Lean thinking is a business model. Essentially, the principles focus on maximizing value to the consumer while keeping waste (in both time and resource) to a minimum. This model can be applied in the warehouse where inventory management and outgoing shipping is a daily affair. When applied in this sector, the model is known as lean transportation.
Best Lean Transportation Practices
Reduce Transportation Travel Time
As stated above, lean thinking is about reducing waste. If your shipment is taking longer than necessary to reach your client, then that is waste. Consider the types of trailers and trucks available. Also consider the routes the carrier normally travels. Is it carrying other cargo and dropping those off before dropping off yours? Depending on your budget, load, and priority, a dedicated truck transport or truck line-haul service may be more efficient for making timely deliveries.
DMAIC is an acronym that means: define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. DMAIC should be put into practice in daily warehouse management. There should be an hour-to-hour focus on waste identification and reduction. This begins with negotiations with a transport broker. After this you formulate a plan, execute it, and then check the results to see if it yielded the desired outcome. If you detect any waste, you would be wise to find a remedy which prevents it from occurring again.
We also highly recommend that you transition to inventory management software with real-time metrics.
Team With A Transportation Broker
Finally, build a long-term relationship with your transportation broker and/or carrier service. One of the foundations of lean thinking is to view brokers and shippers beyond transactional terms. Instead, see them as strategic partners. Work with them to build trust, teamwork, and collaboration.
Need a Broker?
Machine Transport is very familiar with lean thinking methods. As such, we hope to build a relationship with our clients that fosters partnership rather than a mere business relationship. We also know that putting lean transportation strategies into practice will drastically reduce overhead when applied over the long-term.
Edited by Justin Vorhees
Transport Brokers Serving all Industries
Serving clients all over North America