Monday, October 24, 2016

Warehouse Productivity - Efficiency Improvement

Productivity Improvement and  Warehouse Optimization Techniques


Industrial Engineered Labor Standards

Industrial engineering has human effort engineering component. It consists of motion studies and design incorporating research of ergonomics and work measurement.

According to industrial engineering principles, the output of individual operators in a group can differ by 100%. Also, in a non incentive fixed payment system, operators work at 67% of the industrial engineering standard output.  That means the average worker produces output at only 67% of the standard. So a warehouse or DC operating without a formal labor management program that includes labor standards and incentives operates at about 65-70% of its potential output. This means that by adopting labor standards and payment systems that compensate workers for their productivity compared workers in other establishments, warehouses can improve  labor productivity by 30-35%, without burdening workers.

Motion Studies

While the mere act of measuring workers has proven to increase performance, the real productivity gains come from getting everyone doing the right tasks the right way. For example, if you have 100 workers in your DC, you will have 100 different ways in which the workers will do their jobs, if you have not specified particular methods. What are the chances that every one of them is the most efficient? The answer is ZERO. Motion study attempts to record the way motions are performed to do various tasks in the warehouse, and evaluates them to find out best practices of the operators. Then the best practices can be specified as standard methods. Apart from that motion studies can assess even the best practice in terms of certain principles of motion economy. When there is a need they improve the present best practice further. Thus motion studies improve productivity.

Motion study based job design and the development of standards is not necessarily something a warehouse management system will do for you. System-directed work from the system can accomplish the "right tasks" part, but getting everyone to do their tasks the "right way" is more complicated. It requires good motion design, and creating fair and accurate labor standards to measure the workers against these methods.

Man-Machine Task Improvement

Motion study has its focus on the motions performed by a worker. But is he doing task with proper tools, machines or equipments and machine movements?. Operation analysis and process improvement methods of industrial engineering contribute in eliminating waste in man-machine tasks.

By using experienced industrial engineers to study your jobs, equipment, and environment, the single most efficient method for completing each job and task can be determined. This critical steps of developing preferred methods, motions and engineered standards, along with proper training and change management, provides a quantum jump in productivity in companies.

Assigning Right Tasks to Reduce Time Taken to do Multiple Tasks

 Task interleaving:
Once you know how long it should take to complete each task based on preferred methods and engineered standards, you can leverage this information in a number of ways to improve labor productivity and utilization. System-directed task interleaving, also known as dynamic task management, is an automated function that allots tasks to workers by optimizing total time taken. Workers waste time if they have to travel back and forth from a central location to pick up their next assignment. By utilizing task interleaving, workers are directed to their next task from the location where they completed the present task,  based on priorities, proximity and their qualifications. With system-directed work, workers receive their next assignment on their mobile devices as soon as the previous task is completed, eliminating wasted travel. For example, a forklift driver replenishing an item in racks might be directed to pick a nearby pallet and take it to a loading dock or return a stack of empty pallets to a palletizer as the next task.

Also, by intelligently grouping picks into "batches" modern warehouse management solutions can significantly increase picking efficiency by enabling workers to pick multiple orders at the same time. This reduces travel and order fulfillment times.


In warehousing, slotting is the intelligent positioning of merchandise for the purpose of optimizing order fulfillment efficacy. Slotting involves identifying the most efficient placement for each item in a distribution center or warehouse.

If the inventory in your DC has any degree of seasonality, if you support weekly/monthly campaigns for promotional item fulfillment, or if you have a fair amount of new SKU introductions into your facility, you could benefit substantially from placing them in forward racks or pick areas. Proper slotting of high velocity SKUs can significantly reduce pick travel time as well as minimize pick-line congestion, thus making pickers much more productive.

Slotting tasks can be handled  by the warehouse management solution, such that any re-slotting is minimum and decisions related to reslotting are also taken in an optimal way.                    


No one process or system will single-handedly maximize your productivity.

Could your DC layout better facilitate your current and future operations? Do you have industrial engineers trained in developing preferred methods and engineered standards? Who will handle the critical change management process?

Warehouse Industrial Engineering - Warehouse Efficiency Improvement - Bibliography


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Evolution of Zero Wastes Movement in Factory Production - Philosophies, Methods, Techniques, and Tools

Adam Smith described division of labor that provides Zero Waste of Skills (Certain skills are specialised by certain persons)

Charles Babbage advocated division of labor within a manufacturing process of product by by insisting that the process has to be broken into more skilled and less skilled jobs. Different persons are employed in the process to take care of more skilled and less skilled jobs. The benefit less payroll expenses and more utilization of high skilled persons.   - Zero waste of high skilled persons.

