LOGISTICAL QUALITY CONTROL
Please refer to the Case 1 description of the hypothetical grocery delivery company.
Let’s suppose the company has Taken Off, and is now a Big Deal in Silicon Valley. Thousands of otherworldly, overpaid people, many of whom could either find the time to go shopping themselves, or delegate the task to their PAs, have come to rely upon MyShoppingCart.com for groceries – and not just at 3:00 AM on Sunday morning.
The company’s success has been due to its clean, beautifully intuitive shopping app, which works flawlessly on every device, and also to its awesomely fast delivery service. In one instance, which has become the stuff of local legend, a millionaire’s trophy wife was horrified to discover that she was completely out of cocktail onions, and a party she was hosting was beginning in a half hour. She placed an order on her cellphone, and a motorcycle courier from MyShoppingCart had the onions in her hand in 17 minutes flat. (That $1.75 jar of onions did, of course, cost her $50, charged to her American Express card, but she didn’t notice.)
But now the company has encountered a problem — the warehouse. There are bottlenecks: it’s taking too long for items to get from the receiving side of the shipping dock to the shelves. It’s taking too long to pick an order from the shelves and get it out the door, in either a car trunk or motorcycle saddlebags. There’s no minimum acceptable time for either activity; the emphasis is always on making things faster.
Obviously, it’s impossible to know the particulars of what’s going on. But how would you find out? Once you know, what sort of program would you put into place, to make things better? In particular:
How would you go about benchmarking the warehouse’s performance?
How would you collect data concerning the details of warehouse performance?
How would you apply the PDCA process to improving performance?
Your discussion should be solidly grounded in the background materials, and supported by citations and references.
Module 3 – Background
Logistical Quality Control
This list of sources is intended to be adequate, but not all-inclusive. You should feel free to search the Web. Search terms: Benchmarking, TQM, Quality management, continuous improvement.
ASQ (2014). Plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle. Retrieved on 13 Jan 2015* from http://asq.org/learn-about-quality/project-planning-tools/overview/pdca-cycle.html
Moen, R. & Norman, C. (n.d.) Evolution of PDCA cycle. Retrieved on 13 Jan 2015* from http://pkpinc.com/files/NA01MoenNormanFullpaper.pdf
Murray, M. (2015c). Total quality management (TQM). Retrieved on 13 Jan 2015* from http://logistics.about.com/od/qualityinthesupplychain/a/TQM.htm
Murray, M. (2015d). Benchmarking in the supply chain. Retrieved on 13 Jan 2015* from http://logistics.about.com/od/qualityinthesupplychain/a/benchmarking.htm
Murray, M. (2015e). Continuous Improvement Tools. Retrieved on 13 Jan 2015* from http://logistics.about.com/od/qualityinthesupplychain/a/Continuous-Improvement-Tools.htm
*Note: When citing a source, be sure to enter the date you accessed it.
Benchmarking Warehouse Performance
Benchmarking is the practice of assessing performance using set standards in aspects regarding such as value, time or quality. Benchmarking helps a company to evaluate available opportunities for improvement in its performance. There are various ways of carrying an assessment to spot drawbacks in the warehouse supply chain. For instance, one could perform an internal benchmarking. According to Scott (2011), internal benchmarking allows assessment of the process of various activities and consequently identify areas that can be improved. Besides, an internal assessment will help in the improvement of the warehouse’s process for timely delivery of goods. An external benchmarking can also be performed.
External benchmarking further helps in identifying areas of improvement as well as areas that could be resulting in the present poor performance in the internal processes. External benchmarking exposes the company to various comparable procedures and methods whose operations are better. Therefore, external benchmarking will allow the warehouse to improve its processes through a comparison with other storage facilities’ that perform better. The external benchmarking will also comprise a competitive benchmarking. This benchmarking will help to identify reasons why other facilities perform better. Improvement on the results obtained from the analysis will assist in the enhancement of the warehouse’s performance. The benchmarking process would involve planning for what is being benchmarked, analysis of performance gaps and integration to ensure findings are considered and implemented (Scott, 2011). Moreover, it would involve advocating for action as per the findings of the benchmarking process.
Data Collection on Warehouse Performance
Assessment and improvement of a warehouse’s performance require data collection to assist in understanding and identifying performance processes of the warehouse. There are various ways of to collect data to measure storage performance. According to Anderson, Sneed and Rosenblad (2015), review of documents as one of the best ways of data collection. Documentation reviews give an impression of the program performance of the repository. This method is effective due to information availability without disruption of the program routine. Data can also be collected through observation. Observation of the warehouse’s processes would allow collection of accurate data on the operations of the store. Besides, a survey can also be conducted to get first-hand information from participants on their views pertaining performance of the warehouse. Moreover, a case study would also offer crucial information. A case study will help in getting views from clients about the performance of the warehouse in line with the comparison of other cases.
Application of PDCA in Improving Performance
Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle is a model with four steps that is used for process improvement. Application of PDCA would involve various steps. The first step would involve planning (Sokovic, Pavletic & Pipan, 2010). Planning involves identifying the problem and its cause, evaluating the possible interventions as well as determining the corrective process. The second step would be the DO phase, which involves the implementation of the selected solution that will solve the warehouse supply chain problems. The third step is the CHECK step which would emphasize on the setting of the standards and the comparison of the performance with the set standards. Lastly, the ACT phase which would involve ensuring consistency and adoption of the process improvement procedures. Additionally, Total Quality Management (TQM) would be used concurrently with PDCA. The model would also help in improving performance and quality so as to meet expectations of the customers.
Anderson, N., Sneed, L., & Rosenblad, B. (2015). MoDOT Pavement Preservation Research Program Volume IV. Pavement Evaluation Tools–Data Collection Methods (No. CMR 16-004).
Scott, R. (2011). Benchmarking: A Literature Review. Academic Excellence Centre for Learning and Development, Edith Cowan University.
Sokovic, M., Pavletic, D., & Pipan, K. K. (2010). Quality improvement methodologies–PDCA cycle, RADAR matrix, DMAIC and DFSS. Journal of Achievements in Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, 43(1), 476-483.