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Lean, Operations, Processes, Taylor Information, Team Taylor

Lean relates to reducing waste of any form in any industry. For the logistics industry, that’s the waste of materials and products, order processing, and employee time as well as loss of sales throughout the supply chain, but is there a way to apply lean principles to your home life? We promise not to turn this blog into some Pinterest lifestyle content, but a recent conversation amongst some colleagues sparked an idea. Everyone at Taylor has practiced the art of the lean business approach – and for a good reason. It helps companies decrease costs and cultivate leadership qualities in team members. After talking a bit about it, we discovered that many members of our team had implemented lean principles to life outside of Taylor. In some cases, we didn’t even realize we were doing it; lean is simply taking over.

Apply 5S


5S is a workplace organization method common in lean companies. It is used to create and maintain an organized, clean, and safe workplace through the following five steps: sort, straighten, shine, standardize, sustain. What might this look like at home?

Sort: Remove clothing and other items that you don’t frequently use so that you will have easy access to the things you do enjoy.

Straighten: Keep items close to where they will be used.

Shine: Immediately clean and carefully store small appliances and cooking equipment after use.

Standardize: Have a set day for tasks like changing the sheets or vacuuming the upholstery.

Sustain: Reassess your success concerning the above regularly.

Focus on Value


Lean doesn’t just dictate what companies do; it also tells them what not to do. Everything that doesn’t add value to the customer is considered waste and is eliminated. Consider your activities and commitments. Are there things you do out of habit or guilt that don’t enrich your life? Maybe arts and crafts with your kids will be a more valuable use of your time than your usual

Eliminate Work in Progress


Just like in professional settings, it’s a good idea to reduce the amount of work in progress you have at home. It’s critical to avoid having a dozen half-finished tasks. For example, if the dryer buzzer dings, don’t stop the task you’re working on to fold the clothes. Wait until you’ve completed that project, then move on to folding the laundry and putting it away. Again, this streamlines processes and ensures tasks are completed rather than being left half-finished.

Minimize Waste


Lean organizations look for ways to eliminate waste by identifying processes and resources that add value, those that don’t add value but are necessary under current conditions, and those that don’t add value and should be eliminated. Doing this at home can simplify your life and save you time and money. An overcrowded fridge is an example of the waste of inventory. You may let food spoil because you didn’t know it was hiding in the back. The full fridge may be due to making more food than your family can eat, or in Lean terms, overproduction. Once you have an eye toward waste reduction, you’ll likely be surprised by how much you find.

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B2B Fulfillment, B2C Fulfillment, Customer Experience, eCommerce Fulfillment, Fulfillment, Lean, Operations, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Third Party Logistics, Warehousing, WMS

The E-commerce Warehouse of Today

Traditional forms of warehousing are not able to keep up with the ever-shifting retail landscape. Today’s consumers can review, compare, and purchase items faster than ever. New retail trends have led many consumers to expect low-priced — yet astonishingly fast — processing, shipping, and handling. To achieve this new level of speed for customers, warehouses today look much different than they have in previous years. For instance, the size of the warehouses has increased significantly over the years. E-commerce has required businesses to not only stock a more extensive selection of items but also have additional space available for the technology and equipment facilitating the various high-speed processes taking place. Warehouses today also require much taller interiors to allow for vertical integration of storage, conveyor systems, and so on.

A New Way of Picking Orders

Warehouses used to be able to ship vast quantities of items to other businesses for sale. However, the model has shifted drastically as the new point-of-sale is in consumers’ palms — in the form of mobile phones, tablets, and other devices — rather than brick-and-mortar locations. For warehouse management, this means trends in purchasing are more challenging to predict, and now warehouses must stock more items. Furthermore, those employees and robots working in the warehouse must be able to efficiently pick and package individual items rather than load the entire pallet.

Manage All Order Types Under One Roof

There is no longer this notion of splitting up different order channels amongst various distribution centers (DC). In the past orders from different retailers came from one DC, all while online orders came from another center. There was even separation from small parcel shippers that operated using less-than-truckload to those who were shipping out entire palettes. Now with the use of a sophisticated warehouse management system, all the different functions of an e-commerce operation can be handled under one roof. Thus improving customer’s efficiency as well as overall cost.

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Leadership, Lean, Operations, People, Processes, Team Taylor, Technology

Employee education is an essential key to the success of your organization- it’s a fundamental way to set your business apart from the competition. Employees who feel their company is invested in their careers are likely to stay longer and work harder. On top of employee satisfaction training allows your employees to become more versatile and bolsters the value of that employee. There countless benefits to the importance of employee development, such as– a more competitive workforce, increased employee retention, and higher employee engagement.

At Taylor Logistics, we make sure all staff members in any role are equipped with the tools they need to succeed. We have memberships to many professional logistics, warehousing, management, and quality organizations that allow our employees to benefit from their classes, webinars, and discussions. Organizations such as The Resource for Warehouse Logistics (IWLA) which offer various course offerings throughout the year. A number of our staff members have attended IWLA courses including their Essentials of Warehousing and Rate Class. All classes are closed with a course exam and upon a passing grade are complete with a certificate adding value to that employees’ career.

