Turning teamwork into a competitive edge is the challenge of every warehousing and logistics effort. There are so many variables to excellent performance that we can sometimes get overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task. Following are some really simple disciplines that can yield great benefits;
- Hire the right skill sets – Know what is required of the position (many hire without understanding this) and select a candidate that will be able to perform the work to the necessary standards.
- Standardize work procedures as much as possible – Have you ever heard: ” Well, second shift does it this way….” or “Jane just has her own way of doing it…”. These are signs that your work procedures probably are not standardized and the different procedures may create variance in the quality of service delivery. Maybe second shift is doing it right, or maybe not, but make sure you identify the best way to do things and train everyone on the best way. Monitor the results.
- Use visual cues – Visual management systems allow everyone to know quickly what needs to be done and reduces miscommunication. From simple signage, to color codes to more sophisticated planning boards, these visual “cues” can go a long way to simplifying and communicating what needs to be done.
- Provide quality feedback to employees – Do you know what a job done well looks like? Let your employees know that you do, and provide feedback to them as to how to improve the result. It goes without saying that incentives for excellence and disincentives for errors goes a long way to support the morale of those who want to do a good job, and correct the behavior of those who don’t care so much.
Work on these items with your teams and watch the benefits grow.