Bin Stocking: The Ins and Outs of Improving Your Workflow

Fasteners are relatively low cost components compared to other products purchasing professionals, production, and engineering teams manage at manufacturing plants.

However, they can be very costly, across functional areas, if they are not thoughtfully and strategically handled.

When we look at the total cost of an assembly, 20% is allocated to the price of the component. The other 80% is all of the additional work (costs) associated with getting the part from the manufacturer into the finished product.

Optimizing inventory control and flow from start to finish can result in significant improvements for the entire operation:

  • Reduced labor costs
  • Increased productivity
  • On hand inventory reduction
  • Optimization of fastener storage locations
  • Floor space optimization
  • Reduced loss costs
  • Reduced rework and improved first pass yield
  • A dramatic reduction in headaches caused by non optimal processes!

The process of identifying specific changes to be made to managing assets like inventory, labor, and space etc, are part of our T.A.C. (Total Assembly Cost ) model.

Step one:

The first step in this process is to get key people from our clients team and ours together via phone or visit, to plan the day. This initial meeting sets the expectations for the visits output and gives the clients team plenty of time to prepare and ensures there are no surprises the day of the event. In addition, key pieces of information to be used in the report will be exchanged. Things like fully burdened labor rates, square footage rates, on hand inventory numbers, and other important data points that help us establish the current costs.

Step two:

This step in the process is the scheduled, planned, site visit. During the site visit, FIELD specialists painstakingly document every step as we follow the inventory from the purchase order through to installation into the finished product. The details are derived through observations, photos (always with approval!), and most importantly interviews with the people that do the work day in and day out. Typically we are escorted through the plant with a dedicated client team member who ensures no disruption in the days productivity and can serve as a liaison between our teams during important dialogue.

Step three:

The FIELD team develops an itemized report of the current costs to get fasteners and c-commodities into the finished product. In addition to the itemized report, we use process mapping software to visually depict the movement of the inventory and team members throughout the process. The report also includes a detailed future state map showing the process when changes are made and the specific cost savings in the follow up itemized report associated with those recommendations.

Step four:

The FIELD team and our clients meet to review the content of the report. During this meeting questions are answered, clarifications of the report are made, and a project deck is created to prioritize the suggestions marked for implementation.

Step five:

Implementation! FIELD has a team of dedicated specialists who spend all day, every day, focusing on implementing new processes. A project champion on the client side is identified to work closely with FIELD to ensure continuity and information exchange. Our teams work together to implement the new processes on the production floor. Baseline key performance metrics will be documented to view progress over time and verification we have met the desired outcomes decided early in the process.

We all know, right now, out on the production floor, there are processes in place that are costing time and money. FIELD has developed a proven process that results in significant improvements across the board. Why wait to get started, as this process takes relatively little time and the results are dramatic!

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