F.W. Taylor -  Efficiency improvement of factory operations - Zero waste of ability of machine - Zero waste of work capacity of operators in manual and machine supporting work.

Frank Gilbreth - Motion Study - Zero waste of motions of operators.

Maynard - MTM and MOST time measurement systems - Zero waste of manpower due to rating differences and lack of planning the motions from a design perspective.

Taiichi Ohno - Zero Inventory, Zero Overproduction, Zero Idle Time of Men (multiple machine allottment)

Shiego Shingo - Zero Changeover time and Zero Defects through Poka Yoke

Quality gurus - Zero Defects

House of Quality - Zero Customer Dissatisfaction

Six Sigma  - Zero Defects

Total Productive Management - Zero Breakdowns

Zero Accidents

The application of 7 Zeroes in improvement of Lean and Agility manufacture
DECEMBER 2013, VOL 5, NO 8

Management of Design To Value Programme

The design-to-value approach can help  companies boost sales and profitability—but rolling it out across an entire product portfolio is no easy task.

Success factors for managing DTV 

McKInsey identied in 2013, four success factors for DTV programs: a clear vision set by top management, effective cross-functional governance, a dedicated working team, standardized tools
and processes.

Top management has to align functions across the organization involved in DTV enterprise program by developing and communicating a clear vision for the DTV program. Leaders can make that
vision actionable by developing plans that aim at stretch targets which are smart. The product level teams have to be given the responsibility of developing fact collection, idea generation, idea assessment and program implementation plans with timelines. Also there has to be plan for DTV application to specific number of products in the coming year and future years. Senior management needs to organize a structure to implement the DTV process. They need to hold review meetings as a part of directing and control functions.

Cross-functional governance

A cross-functional governance body for DTV efforts has to be created. This entity needs to include managers from all relevant functions—Product management, R&D, marketing, procurement,
finance, manufacturing, industrial engineering and product development at the corporate level and business unit level. The governance body has an important role to play early in the DTVprocess to identify the resources required to initiate and implement DTV program and provide those resources., both by ensuring that the company generates enough high-impact ideas in its
priority areas and by selecting the ideas to be implemented.

As DTV efforts progress, the governance body would monitor performance; help resolve any
conflicts among functions, emphasizing the importance of finding feasible solutions that
deliver the best value for consumers; and ensure that important projects receive sufficient funding.
Any abandoning of any specific project in the DTV project of a product needs to be approved by the cross-functional governance body.

Members of the governance body have to serve  as DTV “ambassadors” by informing the success of DTV projects and best practices to various groups in the company and mainting the positive attitude towards the initiative till it becomes a part of the accepted tool and process kit of the company.

Dedicated DTV teams

Many companies that initiated DTV failed to allocate enough employees to DTV projects. Creative
thinkers in sufficient numers are to be involved early in the project to develop sufficient number of high-impact, feasible ideas. Persons with expertise in design, value analysis, value engineering and process improvement are required in good number during rollout of specific projects based on the ideas. . The business functions or business units are to be persuaded to release people from their daily responsibilities to work on DTV, as this is a strategic initiative that will give results in the future..
In some companies top-managements mandated creating core DTV working teams for key product categories that remain intact for the duration of DTV projects. These teams for product specific categories also include experts from  marketing, R&D, purchasing, manufacturing, industrial engineering and finance.

Standardized tools and processes

The functional groups use a variety of tools or processes for design related activities performed by their group. As persons from different functions form a cross-functional team, the lack of a common
language makes alignment and collaboration difficult. The right activity at the outset has to be development of standardized tools and processes across the organization. The important techniques include marketing related activities, teardown related activities, and clean-sheet cost-modeling techniques.     

Time Frame for Expanding DTV efforts across the portfolio

It takes time for DTV efforts to generate significant results over the entire portfolio of products after the initial decision by the company to initiate the effort. It typically requires two to three years from start to finish, including embedding the approach across the product portfolio. McKinsey identified
three phases in the implementation process: : start-up, idea generation, and rollout.

The start-up phase, is  three to six months long. During this phase., the company establishes the
basic organizational and management structure for DTV and develops the necessary technical
skills and tools and work with limited number of core products.

Once a company gains confidence in its DTV technology and infrastructure, the idea generation
phase—usually a six- to nine-month start using more sophisticated tools.

During the rollout phase,  the implementation of the selected ideas are implemented in value chain activities. It may take 12 months to complete this phase initially. As the success is realized in the early product, the DTV process can be implemented in more products with a short time horizon. Many companies are now giving 12 month horizon to idea generation and implementation. At any time number of parallel projects in variety of products take place.

