Improving logistic processes


In a logistic environment lean principles get another meaning than in classic manufacturing. Major wastes like motion and transportation are important elements of logistics – how can we still reflect on them as wastes!?

"Everyone agrees that change is a must, until they do not have to change"


Defining value in internal and external logistics is equally important. The same way of lean thinking has to be followed as in other areas. To maintain the competitiveness of the company wastes in logistics also have to be reduced, which is even more important in an area where usually independence of employees is high.

During improving logistic processes with lean principles almost every time organizational questions also come in focus which either help or block the successful implementation: the way of developing people, leadership skills, effective co-operation of the team or even the right motivation.

The most common reasons for applying lean logistics

  • Missing standardsLean fuvarozás
  • Frequent fire fighting
  • Administrative and physical processes are separated
  • Long lead times and high WIP
  • Jamming trucks and waiting drivers
  • Unloading, receiving takes a long time
  • Hard and lack of performance evaluation
  • Many overlaps between jobs, responsibilities



Possible results of implementing lean

  • Lead time (receiving, commissioning process): -50–90%
  • Productivity: +20-50
  • Inventories (waiting to be located or waiting to be shipped): -60–80%
  • Improving OTD (On Time Delivery)
  • Improving utilization (e.g. forklifts)
  • Reducing space used for commissioning
  • Improvement in booking accuracy, reducing inventory shortages
  • Improving location utilization
  • Shorter lead times of receiving: -50–90%
  • Standard work
  • Clear responsibilities and control points
  • Providing information for customers is faster - better and more effective customer communication
  • Pull system based on FIFO


Misbeliefs, pitfalls:logisztika2

To standardize logistic processes it is essential to separate repetitive tasks form occasional processes. Do not forget that movement does not mean that the work is done!

To sustain changes and new work rules is a must in an environment where usually independence of employees is high. Developing the organization and the culture is essential to achieve an effective lean transformation.


Related lean tools:

Standard Work, 6S, VSA, SMED, TPM, Pull, JIT


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