February, 2021

Raising Productivity in Logistics Operations: The BHAG Approach

Raising Productivity in Logistics Operations: The BHAG Approach

Achieving business goals successfully is rather like working in a sports team. Some teams are really successful, some aren’t. Some have great coaches—and some just don’t seem to make it. So what makes the difference? Why do some businesses and organisations seem to achieve far more than others? As a consultant, I work with many businesses. Some just seem to get things done. They have an enormous number of projects going on and they achieve great goals, while others struggle and seem to spin their wheels all the time. The BHAG—the Big Hairy, Audacious Goal I recently attended a great presentation during which the presenter referred to a BHAG—a big hairy audacious goal. I think we’ve seen that in a lot of businesses. I am sure you know of companies where these goals are put up on notice boards, but often they just never seem to be achieved. The idea of a BHAG was conceived by James Collins and Jerry Porras in their book “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies”. The authors define a BHAG as a long-term goal that changes the very nature of a business’s existence. A BHAG, as they put it, “engages people, it reaches out and grabs them in the gut. It’s tangible, energising, highly focused, and people get it right away—it doesn’t need further explanation.” The person who gave the presentation I attended offered the example of a speech by late US President John F. Kennedy: “This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and getting him safely back to Earth.” That was a fantastic big, hairy, and audacious goal that galvanised the nation behind the whole lunar programme. How does all this fit with your situation and your business? One of the things that can go wrong when you set these big, hairy, audacious goals is that people don’t believe they are achievable. One of the causes of this is that we get set in paradigms. We’re used to things being difficult, we’re used to things being done in a certain way, and we don’t believe that the world can change or that our performance can lift significantly. A Compelling Reason to set a BHAG As I explain in a YouTube video on this subject, I recently saw a good example of how a BHAG can galvanise a workforce and...

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4 Common 3PL Mistakes on Logistics Outsourcing Contract

4 Common 3PL Mistakes on Logistics Outsourcing Contract

Having clear expectations is one among the four common mistakes that 3PL companies get into logistics contracts. It’s the power of the draft that is your opportunity to lay down exactly what you want and how it is going to work. Surprisingly, there are still a lot of companies that don’t have a contract! How is this possible? Find out more in this video: Related article on this topic has appeared in our Benchmarking Success site, check this out: How to Prevent Your 3PL Contract from Harming Logistics Performance Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on December 09, 2020, under the title “4 Common 3PL Mistakes on Logistics Outsourcing Contract” on Logistics Bureau’s website. Best Regards,Rob O’ByrneEmail: robyrne@logisticsbureau.comPhone: +61 417 417...

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10 Proven Principles for Best Warehouse Design and Operation

10 Proven Principles for Best Warehouse Design and Operation

In this article, Logistics Bureau’s Mal Walker, who has spent decades exploring all aspects of warehousing, offers some valuable tips on warehouse design and operation. Over the years, Mal has come to appreciate that there is real science behind distribution centre design, operation, and flow management. He has delved deeply into it and identified ten principles for optimising warehouse performance. Let’s take a look at them one by one: 1) Minimal Touch of Goods We want to get as close as possible to zero handling of products in the warehouse. Unless it is fully automated, the average warehouse will involve seven or eight instances in which products are handled. That means that people actually pick something up and put it down seven to eight times, either manually or using MHE. If you can get that down to three or four times your warehouse performance will improve. 2)  One-Way Flow One-way flow is really important, not only that of the goods in the warehouse, but also of vehicles around the warehouse. One-way flow is a really good principle to apply during the design process because it allows you to plan your picking path through the warehouse as well as your replenishment paths. In terms of vehicles, in Australia, we run trucks generally in a clockwise direction around the warehouse. The reason for this is so that drivers can reverse on the right side if they have to back into a dock. In the United States and many other parts of the world, it’s the other way around—counter-clockwise. 3) Triadic Warehousing The vast majority of warehouses we see today are based on the triadic design—in other words, divided into three zones: Fast-moving productMedium-moving productSlow-moving product A warehouse that has no zones would be non-triadic. But we may have both triadic and non-triadic in the same warehouse due to the increasing reliance on automation. In the automated section of a warehouse, you don’t need to know where the stock is because the crane or the automatic storage and retrieval system will find it. But in the section that is operated manually, the correct placement of stock is critical. 4) Inventory Control Inventory control is about having the right amount of stock to meet customer demand. We have to track the movement of products because that drives the physical process in the warehouse.  It’s important to look at sales but also at the...

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Why Logistics Outsourcing can go Badly Wrong

Why Logistics Outsourcing can go Badly Wrong

Having been involved in hundreds of outsourcing projects over the last 23 years, I’ve been able to deal with various clients. And when Logistics Outsourcing goes wrong, I get questions like “Who’s to blame? Is it the 3PL company who screw it up? Or Is it the customer? And how can we avoid those Logistics Outsourcing mistakes?” Watch this: Related articles on this topic have appeared throughout our websites, why not check them out? Robobyrne: 4 Mistakes in Logistics Outsourcing Supply Chain Secrets: Avoid Outsourcing Disaster Benchmarking Success: How to Prevent Your 3PL Contract from Harming Logistics Performance Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on December 02, 2020, under the title “Why Logistics Outsourcing can go Badly Wrong” on Logistics Bureau’s website. Best Regards,Rob O’ByrneEmail: robyrne@logisticsbureau.comPhone: +61 417 417...

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