The Challenge

Progressive Automations develops and distributes a wide range of products to match the growing demand for automation across industries. Its mission is to offer the most comprehensive selection of linear motion products and provide an incredible customer experience. To support this mission, Progressive Automation engaged Propel Solutions to conduct a comprehensive review of Warehouse, Inventory and Sales processes to prepare the organization for expected growth and ensure the processes continue to fulfill the needs of its customers. The objective was to build upon the identified opportunities in a previous process improvement analysis to include implementation of a new warehouse layout, supporting technology and installing a Management Toolkit.

The Objective

  • Process Review: Processes were mapped in their current state and critiqued by managers and staff to highlight any opportunities in the processes that could enhance the outcomes of product fulfillment. The Propel team interviewed key positions involved in the process and conducted process observations of the activities in the Purchasing, Warehousing, and Sales departments.
  • New Warehouse Layout: Propel conducted a capacity analysis of the current inventory needs of the organization. A new Warehouse Layout was created, designed to improve warehouse flow through the picking and receiving processes. Additionally, a system for fixed stocking locations was developed to improve inventory control.
  • Development of a Resource Plan and Erlang C Scheduling Tool: Propel developed a Resource Plan to manage staffing based on the monthly forecasts of orders, calls, and return requests throughout the year. The plan provides visibility into staffing needs and minimizes risk of scheduling issues due to unavailable resources.  Additionally, a tool using Erlang C was developed to schedule staff daily in accordance with service level expectations, monitor actual to forecast transactions, and problem solve variances.
  • Daily Reporting of Results: Key Performance Indicators were developed by Propel to measure performance in quality, productivity, schedule attainment and service level expectations. Daily Operating Reports were installed to communicate results and problem solve variances on a daily, weekly and yearly basis.

The Result

The Business Process Review provided Progressive Automations with the data and tools to achieve process and service improvements. 32 Method Changes were developed to improve customer service, warehouse operations and inventory control.  Due to the process implementations, management is more engaged with their teams through daily operating huddles, enabling management to proactively predict and identify potential problems, ensure continuous improvement within the department and developing a culture that is consistently striving to deliver customer value.