… But you still need to do it anyway! In today’s competitive environment, it is imperative to build a flexible workforce that can respond to rapidly changing labor, technology, and market conditions.
Greetings! We’re already a little over a month into the new year and we’re still so excited for all that this year will bring. We know that 2018 will hold a lot of new opportunities and challenges that will give us all the chance to boost the profitability and productivity of our businesses. We’re excited to explore that with you!
We also want to encourage you to pause during these first few months to evaluate the past year and plan ahead for the remaining months of the new one. We hope that this newsletter, filled with some of our favorite resources, will give you the chance to do just that. And if you have any questions as you work through this content, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d love to connect with you.
New Resource: Your Roadmap to Startup Success
Whether you’re actually in year one of your new distribution center or still planning for it, this resource is here to help. Our newest whitepaper, Your Roadmap to Startup Success in a New Distribution Center: Year 1, outlines seven different focus areas where you can use a fresh approach and new ideas to make that first year in your new distribution center the most profitable and efficient it can be.
Even if you’re in year five or nine of your distribution center, this resource is still for you. Download today and see the small changes you can make to optimize your people, processes, and facilities. It’s never too late to change!
From the LogistiPoint Blog
Check out some of our recent blog posts! And if there’s a topic that you want to hear about in our blog, simply hit reply to this email and let us know.
Consultant Spotlight: A Conversation with LogistiPoint Principal, Glenn Hanley
Each quarter, our team chooses a consultant to spotlight and interview. As someone who has over 20 years of experience in the supply chain industry, Glenn Hanley brings valuable expertise to the table in his newly appointed role as LogistiPoint Principal. We sat down with Hanley to discuss the rise of automation, decreasing labor costs, driving change, and just for fun, his favorite Spring Break vacationing spot.
Featured Case Study
We believe it’s important to show our work in action, yielding results. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to work with our team, check out this case study detailing how we helped a shoe brand accommodate future growth with a 55% increase in productivity.
Q: The "rise of automation" seems to be everywhere you look. How big of a role do you think automation will actually play within distribution within the next 5 years?
A: Distributors in the e-commerce space are the most likely to invest in automation. More and more sales are moving from retail stores to e-fulfillment. This business tends to be more intensive with SKU count and discretionary picking. We have seen a movement to ASRS (automated storage retrieval systems), GTP (goods to person) systems, AGVs (automated guided vehicles) for such operations, and I believe that is likely to continue.
Q: Labor is the #1 cost for any distribution center, but it's the people that create the results. How do you create an engaged and positive culture without hurting the bottom line? How do you cut costs without cutting jobs?
A: The key to creating this engaged and positive culture is to involve people in the process of running your business. This is a very simple concept that many companies do not do well, but it is critical to make your people feel important… because they are important! If your associates understand, from you the leader, that you NEED them, they will more eagerly participate in change and cost-cutting initiatives for your company.
Cutting costs without cutting jobs – this may not be the answer people are seeking, but many times you have to cut jobs in order to cut costs. Some of our clients are seeking ways to build a more productive workforce so they can improve their bottom line. Some of our clients have capacity issues, and they need the foundation of a productive workforce so they can grow their business without unnecessarily growing their labor costs. At LogistiPoint, our role is to help our customers to be profitable and to be in a position of growth.
Q: You've been in the industry for a long time and have seen businesses make great decisions, but you've also seen them make mistakes. What's one of the biggest mistakes you can make to your supply chain?
A: For me, it all comes down to the people. You have to build a culture where people are excited to come to work every day. I believe that most people want to do a good job. It is the role of leaders to maximize the contribution of our associates. This requires a group of leaders who have no ego and understand that they exist (at this company) to make the company successful by getting everyone to swim in the same direction.
I realize there are complications in business – declining industries, growth challenges, financial challenges, IT struggles, difficult labor markets. I also believe if you are a company leader of 1,000 people, it is your job to extract as much brain power, muscle, and effort of all 1,001 people that work there. If you are successful in doing the latter, the complications in business will be fixed by the people. People are smart. People want to do a good job.
Q: You are a retail executive with oversight of a 10 building, 8,000 person supply chain serving all parts of the US. You also have a blank check. Where do you invest the money:
If your company is looking to grow market share?
A: A thorough analysis needs to be completed to identify the current strengths and weaknesses of the existing supply chain. Additionally, analysis is needed to identify where the target market is that we are chasing. It might mean that we need to consider an updated network strategy to handle the geography and the service level required, or it could be an overhaul to existing facilities, systems, and staff to increase capacity levels.
If your company is looking to reduce operating costs?
A: In an operation with these types of headcount numbers, I think investing in the workforce is the key. At LogistiPoint, we install Performance Management programs that have the accountability of engineered labor standards and the reward of handsome incentives for the associates. We design these programs to be a financial win-win for the company and its associates. When these programs are coupled with my culture sentiment above, they can be enormously successful. I have served on the operations side of these programs and they work. Now, I’m on the consulting side because I believe in them, and again, they work!
