Warehouse logistics

A proper logistic organization of the warehouse should enable the reduction of handling and storage costs and improve the level of customer service.
The warehouse is increasingly becoming a strategic area of the company in which products are customized according to the needs expressed by customers.
NoE makes its skills and experiences available to companies with the aim of designing or improving:

  • layout of the logistics site
  • structural elements (storage systems, tools and equipment, automation)
  • organisation (roles, tasks)
  • processes (activities, procedures, operating instructions)
  • materials management (types of acceptance checks, allocation criteria, withdrawal methods, inventory management)
  • method of identifying materials and traceability
  • physical and information flows
  • information systems (WMS)
  • logistic accounting system (profit and loss account)

Distribution Logistics

A correct sizing of the company distribution network and a proper management of all types of transports should enable the customer to be reached with timeliness and cost-effectiveness.
NoE supports companies in designing or reviewing the distribution network and in evaluating shipping companies, in particular:

  • in the organisation of the distribution network
  • in the design of transport modes
  • in the optimization of costs and pricing
  • in contractual and regulatory consulting
  • in transactions and negotiation with suppliers
  • in the introduction of transport management software: selection and implementation support

Logistics outsourcing

The outsourcing of logistics is an expanding process which however does not always lead to the achievement of the expected results and this is because a preliminary scientific and consolidated analysis process is not always done and then followed.
NoE supports companies in the complete outsourcing process, right up to the start-up of the identified solution:

  • in the analysis of economic convenience and technical feasibility of outsourcing / insourcing
  • in the selection of suppliers
  • in the definition of technical specifications
  • in the evaluation of technical and economic proposals
  • in negotiation and transactions
  • in the definition of the supplier’s control system
  • in the management of the outsourcing / insourcing projects

Lean Management

What Lean Management is

Lean Management is a systematic and long-term approach to the organization of a company, which aims to create “value” for the customer, by maximizing the capacity and use of all the internal resources: men, equipment, facilities, etc.
Lean Management is well founded on the concept of continuous improvement of all processes through the constant search for perfection and elimination of any waste, whether it’s time, energy or money.
Lean Management is not only a system of cost reduction, but a strategy of growth and business development that focuses on the customer and his needs.
Lean Management is a way of thinking and doing that enhances staff potential, by stimulating everyone’s participation in the process of improving corporate performance.

  • Lean Management: more value, less waste

    A Lean transformation process must always start from the awareness of the customer’s needs.
    The identification of the products and service elements and features considered as a “value” by current and potential customers is the first step in recognizing “waste” in internal processes. Waste is comprised of all tasks not directly connected to satisfying customer needs.
    The process of improvement and application of Lean management must be steered Top Down and implemented Bottom Up, because the company’s development strategies must be congruent with process improvement.
  • Lean Transformation: standardized and stable processes

    A Lean Transformation project cannot ignore the preliminary standardization activity of the examined processes.
    Standardizing does not mean reducing flexibility. On the contrary, it means creating the conditions to increase the company’s ability to satisfy customer requests.
    There are many techniques and tools that aim at system reconfiguration, but none of these can leave aside the stability of the processes as a starting point.
    There can be no improvement without stable results.

Lean Management goes beyond simple production management

It is reasonable to think that the Lean philosophy can be applied only to the production sector and only for mass production processes. However, this assumption is not right!
Lean Management is a management system that finds applications in any field and in any type of company:

  • Non-repetitive or custom-made production
  • High-tech companies
  • Design companies or companies operating in the luxury market
  • Process industries
  • Non-manufacturing or service companies
  • Public administration
  • Healthcare

Toyota Kata

What Toyota Kata is

The Toyota Kata is a management system and universal model of creativity, developed by Mike Rother, who studied the management routines behind Toyota’s success in terms of adaptation and continuous improvement.
Through a method of teaching all employees how to use the basic tool of scientific thought, the Toyota Kata transforms the company into a true learning organization that knows how to find and develop the appropriate solutions to the specific problems it has to deal with, and is able to face with success and confidence the uncertainty of future challenges.
Therefore, through the development and empowerment of individuals and teams, this approach enables the company to achieve apparently impossible results and to make continuous daily improvement that is sustainable and aligned with the corporate strategy.

Kata: create the habit of improvement

As neuroscience shows, in order to create or change the culture of a team or organisation, or to develop new ways of thinking, people need to practise targeted behaviours. Mike Rother called them “kata“, borrowing the term from martial arts. He identified two “kata” that support the culture of learning and continuous improvement:

The Improvement Kata enables people to improve and reach new challenges in a scientific and systematic way. Briefly, it proceeds towards sequenced short-term objective conditions in the direction of a more general medium-long term challenge, overcoming the obstacles encountered, through experimentation with small fast steps (“PDCA cycles”).

The Coaching Kata provides managers with a standardized and effective way to purposefully teach their people the Improvement Kata, as real “coaches” of the method.

A “better” model of improvement!

Often in companies, even those “mature” in lean transformation, the model of improvement has limits and weaknesses. To name two, improvement is not an integral part of everyday work, but is carried out as extraordinary event and periodic project, and it is therefore difficult to sustain the results. Moreover, companies often just implement tools or solutions, without assessing whether they are really necessary and effective in the pursuit of strategic objectives.
Thanks to the Toyota Kata, it is possible to develop a more efficacious and sustainable improvement model characterized mainly by:

  • Improvement focused on objectives (purpose-driven), which enables a link between operations and strategy
  • Daily improvement, where at least a small “step” is implemented every day towards the defined process goal
  • Simple improvement, applicable and accessible to any company and to everyone in the company
  • Scientific improvement, based on the experimental iterative approach, which limits risks and costs, and at the same time stimulates the involvement and creativity of people
  • Joint improvement reinforced by continuous learning, through the PDCA dynamics and reflection
  • Cross improvement (content-free) and replicable everywhere, as it is based on a method that is not limited to specific processes, products or technologies, but is applicable to any situation (the “what” varies from time to time, but the “how” is always the same).

Making uncertainty an opportunity to grow

The economic context is perhaps emerging from an era where the main challenges concerned efficiency, and entering an era where the challenges are broader and more complex.
Traditional managerial methods try to confine reality to certainty, which is only apparent, while future methods should be more oriented towards making individuals and organizations effective and positive in managing uncertainty.
If the teams have an effective method, such as the Improvement Kata, to proceed through unknown territory, they will be able to activate and channel their own creativity. More importantly, the unknown, the obstacles and the changes they will encounter will not be seen as threats but as opportunities to learn and improve.
To develop such an approach, it is essential that managers, at every level, develop coaching expertise to enhance the skills of their people, not providing them with instructions or solutions but rather methodological support that makes them proactive and self-effective.