is not very efficient and prone to human errors. To combat this and to maximise efficiency, world class warehouse operations had adopted technology that is some of today’s most advanced systems. In addition to hand-held RF readers and printers, companies are introducing pick-to-light and voice recognition technology.
In a pick-to-light system, an operator will scan a bar-coded label attached to a box. A digital display located in front of the pick bin will inform the operator of the item and quantity that they need to pick. Companies are typically using pick-to-light systems for their top 5 to 20% selling products. By introducing this system companies can gain significant efficiencies as it is totally paperless and eliminates the errors caused by pick tickets.
Voice picking systems inform the operator of pick instructions through a headset. The pick instructions are sent via RF from the company’s ERP or order management software. The system allows operators to perform pick operations without looking at a computer screen or deal with paper pick tickets. Many world class warehouse operations have adopted voice picking to complement the pick-to-light systems in place for their fast moving products.
Although many companies will not be able to afford new technologies for picking, there are a number of best practices that can be adopted to improve efficiency and reduce cost.