Using LEAN In Your Supply Chain Part 4 – Standardization

Using LEAN In Your Supply Chain Part 4 – Standardization

Using LEAN In Your Supply Chain Part 4 – Standardization
  • 20 July, 2016

In our last post about LEAN we discussed establishing the best processes for employees to follow or what we call “Built-In-Quality.” Standardization gives companies the ability to calculate and measure the amount of time and resources needed to complete processes in the warehouse or on the loading dock. When you standardize your process every worker can perform the task at his or her best.

Standardization is the foundation of continuous improvement because it lets employees suggest better ways to perform work. Say an employee’s comes up with a new way to load a semi trailer that cuts several minutes off loading time, if it’s proven to be true the new process can be standardized and used by the rest of the workforce.

There are five elements of standardization:

1.) Visual Management – Signs, symbols, colors that make a warehouse and/or loading dock “talk” to employees and inform them on the progress they are making.

2.) Layered Audits – An audit ensures that workers are performing the task according to the established process. In order to be effective, a layered audit must be performed while the work is in process to allow for immediate corrections.

3.) Management by Customer Demand – A LEAN operation tailors its resources and sets a steady pace to produce exactly what the customer needs. This prevents employees from being pushed into over working.

4.) Standard Work – This is a written description on how to perform a task. Although employees are encouraged to use continuous improvement, this written down instruction documents the current fastest and safest known way of performing that process.

5.) Workplace Organization – Standardizing the location of all the materials needed to perform the job correctly is also very important. If an employee has to search for misplaced tools and materials that wastes time and lowers productivity.

Standardizing processes is key to having a successful warehousing and/or loading dock. At Arab Cartage we’ve been in business for over 30 years and during that time we’ve been able to refine and standardized our processes. For all your warehousing and logistics needs we are here for you. Call us today at 1-800-423-0478 or email us at

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