Our picking and packing error rate was ballooning at an alarming rate over a 1-2 year period. This was a significant cost impost on our business as well as a significant customer service eroder. We had tried a number of initiatives to reverse the trend, to no avail. We saw the very structured, transparent and disciplined approach of The Next Level as necessary in our situation.
The Next Level Business Solution:
The Next Level mapped the picking , packing and despatching processes at the largest of our three distribution centres (DCs), identifying the root causes of the errors leading to not shipped and short shipped credit claims from a customer perspective. They then conducted a “compare and contrast” by visiting the other DCs to conduct the diagnostic exercise, in a way that allowed us to compare the DCs processes and practices. From here we engaged the management of all DCs to set the change agenda moving forward. Significantly, The Next Level outlined additional functionality to a parallel IT system solution we were implementing at the time, and this gives additional promise of further improvement in performance.
The Results So Far:
A year on, the level of customer “noise” and escalating problems has drastically reduced. Importantly, we have halved our financial burden in a 12 month period. This is an outstanding result. Whilst the role of The Next Level has not been the sole contributing factor to this turnaround, it has clearly been a critical one, and provides a return on our consulting fee at least ten times over.
The Next Level is now assisting our management to implement the measures that will reinforce the productivity and accuracy improvements, and pinpoint where lingering issues continue. We can shift our customer service performance improvement to the “front end” now, and The Next Level is assisting us to review the fundamentals of value provision between our salesforce and customers.