more on a truck.” This results in fewer trucks, fewer emissions, and
fewer drivers on the road.
Tim Talarico, the Director of Design Solutions at enVista, also
emphasizes the impact that packaging reduction can have on
efficiency gains. “Products that are boxed on demand – where
you design a box size around the product size to minimize the use
of corrugate – can save companies money and can cut down on
emissions,” says Talarico.
Thompson notes that most companies use a basic box design,
and use it very inefficiently. Since the box is not suited to the product being shipped in it, companies add filler packaging materials
to the box to keep contents from shifting and suffering damages.
Using boxes better suited to their contents drastically reduces not
only the packaging necessary, but the potential for damages in
transit as well. Better suited boxes protect the contents more fully,
leaving fewer damage claims to be filled out at the end of each
shipment, saving distributors more time and even more paper.
As the economy grows more global every day, the supply chain
is a topic that keeps appearing over and over again in any circle
discussing best practices. One of the biggest costs in today’s distribution environment is getting the product where it needs to go as
quickly as possible. It is often hard to balance this need for speed
with cost effectiveness, not to mention environmentally sound
Talarico urges distributors to increase their visibility in the supply chain so that they can get a better view of where the greatest cost savings is situated. Usually the answer lies in freight and
transportation, and being able to design distribution facilities to
maximize internal productivity while proactively positioning them
in the best location for your supply chain can dramatically slash
Thompson calls this “network strategy” – how many facilities
you have, where they should be, and how big they should be.
Creating fewer miles in the supply chain will speed delivery and
cut down on fuel costs, but it also creates fewer emissions overall.
“It used to be that every three to five years a company would look
at their network,” says Thompson.
He encourages companies who haven’t done this recently to
take a close look at the numbers: most companies typically save
Here are seven areas that your company can focus on in order to
reduce waste and trim operations costs:
1. Over-production – High inventory levels, many orders, staging
too much product.
2. Transportation – Non-value added movement of product, a
poorly designed facility, stage to stage moves.
3. Motion – Walking, bending, lifting, and searching.
4. Waiting – Waiting on paper work, order inspection, loading
and unloading of equipment.
5. Over-processing – Over inspection, complex documentation,
complex work instructions, and unnecessary record keeping.
6. Inventory – Inefficient storage and handling of inventory,
poor inventory control, and carrying obsolete inventory.
7. Defects – High numbers of defects, poor quality control, and
Focus Your Waste Reduction Efforts
Steven J. Benefield, Partner of Supply Chain Solutions at enVista, LLC, says that “identifying value-added and non-value-added
steps in every process is the beginning of the journey toward Lean operations and will, in effect, allow a company to become more