- Faouzi Charfadi
Advisory is Key to Success
Have you ever seen the start of the day for delivery drivers? Imagine a warehouse with 50 trucks inside. I am talking about rows of 17-foot delivery trucks. Pallets are moving; drivers are rearranging their loads; preventive maintenance and paperwork are ready. In short, total chaos.
Several years ago, a potential client asked me to meet him at his warehouse at 6 am, which I gladly accepted. He wanted to have outside eyes evaluate his operation. We picked Wednesday because it was a relatively quiet day for deliveries.
I arrived at the warehouse promptly at 6 am. My client was waiting for me, and without any formality, took me to the warehouse and asked, “What do you see?” I walked around for about 45 minutes before heading back to his office. He was anxious to hear what I saw and had to say. My first response was, “It is a little bit chaotic.”
I started to list what I saw, and he agreed. The third shift wasn’t done loading some of the trucks and left a mess on the warehouse floor. Drivers scurried right and left to get equipment and finish loading.
The client told me drivers were allotted 20 minutes in the warehouse each morning, but they were spending an average of 35 minutes. Then, when they were ready to leave, the delivery trucks had to wait in line to get through the bottleneck at the exit. I confidently told him that all this chaos was easily resolved. He couldn’t wait to hear the solution!
Stagger the start time into three groups.
Drivers with a long drive out would be the first group, in at 6:00 am and out by 6:20 am
Drivers with a medium drive out would be the second group, in at 6:15 am and out by 6:35 am
Drivers with a short drive out would be the third group, starting at 6:30 am and out by 6:50 am
The third shift would load trucks by order of start time, giving the warehouse workers more time to load the last group
It was a simple solution that would save 15 minutes per driver in the morning. A total of 12.5 hours per day, 62.5 hours per week, and 3,250 hours per year. At an average of $17 per hour, it was an annual saving of $55,250. My client was ecstatic. So simple, and yet, he did not think of it. I also told him the savings were even more significant because the return time at the warehouse would also be staggered, and there would be no bottleneck at the door.
That was my first recommendation to advise this client, and a lot more followed. The client had five warehouses in Southern California, and we were able to replicate the process in all of them. The annual cost saving was about $200,000 per year.
I tell you this story to tell you it was not about a warehouse and delivery trucks. When you look deeper, you’ll see that this client’s story was successful because he sought advice from an outside advisor, acted on it, and followed through.
At MSSBTA, we can help you experience similar success because our expert advisors are specialists in specific disciplines across multiple industries. We have a wealth of knowledge and can provide a fresh perspective on your business. As advisors we provide actionable insights to improve your organization’s efficiency, saving you time and money.