Problem: Cases not shipped as ordered represented in excess of $5 million in lost revenue per year (320,000 cases). These failed shipments represented 2% of all cases ordered and were driven by missed production schedules, departmental/functional thinking and behavior, poor communication with the sales force, and an acceptance of less than flawless execution.
Solution: The solution that needed to be brought forward had a two-fold mission. First, to challenge the organization up, down and across to eliminate boundaries and tear down barriers that existed between and within the functions. Second, to redesign the manufacturing and shipping ways-of-working processes to achieve service levels of 100% ongoing.
A process analysis of all existing manufacture and ship methods was performed. In addition, waste generation and process execution failure points were heavily focused on. This information was then jointly processed working with specialized sub-teams to identify gaps; suggest process improvements; propose team work improvements and bring forward how intra-organization work flow and success measurement could be created.
Interestingly, capital investment for mechanical equipment changes was not brought forward as needing improvement. The solution proposed was a new team based work process. The major components of the team plan included new ways to improve communication frequency and timing; methods for joint problem solving and improved joint tracking of results on a timely basis.
Results: A 99.99% order fulfillment rate was achieved. The site shipped more than 16 million cases without a shipment failure measured by the goal of …right product, right quantity, right time. In fact, in the first calendar year of implementation only 16 cases were not shipped as ordered. Most important, the cost per case shipped went down too.
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