West Monroe helps a food manufacturer implement engineered labor standards
Leveraging our discrete labor management system, a Canadian food manufacturer was able to implement reliable and transparent engineered labor standards.
Date : September 17, 2012
Working with West Monroe to implement FLEXdls™, the client achieved 24% productivity improvement on the cases selection standard and gained visibility into productivity levels for all functions within their distribution center.

The client is one of Canada’s leading manufacturers in the food industry, serving primarily retail chains. The client is known for their expertise and innovation in creating the highest quality products.

The client had implemented a labor standard in their Montreal area distribution center using another service provider. Soon the company realized that the current standard was difficult to manage and did not yield the expected results. Their current system used several "averages" and did not consider a number of variables that were part of daily operations. The client was looking for a new labor management system that would integrate with SAP WM/TRM warehouse management modules and deliver accurate standards. Primary goals included:

  • Increase warehouse productivity
  • Standardize processes
  • Expand the scope of engineered labor standards to forklift and shipping/receiving functions
  • Integrate LMS with SAP WM warehouse management system
  • Provide performance feedback to employees on the floor
  • Leverage investment into recent upgrades to SAP WM/TRM
  • Use a reliable labor standard that is accepted by both union and management

Our approach.
After assessing the current case selection standard at the client’s distribution center, we discovered the potential for productivity improvement by introducing a discrete engineered labor standard. Leveraging our FLEXdls™ software solution, we precisely modeled the operational constraints and conditions within their facility. We worked closely with the client to capture the details of all existing warehouse processes. Each of the processes was then defined with precision using the standard calculation scripts within FLEXdls™. Standards related data was collected on the warehouse floor, including:

  • Material handling equipment travel speed under different load conditions
  • Warehouse congestion
  • Process times for material handling equipment
  • Motion times for manual activities performed by staff
  • Detailed warehouse travel map with defined travel rules for different types of equipment

We collaborated with an SAP integrator to ensure transactional data from the warehouse floor and performance calculations were accurately transmitted via the bi-directional interface between the client’s warehouse management system and FLEXdls™. With all the data and configuration in place within FLEXdls™, we conducted extensive audits to ensure the accuracy of the labor standard calculations. We led information sessions for union employees to ensure all aspects of the labor management program were well understood and trained the client’s management team on the tool’s functionality and reporting capabilities.

Results.
By working with West Monroe to implement FLEXdls™, the client gained a reliable and transparent engineered labor standard that integrated into their existing system, achieved 24% productivity improvement on the cases selection standard and gained visibility into productivity levels for all functions within their distribution center.

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