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Sometimes it's the simple approach that is needed

By Steve Simmerman | 11/14/2014 | 11:06 AM

We've all struggled with some of the complexities of technology in our daily lives - thank you early VCRs (not that anyone has one today, but did anyone really ever figure out how to program a VCR?). Sometimes it just takes a little creativity and simplified thinking to make big improvements in processes.  I toured a DC recently that was absolutely immaculate thanks to a very simple but thorough implementation of 5S techniques.  No technology was deployed, no extensive training, just simple visual cues throughout the facility to help with organization, cleanliness and preparedness to complete the various jobs in the building.  Simple, clean and highly, highly effective not to mention the benefits of safety and improved employee morale.

So as you look to implement process changes, don't overcomplicate things, step back, look at the bigger picture and don't overlook the obvious small, simple changes that could dramatically improve the process and results.

A friend of mine shared this video with me recently and I was struck by the sheer engineering simplicty applied to a very labor intensive process - chopping wood.  The solution did not involve lots of people, did not involve sophisticated technology or machines, but rather some simple laws of physics applied to a tough job.  Compare this solution to the people that have engineered, built, sold and purchased gas-powered engines (and the on-going maintenance) that supposedly made chopping wood easier!


A simple car spring, some weight and a lever sure made this guy's day a lot better.  No gas powered log splitter, no engine maintenance, no gasoline to purchase...you get the picture.

Let the DC Velocity readers hear about your process improvements!  If you have a good example, let us know we'd appreciate your feedback!

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About Steve Simmerman

Steve Simmerman

Steve Simmerman is a Senior Director with JDA. Simmerman has more than 25 years of experience in the supply chain industry including software, consulting and material handling. He has focused his efforts on working with clients to achieve high performance supply chain results through partnerships and creative solutions. He is a member of CSCMP, WERC, and MHIA and is a regular contributor to several industry publications and events. Simmerman holds his undergraduate and MBA degrees from The University of Notre Dame.


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