You can hardly turn around these days without hearing about the jaw-dropping benefits of going "Lean": a 25-percent reduction in logistics costs, a 50-percent reduction in inventory, a 75-percent reduction in lead times. But implementing a Lean program in the warehouse isn't a matter of handing down a few management directives and tweaking some processes. If you want to go Lean, you'll have to learn the language and familiarize yourself with the culture. And you'll need some help getting started.
You can call on the Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) if you need a hand. This fall, the council will offer a new course, "Lean Warehousing Essentials," that presents the fundamental principles of Lean and how they apply to the warehouse. Attendees will be introduced to tools and techniques for implementing Lean programs, have a chance to play "The Lean Logistics Game," and leave with a tactical plan for implementing their own Lean improvement initiatives.
Scheduled for Nov. 8-9 in Austin, Texas, the session will be led by Robert Martichenko, president of LeanCor, a company that specializes in implementing the Lean concepts in the supply chain. The session costs $1,395. WERC members receive a $200 discount. For more information, visit www.werc.org.