Lean boosts and simplifies replenishment processes
The Lean project carried out in replenishment operations on the third floor of Oriola’s warehouse in Mankkaa started with everyday observations. The processes were not as straightforward or effective as logistics supervisor Merja Mattsson and warehouse employees Birgitta Bäckström, Christoffer Aarnio and Huy Nguyen, who all work in replenishment operations, would have liked.
The Lean project in replenishment operations started with background and data analyses; Lean Manager Johanna Lassila was responsible for these. Lean workshops were held to find the root cause of the situation and alternative solutions.
“We carefully went through the process, which meant that we looked at all of the work stages and tried to think how we could do things differently. Then we went around the site and took pictures of problem areas, and after this we started modelling a new, more functional process,” says Lassila.
New operating model and simplified process
A new, more simplified operating process was introduced at the beginning of May. In addition to this, working methods were changed. If new processes are to be adopted, everyone must commit to them.
“We also introduced a new working model where one person is responsible for moving the pallets and three work on replenishment and we swap tasks regularly,” says Mattsson.
The Lean board supports the continuous improvement of processes. The board is used for monitoring important indicators and for collecting suggestions for further improvements. The team gathers around the board each week to find out how things have been going and what kinds of development suggestions have been collected on the board.
Changes are shown by indicators and work efficiency
“The process is now much easier and more straightforward. The right number of replenishment stickers are printed out and the weekly reviews by the Lean board improve the communication of information,” say Nguyen and Bäckström.
“The indicators also clearly show that improvements have been made. A pallet now goes from the high bay warehouse to the pallet rack 26% more quickly, and replenishment tasks spend 38% less time in the work queue. The entire team has worked very hard and actively participated in the development work. I am really pleased and proud of them,” says Lassila.
“I would also like to say a huge thank you to Johanna for a well-managed project,” says Matsson.
Text: Myra Magnusson
Photos: Felix Marquez