Based on McKinsey Note
Capturing the full potential of design to value

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Design To Value - Job Notifications


Engineer - Design To Value

Georgia-Pacific LLC
Neenah, US-WI

Job description
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia-Pacific is one of the world's leading manufacturers and marketers of building products, tissue, packaging, paper, cellulose and related chemicals. The company employs more than 40,000 people at approximately 300 locations in North America, South America and Europe.

Engineer - Design to Value

This engineering role will have the opportunity to develop and lead initiatives for Georgia Pacific’s motion activated enMotion® dispensers as well as other innovative products. This position will be located in the iNNOVATION institute ® located in Neenah, Wisconsin. The iNNOVATION institute is the center for research and development for many market leading brands including Dixie®, Angel Soft®, Quilted Northern® and Brawny®. Neenah is conveniently located between Oshkosh and Appleton in the Fox Valley.

• Identify, solutions, and lead the implementation of opportunities for customer value creation and total cost reduction.
• Develop and implement injection molded plastic strategies.
• Manage external and internal design, development, and testing resources.
• Lead a cross functional team to define scope of work including safety, quality, performance, and cost requirements and validates that they are met.
• Create and manage a detailed project schedule including engineering development, tooling, and product launch activities.

Basic Qualifications:
• Bachelor or higher degree in engineering
• Minimum 5 years of experience developing and/or producing consumer products. (E.g. small appliances, medical devices, etc.)
• Available to travel up to 10%, including occasional international travel

Preferred Qualifications:
• Master of Business Administration, MBA
• Project management certification, PMI PMP
• Working knowledge of commercialization processes (concept generation through manufacturing)
• Understands financial modeling and value analysis

Knowledge - Skills - Abilities:
• Ability to work on cross-functional teams located in different locations
• Build relationships with key internal and external partners on technical development objectives
• Lead in a cross-functional team environment to develop and document project scope.
• Play a lead role in process disruption troubleshooting, with a particular eye toward systematic improvements
• Experience with Solid Works CAD development software
• Experience with plastic injection molding, thermoforming and metal component development and manufacturing processes
• Experience with electro-mechanical device assembly processes
• Experience with product lifecycle cost analysis including material, manufacturing costs, assembly costs, logistics costs, packaging costs, etc.
• Foster a culture of innovation that motivates and inspires the organization to achieve technology and commercial results. Reduce time to market of product revisions
• Experience with FMEA, finite element analysis, kinematics, and other electronic risk assessment or design validation tools
• Strong focus on product quality and customer satisfaction
• Assist in the root cause analysis of Quality Complaints
• Excellent oral and written communication skills with the proven ability to interact with all levels of management

We are an equal opportunity employer. Minority/Female/Disabled/Veteran.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Design To Value - Design For Value (DTV) - Procedure and Case Studies

Design-to-value - McKinsey's View

Design-to-value (DTV) is an integrated approach to product development that considers multiple perspectives:

What customers want?
What competitors are offering?
What it costs to manufacture and distribute an end product?

As a part of DTV, companies interact with customers and  identify the product features that consumers value most, as well as those that generate little market interest. Based on this information, they can redesign their products, adding new features that promote sales while eliminating unnecessary attributes.  DTV also evaluates cost elements of products and helps companies optimize efficiency in product design and manufacture by highlighting areas for improvement.

DTV is in application in many companies. The applications are available across multiple industries, including automotive and assembly, high tech, telecom, consumer goods, and electronics.

DTV is a systematic, fact-based approach

During the DTV process, all product development decisions are based on facts— hard data from consumer research, clean-sheet-based cost models, and competitive intelligence from teardowns of products of competitors.

Developing a robust and deep understanding of features that drive value up and quantifying their  how much consumers are willing to pay for those product features highlights important product features that need to be added. Conducting “teardowns” of competitors' products to document technical and functional differences provide ideas for reducing costs of providing various features,

Clean sheet modeling, which involves determining the detailed “should cost” for each product and developing strategies to reduce expenses based on that "should cost", by redesigning products or processes or by negotiating differently with suppliers

After doing the three information gathering steps and developing various ideas by involving many experts from various functions, the list of ideas is compiled for further evaluation. In the evaluation process, a list of specific and pragmatic ideas that companies can implement to increase customer value while reducing product costs is arrived at.

By using the DTV methodology, many companies have redesigned and optimized their products  and uncovered significant savings—often in unexpected areas.