Q: What makes an executive successful when driving change?
A: You have to understand the process of change. People are going to resist, and you cannot change that. What you can change is you. How are you communicating? How are you involving others? Are you meeting people in their place of pain? The successful executive is simultaneously driving results while looking around and making sure people are keeping up… and if people are not, the executive is taking the time required to educate people on why the change is important. You will not have 100% success with getting people on board, but after some number of key people are on board, you’ll soon find yourself over the tipping point.
Q: Enough business... spring is right around the corner--and therefore, spring break! What's your favorite vacation spot for spring break?
A: My favorite spot is always on one of the beautiful lakes in Tennessee! However, because I have less than 20% of the voting power in my household of five, we’ll be spending this spring break on the beaches of Seaside, FL. I’m not complaining – they have some beautiful water too!
Glenn Hanley has over 20 years of experience in the supply chain industry, focusing on distribution operation management. Glenn joined LogistiPoint in 2015 as Senior Manager, where he improved the performance of supply chain workforce and leadership teams for several large retail companies, including Cabela’s and Dollar Tree. Glenn’s visionary skills and analytical thinking earned him the title of Principal at LogistiPoint in 2017, where he specializes in performance improvement, network and facility strategy, and design and technology services. His creative solutions achieve significant results in logistics and distribution operations for his clients.
Two weeks ago, we shared the first part of our series on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) with a focus on how to create them. But now comes the part that really matters. Once you’ve created a robust set of SOPs, how do you sustain the gains? How do you make sure they are still viable over the next few years?
Whether this is year 1 of your new distribution center or year 15, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are of utmost importance to your buildings' success, and even culture. If done correctly, they will add consistency not only to the work being performed on the floor, but also in senior level decision making, accountability, and communication.
Today, we’re kicking off a two-part series on SOPs, where we will walk you through how to establish them and most importantly, how to sustain them.
‘Tis the season! The season of hiring, training, more hiring… and even more training. While your Operations and HR teams are striving to increase throughput capacity for this busy time of year, it can be easy to put operational efficiency on the back burner. We all know sheer volume during the holiday or peak season can cover up poor process execution. But what if onboarding temporary or full-time new hires was measured and no longer could be used as a vague reason for labor inefficiency for your teams?
You have just been promoted to a position of senior leadership in your company’s logistics organization and have been charged with improving the operation and reducing your operating costs. Where do you begin? How do you drive improvement in distribution center (DC) productivity? Here are four keys:
Labor cost continues to be the largest variable cost in high volume, complex distribution centers. And each year throughout most of the US, the availability of reliable, trained people to work in these facilities gets more limited.
Many companies are looking to labor management programs to help make the best of this situation and to prepare for their future needs. One of the largest stumbling blocks in developing a program is understanding the terminology of how performance is measured and evaluated.
New distribution centers (DCs) best support future needs if they are designed against a solid foundation of planning assumptions and requirements. It’s true that building that solid foundation requires an investment of time and money, but without it, the rest of the plan is put at risk of failing quickly and without notice.
Success in bringing a new distribution center into operation requires a coordinated effort across a number of fronts, especially if the facility is a large, highly complex operation that is required to handle a demanding service level.
Much of the success relies on strategic preparation, including the ability to predict potential downfalls and adapt accordingly. Before you bring a new distribution center into operation, consider these six common pitfalls that far too many companies fall victim to, even those with distribution centers based on a good design.
The key differentiator that sets successful businesses apart from mediocre ones in any industry is that successful businesses employ strategic planning every step of the way. Successful businesses realize that it’s never good enough to accomplish just one goal and then stop improving. Their leaders understand that the moment they stop growing and innovating is the moment that their business become stagnant and irrelevant—especially in logistics and supply chain optimization.
In fact, excellent leaders are constantly considering the strategy and planning required to keep their businesses profitable and relevant in the market.
As a leader, there are many ways you can continue to grow your organization and challenge your team. But first you must understand where the gaps and pitfalls are in your business. For example, today’s supply chains are complex in their design and widespread in their mission. When was the last time you assessed the performance of your supply chain? Here at LogisitPoint, our entire strategy for helping you optimize your supply chain begins with assessment and audits. Taking the time to conduct a full audit or assessment can help you identify opportunities to streamline, collaborate, standardize, and improve—opportunities that you might otherwise miss out on.
From there, you can cast vision, take into account what must be improved, and set goals for cost reduction, greater efficiency, team collaboration, and more.
The next part of strategic planning is determining the concrete steps for how you and your team will get to those goals and put your vision into play.
Here’s the deal: The best leaders not only cast vision, but they associate goals with that vision and prepare a plan to accomplish those goals. Without a clear path of action for achieving your vision and goals, your goals are nothing but nice, flowery language on paper that will never be realized.
