Procurement Management based Project
One of our Procurement Management based clients approached us when they started to experience some challenges with one of their key stock level monitoring processes, specifically designed flag low stock levels and manually trigger alerts, that need to be sent out to suppliers once stock levels drop below the defined acceptable levels. After a few Gemba walks (going to the “actual place of work”) and walking through the process on several occasions, using actual examples and scenarios provided by our client, we quickly established that there has been a distinct lack in process adherence and governance, and on face value (still required validation), appears to have driven the in-efficiencies experienced. Clear symptoms, including specific examples where our client’s stock levels were depleted due to non conformance to process, requesting for the replenishing of stock levels, and potentially ignoring the purpose designed stock alert triggers. In-turn the customer experience (Net Promoter Scores) have been negatively impacted due to unhappy customers. In addition, the overall profitability, resulting from lower month on month sales volumes, has also been impacted by the in-efficiency’s identified.
High Level Solution:
We supported our client through the process of identifying, sourcing and deployment of an internationally recognized visual management tool called Andon lights, specifically designed to signal to employees (through the utilization of bright LED’s) that a particular item or line of item is about to run out of stock. In addition as high level secondary benefit, working collaboratively with our client to introduce key elements of Robotic Process Automation, we were able to program the tool, to inform suppliers to deliver particular units and volumes of products to our client’s premises. This has significantly reduced the number of incidents resulting in our client running out of stock. These improvements in the process has also helped to reduce the previous bottlenecks being experienced where our client found themselves having to wait for considerable periods of time for their required levels of stock to be delivered.
We were able to deliver great results through a partnership approach with our client, involving clear and effective communication with well defined requirements all round. The client was keen for us to support them in improving their overall performance and key outputs in this regard and as a result they were open to all suggestions and requirements presented. This allowed our team the freedom to tailor their approach in applying and executing the DMAIC methodology, whilst using an Agile approach.
In reference to RPA,
It is critically important to note that the following prerequisites, were met prior to implementation:
Repetitive actions following a known pattern
Stable clearly documented processes that don’t frequently change
Volumes of accurate & digitized data
Stable systems and applications.
Primary benefits include a 30% reduction in the volume of incidents resulting in stock shortages.
Secondary benefits by default include a 40% increase in our client’s overall Revenue numbers.