A higher delivery precision, less waste of materials, more engaged and satisfied associates. Those are only a few of the positive effects Ingram Micro has seen after implementing a LEAN philosophy in our European logistic centres.
Ingram Micro is always looking for ways to make things better for our customers, by increasing the service and quality given, but also for our associates and the society around us. About five years ago a team started looking into getting improvement done in a more structured and effective way. With the customer in focus, we wanted to; improve efficiency, reduce waste and increase productivity by implementing processes for continues improvements.
After several reviews, and discussions with relevant companies, the choice landed on LEAN* to drive it forward. Besides that it had proven to work in other similar organisations and that the pilot project turned out well, there were two main reasons why LEAN was chosen as a method:
- The most important reason is that LEAN starts from outside and in, starting with the customer requirement and not by analysing internal processes. The customer is in focus all the way through.
- The second main reason was that LEAN is done with and for the associates, not including external consultants and experts coming in doing their job for a shorter or longer time. In Ingram Micro we have highly competent people that we believe in. With some education in LEAN tools, they can drive significant improvements for our customers.
Implementing LEAN has given us an improvement and customer focused culture. We have a more seamless logistic process and the ability to better plan and predict what will come, which gives our customers a more reliable partner with faster and higher delivery precision. We are also seeing a higher engagement and satisfaction among our associates. Last but not least, we are reducing our carbon footprint by minimizing unnecessary movement of goods, maximizing the utilization of our buildings, optimizing shipments and reducing packaging and associated waste”, says Paul Klompé, Global LEAN Leader EMEA at Ingram Micro.
Levels of success
Today the LEAN system is implemented in all Ingram Micro operational centres’ in EMEA, including the one in Stockholm, that just recently reached the silver level in LEAN.
Since improvement is a continuous ongoing project, Ingram Micro implemented LEAN maturity levels, so that each site can take steps that are achievable and can be celebrated.
The different levels are:
BRONZE – implementing the mentality and creating a change of culture. Getting the tools and processes in place for continues improvements.
SILVER – ensuring stability and progress in the processes with better planning and forecasting.
GOLD – getting up the speed in execution and tighten the SLA’s (Service Level Agreements).
During 2021, no less than 92 propositions for improvements have been raised from the associates in Rosersberg. Some that has been implemented are:
- ABC-classification of goods. The most frequently moved goods are now placed closest to the picking associates, saving both time and steps.
- Weekday colour for returning goods. By giving each weekday a colour, it gets very clear what returns that needs our focus. A “first-in-first-out” – approach that’s been implemented in other parts of the warehouse as well and that increase our service to customers.
- New delivery option. We are now able to send smaller products in padded envelopes instead of boxes which means less air in the packages and fewer trucks needed for transportation.
Achieving the LEAN silver certificate is an acknowledgement that we have become a solution-oriented organisation working with continuous improvement. It’s a very inspiring work when you love to work with people. In LEAN the people are the core”, says Mohammed Sahran, Process Manager in Rosersberg, Stockholm.
Ingram Micro supports global operations by way of an extensive sales and distribution network throughout North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific:
- Local sales offices and/or representatives in 59 countries
- 189 logistics centers and service centers worldwide
- Representing over 1,600 suppliers, including Acer, Apple, Cisco, Citrix, HP, IBM, Lenovo, Microsoft, Samsung, Symantec, VMware and others
- Serving more than 170,000 customers in approximately 160 countries
- Creating growth opportunities within the hard-to-reach SMB market as more businesses use technology to add scale, enhance services and improve productivity
- Providing support from 35,000+ associates worldwide
*LEAN is based on a Japanese philosophy of improving processes with the help of the associates. It’s about maximizing productivity while minimizing wasted effort and expense and was first popularized by Toyota.