So what makes a good goal?
Good goals stand out from bad goals by being measurable, challenging, and achievable. Your goals should stand apart from day-to-day tactical work by being aspirations, but it’s not helpful for you to challenge your team to achieve a goal in a year that realistically needs five years to achieve maximum impact.
As you begin to think about building goals for your organization, start by outlining all the different aspects of your logistics and supply chain departments. It’s important to keep in mind that every member on your team should be able to point to a specific goal or set of goals as their objectives so keep that in mind during the planning phase of goal-building. If you only focus on growing your sales department but ignore your logistics team, that’s not helpful; sales might improve, but logistics might not be able to keep up with the new demand. Make sure every employee understands their goals and what their challenge is.
Now that you have your goals, you need a plan to put those into play at the workplace. Starting out, it’s important to consider two different types of plans; the five year plan and the one year plan.
Five-Year Plan: The five-year plan should focus on growth and improvement. This is the plan that sets the big-picture vision for what the next five years will look like and the growth and improvement levels that are expected at the end of five years.
One-Year Plan: Concrete actions and goals. The one-year plan should be a granular, step-by-step plan—the kind of plan that provides insight for every employee, giving them exactly what they need to accomplish the challenge you’ve set before them. Your one-year plan should be evaluated at the end of each fiscal year and adjusted for the next year to make sure that the overall five-year growth and improvement goal is still on track to be fulfilled.
Here’s the comforting aspect of being in leadership. It’s likely that you have a talented team of people or resources around you that you can access to aid in this process. So during this process, you can maintain a 50,000 foot view of your vision while equipping your managers to take that vision and turn it into an actionable implementation plan for their departments.
You can even partner with a team, just like ours at LogistiPoint, to make the most of your vision casting and as a guarantee that you aren’t missing out on any opportunities. Our entire team here is passionate about helping businesses just like yours understand how strategy and planning go hand in hand to optimize teams and supply chains. And we walk with you every step of the way from audits and assessments to improvement plans and implementation.
To learn more, view one of our recent case studies to see how we help build better, smarter businesses and supply chains.
We are pleased to announce the promotion of John Miller to Manager at LogistiPoint Consulting. John has deployed successful Performance Management Programs for ANConnect and Cabela’s during his career with LogistiPoint. During his tenure, John has developed a strong reputation for consultant development, deep thinking and innovation. John’s easy-going style and herculean work ethic have made him sought after by clients and consultants alike.
When John is not leading at LogistiPoint, he is an avid reader, an aspiring triathlete, just finished his first snowboarding lessons in the Rockies and benefitting immensely from Caroline’s amazing epicurean skills!
Few people have contributed to the capabilities, capacity and culture of LogistiPoint Consulting as John. Please join us in congratulating John on his promotion to Manager!
We are also pleased to announce the promotion of Peter Crupie to Senior Consultant. Peter was one of the first consultants at LogistiPoint, having started his consulting career with us in 2013. He’s taken on numerous roles over the last 4 years, having always been willing to ‘go anywhere and do anything’. His clients appreciate this attitude as they frequently ask ‘can we have Peter back?’. His clients include Chico’s, Stella & Dot, Ralph Lauren, Maurice’s, Coloplast, Michael Kors, Walmart, and Nike.
In his spare time Peter enjoys spending time with his family, doing work around the new home they purchased last year, the Atlanta Braves, and longing to play golf.
Please join us in congratulating Peter on his promotion to Senior Consultant!
Brentwood, TN - Continuing a long and successful career in the supply chain space, Wesley Lankford has joined LogistiPoint Consulting. Mr. Lankford was most recently with Under Armour, and prior to that was an integral part of the WMS transformations with Genesco. "Wesley has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to innovation and quality execution throughout the many years I have had the privilege of knowing him and observing his work. He brings yet another valuable toolbox and expertise to our team, as we continue to assemble the most dynamic and capable supply chain consulting practice in the space to deliver remarkable success for our clients in solving their unique and complex challenges", said Principal Seth Davis.
At Genesco, Wesley served on the design/build team of the 322,000 square foot distribution facility that serves 1,300+ Journeys, Journeys Kidz, SHI and Underground Station stores. He also helped to design a custom LMS that supported a new continuous improvement initiative by integrating activities from the WMS and the time and attendance system with the labor management standards to calculate performance and incentive bonus.
While with Under Armour, he served on the WMS/WCS implementation team for the 1.1 million square foot DH (Distribution House) in Mt. Juliet, TN - serving on the DH Senior Leadership team representing information technology during the buildout, start up and normalization of DH operations. Wesley also served as on-site technical manager of a $5.5 million MHE expansion that increased outbound capacity by 30%.
In his new role with LogistiPoint, Wesley will serve clients directly in labor performance management projects, WMS and LMS selection and implementation, as well as participate in the project management activities for Logistipoint.