The Practice of Kaizen and Improving Warehouse Processes

The warehouse at Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin recently participated in a Kaizen initiative to improve current facility practices for organization and damage prevention. Kaizen, which means making something better in Japanese, is a continuous improvement program for all company processes.

Earlier this year, Pella corporate facilitated the Kaizen event here in Green Bay, WI. The weeklong event was created to reduce product damage throughout the company, from shipping the products directly from Pella, Iowa, to facilities in Wisconsin, and later to the customer. Although Pella currently operates with low damage rates, there are continuous efforts to improve overall customer satisfaction to lessen potential dissatisfiers. For this improvement effort, a four-person crew was tasked with making the changes in the warehouse over a span of only one month.

The Kaizen crew first analyzed how they were receiving parts in Green Bay from corporate to determine where the damage was occurring, whether it was due to the packaging, caused in transit, or by storage practices at the facility. The packaging made it difficult to detect minor damage until the products were unpackaged at the customer project site, proving problematic for installation schedules and timelines. At the Green Bay facility, the task team reviewed how products were handled and stored once delivered, and Pella corporate explored options for improving their packaging. The result was the development of a new racking system to store and protect products. Dedicated areas were created to store specific products in select bins with dividers to prevent the windows and doors from tipping, slipping, or being stacked on one another.

Since implementing the new practices, a Kaizen 30-60-90-120 day follow up procedure was set into place to review and analyze the changes made, ensuring that progress was made. Overall, the desired results were achieved for continuous improvement, and the new methods added an extra level of structure and confidence to daily tasks at the Green Bay facility.

At Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin we have a commitment to continuous improvement, to Kaizen, and to providing the best products and services for our customers.

 

-Stephanie Krubsack

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