Original Date: 02/09/1998
Revision Date: 04/22/2003
Information : Shipping Using a Pull System
In August 1997, UE implemented a pull system for shipping its finished products. The prior practice consisted of placing finished products on a conveyer, or on carts when the conveyer was full. Orders were mixed on the conveyer and the carts. A shipping clerk then entered the finished products into shipping via a computer transaction. Next, the products were reviewed for shipping status, and had their shipping papers generated. Those products with later shipping dates were held and subjected to review each day. Any product with delinquent payments (hold credits) was also held until payment was received from the customer. For those customers who only accepted full deliveries, UE employees would hold the partial shipments until the remainder of the order was completed. In the shipping area, the overpackers chose whatever they wanted to pack rather than what needed to be packed first. At the end of the day, employees faced a rush to pack expedited orders. Typically, the same customer could receive as many as 15 shipments in a single day.
UE’s previous shipping process was completely revamped over a weekend. The conveyer was removed, and distributor carts were set up and located for consolidation of daily shipments. International, no partial shipment, later date, and hold credit carts were also set up and located. UE now creates shipping papers only when the order is about to be shipped, eliminating all manual corrections on the paperwork pertaining to address or priority changes. In addition, UE uses a Heijunka box to schedule and control the flow of work.
Since implementing its new shipping system, UE decreased the number of short shipments and incorrect part shipments, as well as eliminated many problems associated with the previous method. Orders are now consolidated for shipment which creates fewer transactions. Shipping supervisors can determine the status of the shipment by looking at the Heijunka box, and assign additional help as needed. Folders, outfitted on distribution carts, hold the paperwork and indicate the daily completion status of a customer’s order by which folder is used. In addition, UE reduced the number of domestic shippers from four to two, even though the volume of shipments has increased.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.