Fleet Optimization Services
Many mid-size firms operate Private Fleets. The benefits of a private fleet over common carrier include control, marketing, differentiation and ultimately cost. Simply putting a fleet truck in service can provide the first three benefits, but costs need to be understood and managed for the operation to bring value. Operating a fleet requires drivers (regular and back-ups), equipment, maintenance, insurance, and ultimately a volume and density of deliveries that allows for the most cost effective delivery route. RLS offers a full suite of Fleet Optimization services to ensure the right mix of private fleet and common carrier utilization.
Project Management Services
Over the past decade firms faced significant head winds in order to be successful, if not to survive. As sales declined, management headcount has seen a significant roll-back. Today’s managers must often lead multiple segments of the company while continuing to drive operational improvements and efficiencies. But with multiple responsibilities and reduced staffing, the days of being able to pull someone into a project manager roll have passed.
RLS can provide a subject matter expert capable of managing those projects critical to your company’s goals and objectives. The Project Manager can handle the entire Plan building, scheduling, reporting, and follow-up activities that are critical to a project’s success. Although integral members of the Project Team, management is still able to focus on running the business.
Labor Standards and Operational Metrics
Whether your world is manufacturing or distribution, it’s all about hitting the corporate metrics and driving continuous improvement. On the shop floor, you manage what you measure, thus the questions become, ‘Are we measuring the right activities that drive the operation?” and “How do we get the entire workforce to understand the metrics and play a role in driving the continuous improvement?” A daily review of the right metrics and expectations along with the right continuous improvement program can bring the entire team into the process. It is often much better to have 100+ associates looking for ways to become more efficient than just the management team. RLS can help in setting up the operational metrics and communications that drive improvement on the floor.
It starts with accountability. How much do we expect each associate to get done each day? What are the standards of performance used to calculate labor needs and capacities? Using Process and Value Stream mapping, along with observational time studies and barrier review, RLS can help in setting the standards for your operation.
LEAN Implementation and Review
In most businesses floor labor has been reduced substantially over the last few years. LEAN in today’s world is not so much doing more with less, but getting more out of what you have. As business and activity rebounds, LEAN will help you keep from returning to old levels of employment and cost through the continuous elimination of waste in operational processes. It builds a culture of continuous improvement on a foundation of standards and accountability. Whether you are looking to do a complete LEAN Implementation, a LEAN GAP analysis to identify weaknesses in your current LEAN program, LEAN training, or looking for help in managing your LEAN projects, RLS can provide the plan, the expertise, and LEAN experience to take your business to the next level.
Transitioning an operation from one site to another is a massive undertaking. There is the new site to prepare, the old site to close, the transition and/or hiring of new associates and their orientation and training, significant IT reconfiguration and transportation planning. All of these things must come together to make the transition seamless from an operations perspective and, most importantly, invisible to the customer. With customer satisfaction and service levels as the goal for the new facility, site mgmt has to be able to focus on operations. The PM manages the Project Plan that ties everything together.
The Network Transition PM serves as the liaison between the operations management team, the contractors, the logistics functions, IT resources and all others involved in building a Project Plan that meets the expectations of volume and service levels throughout the transition. It is the PM that manages the inter-connected parts and schedules to keep the project on track and manages all equipment and mechanical failures and other barriers that arise in the transition. The PM is that extra member of the management staff that works to clear all of the ‘noise’ allowing everyone else to focus on productivity.
Inventory Profiling (slotting)
Inventory slotting or profiling is the process of identifying the most efficient placement for each item in a distribution center. Since each warehouse is different, proper slotting depends on a facility’s unique product, movement, and storage characteristics. An optimal profile allows workers to pick items more quickly and accurately and reduces the risk of injuries.
There are several ways to increase picking productivity with slotting. Placing fast-moving items close to conveyors and aisles minimizes picker travel time. Using easier-to-pick locations for high-activity items, such as the center levels of carton flow rack also facilitates quicker picking. Items that are often sold together should be stored together to reduce travel. On the other hand, in warehouses where miss-picks are a problem, you can separate similar items to reduce the chance of picking errors.
Considering your sales and receiving history along with space restrictions and replenishment strategies, RLS can provide you the profile you need for today and the tools you need for tomorrows changes.
Transportation Bid Management
For mid-size companies it is not unusual to have transportation spends in the millions of dollars. Despite the size of spend, the typical transportation department is relatively small when compared with other departments with similar budgets. With so many options available from a carrier selection perspective, the ability to find those carriers that are a best match for your distribution network is key to saving dollars and improving service.
When managing transportation bids, RLS has the ability to review hundreds of pre-qualified carriers and find those where a synergy exists providing for the lowest cost and highest level of service. Even at those companies where long term relationships exist between shipper and carrier, benchmarking through bid provides the shipper with the information required to negotiate with a better understanding of the marketplace.
Whether it be truck load or LTL for an irregular or scheduled line haul operations, RLS can bring to the negotiating table those carriers that have the capacity to meet your schedules. In addition to common/contract carrier bids, RLS has a strong background in putting in place the best dedicated fleet operations available.