Improving warehouse order fulfilment and outbound processes

The challenge

One of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies needed help in reducing the costs of a warehouse serving its manufacturing facilities.

The client challenged us to improve the warehouse’s order fulfillment and outbound processes. This was to be achieved in just in four weeks, and crucially, there needed to be ways to ensure that the changes made would be sustained once we had left.

How we helped

Our experience, in our own company, has shown that a high level of employee engagement is the only way to sustain a new process.

  • From the beginning, we engaged the client’s executive managers, in-house Lean experts, and shop floor personnel by involving them in identifying improvement opportunities.
  • Our consultants helped the team find ways of taking a new look at the resource necessary to fulfill the production areas’ orders.
  • The team identified opportunities for increasing productivity in the picking area as well as generating ideas for creating service improvements elsewhere within the warehouse.
  • Visual management and standard operating procedures were introduced to allow managers to have full visibility of performance while enabling them to make more effective use of staff. 

To download a more in depth, PDF version of the case study, click the image at the bottom of the page.

The results

By the end of the four-week programme, significant improvements had been achieved:

  • Outbound processes were transformed with the warehouse’s shipment targets being met for the first time in 14 years
  • Order fulfilment improved from three days to less than one.
  • The time taken to pick up finished goods and deliver components reduced by over 60%

For the client’s Supply Chain Director, a significant benefit has been the personal development of his staff. They are now fully engaged and eager to continue to improve processes, confident in the knowledge and skills that have been transferred.

To download the full case study PDF, click on the image below.

improving warehouse orders