Across sectors, DTV stimulates growth, improves customer satisfaction, and optimizes brand positioning by keeping the focus on product features that customers value. This results in impressive financial benefits.   McKinsey claims that on average, our clients achieved a 10 to 40 percent increase in gross margin and a 10 to 40 percent reduction in product and supply chain cost. DTV also helps increse product preference in the market and helps companies gain additional market share as well.

DTV Resources and Capabilities of McKinsey 

McKinsey has invested significant time and resources into DTV over the last decade, and now has  many proprietary, cutting-edge assets to assist clients. These include:

A database of  400 should cost sheets that show labor rates, material costs, and machine costs are created by them.

 A library of linear performance pricing models to help clients identify when the cost of commodities and standard parts, such as batteries, motors, or raw materials, appears to be excessive

Proprietary software that allows clients to track and manage their innovative product improvement ideas from creation to implementation and financial validation.

It has a pool of over 300 experts and consultants who are trained in DTV techniques, many of whom have deep technical knowledge and several years of industry experience in relevant fields. They lead and facilitate workshops for cross-functional client teams composed of a general manager and staff from marketing, engineering, operations, and other groups.

McKinsey holds workshops at client sites or in one of their global design labs. They can create design labs in client organizations also.

McKinsey Case Studies

Redesign of Medical Device

DTV Application to Forklift Truck

DTV Application to Household Fan

DTV Applied to Shampoo Packaging

Designing Products for Value - McKinsey Quarterly

By Ananth Narayanan, Asutosh Padhi, and Jim Williams
McKinsey Quarterly October 2012

Design-to-value - BCG's View

The  environment of low growth and rapid product life cycles, requires from companies  products and services that provide the greatest total value to customers (thus get the highest price)  and the most attractive economics (profit margins) over the life cycle of the product. Design to value (DTV) is a cross-functional product development and improvement process that achieves these dual objectives by translating top-level strategy (product - market choice) into design choices for products and services as well as the underlying processes in the production facilities of the company and the facilities of the  supply chain partners. DTV allows companies to focus their innovation (creation and commercialization) efforts on the features that their customers are willing to pay for and to select cost optimization approaches that will improve and protect long-term profitability.

Boston Consulting Group's Capabilities in DTV

The Boston Consulting Group has developed a flexible and broadly applicable approach to DTV that companies in diverse industries can apply to both new and existing products and services. The approach uses  “catalyst events”—workshop sessions in which a team of cross-functional executives, operators and stakeholders apply a robust fact base to generate ideas for designing the best products with minimal complexity and cost. The executives and operators are  from engineering, production, procurement, and sales and marketing for these events. This team effort breaks down organizational silos and increasing agreement on strategic priorities across business functions due to information transfer that takes during discussions. Some companies also involve their customers or suppliers in these workshops.

Design To Value - PWC

Companies require a unique set of capabilities — which PWC refers to as strategic product value management — to reduce product costs, drive growth, and expand margins. Strategic product value management uses commercial and design levers to provide the discipline and methodology required to manage the  product development. It adds significant value early in the process, particularly through two aspects: design to value (DTV) and design to cost (DTC). Design to value entails analyzing what customers need in terms of features, efficacy, or other attributes (i.e., the value proposition of a particular product, including pricing). Design to cost, by contrast, entails analyzing all costs of a particular product and developing rigorous models to reduce those costs at every
possible juncture.

Design To Cost - Capgemini

Optimize Cost Across Value Chain and Product Lifecycle

Design To Value - Other Consultants

Design to Value – A cost reduction study of a specific wastewater pump

Thesis submitted for examination for the degree of Master of Science in Technology

Techniques involved in Design To Value Method

Should Cost Modeling

Management of Design To Value Programme

I came to know of this method through a presentation a J & J team on 21 October 2016

Director of DTV (Design-to-Value) / Value Engineering

Johnson & Johnson, Bridgewater, NJ
Advertisement in October 2016

Job Description

Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies is currently recruiting for a Director of DtV (Design-to-Value) / Value Engineering. This position can be located in Bridgewater, NJ, USA or Zug, Switzerland.

Caring for the world, one person at a time, inspires and unites the people of Johnson & Johnson. We embrace research and science bringing innovative ideas, products and services to advance the health and well-being of people. Employees of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies work with partners in health care to touch the lives of over a billion people every day, throughout the world.

