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Improving Functionality in our Warehouses

LaSalle Bristol is dedicated to continuous improvement.  We want the best experience for our customers from the moment they meet our sales team to when they receive our product.  Most recently, we have been working tirelessly to improve our functionality within our warehouses.

Our operations team, including Director of Operations- Eric Bolyard, is incorporating the systematic method of waste reduction, “Lean” into our warehouses. This new operations strategy has been introduced in our Pennsylvania, Florida and Indiana Distribution Centers that includes the re-racking of our products. In Indiana, our racks were aisles 22 bays long creating a large waste in movement; that has been corrected by incorporating a bridge beam halfway through the aisle.  This bridge beam creates a middle aisle, reducing wasted movement and time and also creating additional bulk storage.

These new racks have also created an opportunity for us to effectively slot our products.  Proper slotting improves efficiency, accuracy and reduces labor costs.  Our method focuses on the placement of high moving products being closest to the docking areas.  If we are picking something more frequently it is being placed in an easily accessible static location.  While improving our accuracy, this is also eliminating pick times and in turn providing orders to our customers faster.

The re-racking and slotting are both processes that are incorporated into the aforementioned “Lean” strategy.  Another tool within Lean is 5S.  5S is an organized method to improve and maintain workspace, effectiveness, and safety.  Eric is incorporating this method into our California, Texas and Indiana distribution centers initially, eventually coordinating with all other warehouses.  When asked about these new methods, Eric had a very positive outlook, “Our Journey into LEAN is just beginning, but we are starting with the right foundation to build upon.  We have a seasoned and skilled workforce who are eager to learn, adapt and improve our processes which benefits our daily activities along with our external and internal customers.  I can’t stress enough, that continuous improvement doesn’t have an end date, and every step forward that we make becomes the new normal to gauge, gather data and continue to improve.”