Along with classes, our upper management will send several employees a year to various conferences in our particular fields. It’s a part of the Taylor model not only to learn and grow from these opportunities but to gain a new network from them. Through these various organizations and conferences, we have expanded our industry contact list, which allows for continuous brainstorming and mentorship.

Training doesn’t have to be as complicated as sending someone to a class for a certification or to a conference but can be a tutorial on creating a PowerPoint Presentation or on Adobe InDesign formatting. If there is an area an employee is looking to improve in, we try and provide the tools necessary for their success. The importance of training our employees – both new and experienced – cannot be overemphasized in our organization.

Other classes, organizations, conferences, and certifications our staff attends:

IWLA, IANA, TIA, TMSA, WERC, Lean, SQF, Six Sigma

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Key Performing Indicators, Leadership, Lean, Processes, Team Taylor, Warehousing

When storing another companies’ products in your warehouse it is crucial that your operations team has a system for sanitation and workplace organization. At Taylor we utilize the practice of 5S which stems from concept of lean management.

Here are the steps of 5S:

  1. Sort
  2. Set in Order
  3. Shine
  4. Standardize
  5. Sustain

5S: Sort

This requires all equipment and tools have appropriate areas within the warehouse. It’s important to sift through materials, keeping only the necessary items needed to daily complete tasks.

5S: Set in Order

It’s important to make sure all items have a designated location. Organize all workplace items in a logical way so they make tasks easier for employees. It’s also important to make sure each item has a specific spot to ensure that the team doesn’t put an item in the wrong place it also allows for managers to tell if something is missing.

5S: Shine

After items are sorted and set in order it is time to clean.  A clean and orderly warehouse ensures purpose-driven work place all team members. Look for potential safety hazards and hard to read labeling. Storage bins can be used for smaller items to prevent any loss.

5S: Standardize

Create a set of standards for processes and organization. For every item create rules for how and when they will be used. These standards can involve schedules, charts, lists, etc.

5S: Sustain

This step focuses on taking all of the previous steps of 5S and transforming them into ongoing habits to ensure continuous improvement. Sustaining a lean warehouse involves constant evaluation and discipline. The goal, after all, is to be as efficient as possible.

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Leadership, Lean, Operations, Supply Chain Management, Team Taylor, Warehouse Awards, Warehousing
Taylor Logistics Inc. Blog

Working in a warehouse at times can be repetitive, demanding, and labor-intensive. How do you keep warehouse staff engaged and motivated in such an environment? One of the most important resources is a motivated team. How staff are treated and how they value the company has direct impact on our overall success and competitive advantage. With our warehouse team being such a critical part of the company Operations Manager Randy Newman in Bellevue, Nebraska came up with a creative and innovative way to keep our staff motivated.

Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition? Internal rivalry is an effective way to ignite motivation as well as boost performance and productivity. To avoid stress and hostility, great managers must know effective ways to help competition benefit the workplace. Randy has successfully implemented a friendly competition that has our warehouse staff excited and motivated for work each day. He came up with a monthly awards system that are given out to warehouse staff. Awards such as monthly picking winner, receiving winner, putaway winner, loading winner, and most improved.  These awards are based off of three different criteria accuracy, efficiency, and teamwork. It’s not all about who gets the job done fist but who does it with these three things in mind. It’s human nature to thrive on success. We simply love it when we meet a target because it’s proof of our hard work and achievements. All awards are complete with bragging rights along with a WWE style belt that can be worn for the shift or simply held for a picture to be added to our warehouse board.  

Since the implementation of Randy’s award system, we have had a great response from both warehouse staff and management. Healthy contest has made the team stronger than ever. Even though the awards are given out individually it’s teamwork that makes them possible. All in all, the awards have encouraged team members to use the competition as an opportunity for personal growth, to learn from each month’s winners, and to be more motivated. It’s creative ideas like Randy’s that are what makes Taylor’s workplace an environment for all to succeed.


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Food Grade, Food Safety, Lean, People, Safety, Taylor Information, Team Taylor, Warehousing

Since transitioning to our new warehouse on International Boulevard in Cincinnati, Ohio our operation managers have decided to implement new principals into our daily practice. At our old facility all employees, visitors, and contractors were required to wear the standard yellow safety vest. Having everyone  in the same colored vest made it hard for managers and employees to distinguish team Taylor from contractors on the warehouse floor. Grant Taylor General Manager of Contract Warehousing had an amazing idea to order different colored vests and create categories for the various different colors. Taylor employees in yellow, contractors and visitors in orange, and all management in a tri-colored vests. This way everyone can spot who is who on the warehouse floor.

Since the implementation of the different vest categories we have had great response from warehouse operators and our warehouse management. Clay Revis Taylor’s World Park Warehouse Manager states  “ It’s more of a safety thing than anything, there are several projects happening on the warehouse floor. It’s nice to look out and see where the contractors are” .  At Taylor we are always looking for ways to improve our processes and by doing so we follow a procedure called 5s. 5s is an organization technique to create and maintain an intuitive workspace. Given the name 5s there are five essential categories sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain. The implementation of the safety vests falls under the 4th S which is “standardize” set standards for a consistently organized workplace. As we continue to refine practices we will be using the 5s model to help guide us to a safer and more profitable warehouse.

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