The Director DtV / Value Engineering will:
• Lead or Co-Lead DtV product conventions and other DtV project types
• Role-model DtV behavior and cross-functional ways of working
• Create positive financial impact with DtV savings and value creation opportunities
• Follow-up at high level on convention results and selectively further guide or assist segment staff responsible for implementation
• Assist businesses and partner with R&D and commercial in identifying and assessing opportunities and planning a DtV roadmap, with the objective of creating and maintaining a continuous stream of DtV work
• Create showcases on DtV application and further develop our process descriptions and training materials
• Assist in developing the Design-to-Value (DtV) Process and Framework, as an integrated approach to Product Development considering multiple dimensions: Customer, Quality, Cost, Technology, Value Add
• Ensure that the DtV processes are properly documented, provide work instructions which have to be used by the operational/segment teams, indicating in particular the intersection points between the functions with clear R&R; important in the cross functional supply chain environment.
• Be aware of product related trade-offs and make best use of the customer / consumer insights, to ensure DtV improves overall product competitiveness, with proper balance of cost and attractiveness while ensuring quality and regulatory compliance
• Identify and drive leverage DtV opportunities wherever reasonable. Across business, or across segment. Use / integrate centrally managed resources as well, wherever appropriate

• University degree in engineering or scientific field is required, an advanced scientific degree (MS) or MBA is preferred
• Minimum of 10 years of experience in engineering / R&D, manufacturing, product management or supply chain (ideally across multiple functions) is required, as well as broad technical and scientific expertise
• Expertise in understanding Product Development and Design is required
• Understanding the linkages from product development through manufacturing and delivery to the customer is required, deep practical understanding of the linkage between product and process development is required
• Leadership experience in a large scale multi-location operational change program, preferrably DtV / Value Engineering, but possibly also Six Sigma or Lean programs is preferred
• Familiarity with state-of-the art DtV tools, including consumer / marketing related tools is preferred
• Multifunctional background, or proven track record of working easily and achieving results across functional boundaries is required
• Understanding of typical regulatory and quality requirements is preferred
• Ability to create strong relationships across multiple functions and businesses is preferred
• Change management and project management experience is required
• Strong executive presentation skills is required
• Strong analytical and strategic skills with a Bifocal approach - ability to zoom-in/zoom-out for strategic and tactical, high-level and detailed, etc. is required
• Experience in driving broadly based culture change in a train-the-trainer setting is required

Warehouse Industrial Engineering - Warehouse Efficiency Improvement - Bibliography



Lessons learned during the lengthy search for the perfect methodology
By Russell D. Meller and Lisa M. Thomas
Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work
December 2013    |    Volume: 45    |    Number: 12

The Productivity Trifecta of Warehouse Optimization: Engineered Labor, Slotting, and Task Interleaving
By Tom Kozenski



Facility design: Achieving overall efficiency in the
warehouse environment
The South African Breweries (SAB) Limpopo warehouse (depot) functionally serves as a buffer
(decoupler) for material flow received from various plants namely Polokwane, Rosslyn, Chamdor and
Alrode. Viewed from this perspective the buffering  function of a warehouse seeks to ensure SAB is able to service customer's needs efficiently.  The SAB warehouse executes the following basic functions: receiving,
storage, order picking and shipping.

“Warehouse efficiency at Topa verpakking”

The problem definition of this research is: “How can non value adding activities be reduced to
improve the efficiency in the distribution center of Topa verpakking? “. The word efficiency is defined
as doing the thing right which is usually measured as the output per unit input.


Warehousing in theory and practice

A case study at ÖoB, Clas Ohlson, Stadium, Åhlens

Some of the recent developments in the warehousing led to the development of new
warehousing concept called a “Retail Warehouse”. In a retail warehouse, the floor space
is used for warehousing as well as the retail store. These types of warehouses are
equipped with tall racks and the items which are ready for sale are placed at the bottom
of the racks and the products which are wrapped, packaged and palletized are placed in
the top parts. This concept cuts down the costs involved in warehousing and eliminates
the total concept of warehouse.

Charley Johnston, Senior Process Improvement Engineering

Digital age warehousing


Updated  24 October, 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Industrial Engineering Conclave NITIE, 2016

18 October 2016


Ganapathy - IE System Efficiency Engineering and Human Effort Engineering

R Suresh  -RGF   - Cost, Productivity, Quality, Specialisation - Productivity - Measurement problems of white collar productivity, He told that in his Colgate campus placement interview, he told them that his focus was cost anywhere in the company. He can make efforts to find waste and reduce cost.

Mahesh Kripalani  Marico  - Marvel - Value Management  - Productivity in Sales and Marketing

Sukanta  Padhy  Tyres   -   Material cost reduction,   VA/VE  - Rastogi

Pankaj Agrwal -  Lupin   -     Lean Methodology, TPM.  Somebody question about effect on quality due to productivity. He answered that quality will not be affected and appropriate measures are taken by managers of the productivity improvement process.

Director, Dr. Karuna Jain