Observe Delivery

  • Was the workplace left clean and neat the previous night for the start of the new day?
  • Is the entire staff at their work stations ready to start work on time or, do people sit around drinking coffee and chatting?
  • Does the warehouse manager have


Improve customer service

Reduce damage & errors _____________ ____________

Improve inventory control Become more flexible Facilitate information visibility Reduce downtime

Add your goals and comments about each of the items listed above as you walk around and then rearrange them in the priority order that fits your situation. Reproduced with permission from "Lean Warehousing" by Ken Ackerman, Ackerman Publications, 614-488-3165. It is a a useful reference for the general topic for application in warehouses.

"Spend time in operations over a three week period."

the day's work planned so there is productive work that can be started immediately. Conversely, are on time workers killing time while a manager figures out what has to be done?

  • Assuming that your company loads trucks in the morning, are returns already properly identified, unloaded, accounted for and waiting in your returns area?
  • Are there procedures in place to help your employees understand why the goods came back?
  • Are there mysteries to be solved regarding previous deliveries or non-deliveries?
  • Are the trucks swept out, and are blankets and tools already loaded on the trucks?
  • Are all the goods properly prepped and ready to go?
  • Are there any defects to be fixed before loading?
  • Is the dock well organized so the delivery team can load the truck in a timely manner, or are there delays while they hunt for missing parts or units?
  • Is furniture being dragged on concrete or are dollies and/or hand trucks used to properly handle furniture?
  • Is everything blanketed in the truck?
  • Is the light side of the blanket always toward the product and dark side out? Are all furniture surfaces protected from damage?
  • Are ties properly used to prevent products from shifting?
  • As each delivery team prepares to leave, pay attention to their appearance. Do they properly represent your business image, whether in uniform or personal work clothes?

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