When it comes to streamlining organizational logistics operations, there are several definitions of streamlining and what it really means for an organization to engage in the process. For this blog, streamlining is the process of eliminating tasks that causes redundancy, errors, wasted time, efforts, and energy, related to efficiency.
Any adverse processes that have a negative effect on efficiency, time management, and getting things done in a more effective way, need to be streamlined for the betterment of the organization.
Before streamlining any process, an open and honest assessment of present operations and produced results need to be presented. A problem must exist to be fixed. It must be identified as a problem, in order for it to be streamlined. But there are cases where organizations just decide to become more efficient and productive with their processes and implement streamlining actions to do so. Either way, being honest about where you are and where you want to be is key.
So, always be honest about your findings because the goal is not to blame but to fix the problem, through the streamlining process. According to Digi-Key (2013), “streamlining is the art of improving the efficiency of a process, business, or organization by taking out or simplifying unnecessary steps.”
For example, let’s isolate one of the warehouse operational processes (receiving) to streamline. Receiving is the most important process of warehouse operations because whatever product is accepted at the receiving door is yours until it is distributed or not. That makes receiving a very important step in the process.
One way to streamline the receiving process is to monitor the condition of items being received, check for accuracy in the bill of materials, and ensure part numbers, item numbers, proper quantities, and all related paperwork is in proper receiving order, before entering anything into the receiving database base. I call this process my receiving and quality assurance checks before data input.
Knowing that this process is being monitored, measured, and documented over a period of time, an organization will be able to assess and see the benefits of less damaged and received products within the warehouse, more damaged items returned to the vendor before being accepted, and fewer problems with items identified to be distributed at the outbound process.
When processes can be monitored and measured for efficiency, the chances are good for the organization, but great for the customer because they receive what they paid for, in the right amount, as promised and expected, in serviceable condition, and right on time.