Measuring what actually happens with your supply chain is difficult enough, but what are the challenges and rewards of measuring something that hasn’t yet happened? How can you count those events that do not occur, and what is the value of doing so?
Supply chains can be extremely complex with many ongoing processes and activities transforming natural resources and raw materials into finished goods. Certain measurements help determine the overall efficiency and productivity of your supply chain, including measurements concerning optimal product flow and overall labour productivity. To make your process more efficient, tracking systems and supply chain management solutions are designed to provide information on a specific product and its whereabouts at any given time within the process.
Supply Chain Management Solutions
Let’s consider the distribution centre or warehouse. In each of these cases, metrics may include units picked per hour (such as by line, work cell, or individual) where the product flow is most impacted. But, what about the untapped potential of knowing and reporting in real time what hasn’t happened?
Another issue to consider is employees turning up to work and moving between job functions. Typically, an employee may be allocated to a job function or work area through a workforce management system (WFM) and could be assigned to multiple areas throughout the shift. Warehouse management systems (WMS) capture all the jobs and tasks employees work on and when these jobs are actually started.
Supply chain management systems provide useful information, albeit in different systems, in different formats, and different times – typically after a shift. Having a common platform to combine these disparate systems and reporting in real time may help unlock inefficiencies in the process. For example, managers can take corrective action when an employee enters a new work area (determined from the WFM) but the employee has been inactive for some time before starting or logging onto a job (determined from the WMS).
Save time and money with RMG solutions
All of these measurements, ranging from units picked per hour to those of the scenarios above, collected and displayed on the distribution or fulfilment centre floor in real time can translate into time and money saved. When visualised on large scoreboards, desktop dashboards, or even on mobile devices, these real-time metrics can result in immediate decisions that can impact results before shifts end. RMG helps businesses increase productivity, efficiency, and engagement through visual management and digital messaging to provide real-time status of what has happened, and what hasn’t. Application areas include distribution centres, supply chains, and employee engagement.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Trevor Long is a business development director for supply chain solutions for RMG’s EMEA operations. Trevor has over 20 years experience in providing strategic solutions to simply compelling information for businesses. Connect with Trevor on LinkedIn.