Distribution and Manufacturing Software Guide

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Distribution Experts:
Lean Distribution by Howard Coleman
  Are You Ready for Little Miracles?

An introduction to Lean Thinking for the wholesale distributor with suggestions for creating teams, establish baselines, and identifying the root causes of problems and there effects.

  Spreading Lean Thinking to Suppliers

This article explores using the principles of lean to change replenishing inventory from “pushing” more inventory into the warehouse than what is needed to a “pull” model of just replacing what has been used. 

  Too Small for Supply Chain Management?


Supply Chain Management includes the set of processes that manage the efficient flow of product from the point-of-origin to the point-of-consumption.  It encompasses the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing, procurement, manufacturing, distribution, logistics and retail. Most companies adopting these tools have been multi-national corporations with billions of revenue.  This article discusses how supply chain management can use Lean techniques to apply to the wholesale distributor.


Applying Lean Techniques to Wholesale Distribution

Lean Manufacturing
has a long history dating to the post-world war II period when these techniques were used by the Japanese.  Toyota’s Production System is usually pointed to as a world-class application of these techniques.  Many of these techniques can be applied to Wholesale Distribution operations

With a focus on eliminating all activities that don’t produce value for the customer or supplier, Lean is a set of techniques that helps the distributor eliminate of any kind of wasteerrors, excess inventory, processing, waiting, wasted motion, transportation and overproduction – from business processes.

From the whitepaper titled, “Are You Ready for Little Miracles” published by MCA Associate, the effort to implement lean is defined as “the conscious effort to objectively examine one’s own workplace and working environment."  The goals are searching out waste, increase productivity, lowering total cost and increasing throughput.   One must look for evidence of “capacity constrained resources which limit output, create unneeded inventory or manpower, or use unnecessary resources that get in the way of smooth, accurate and timely operations.”

The articles to the right are a good place to start in understanding the application of Lean to the Wholesale Distibution industry.


Lean Distribution Software Directory