Heisman Incorporated

The situation: You work for Heisman
Incorporated, a local trophy manufacturer. You used to work in the
shipping department as a supervisor and six months ago were
promoted to the Warehouse Manager for the company’s warehouse.
Working for you are a shipping supervisor (which is vacant due to
your promotion), a receiving supervisor, and an inventory manager.
In addition to the supervisors, shipping has four hourly employees,
receiving has four, and inventory has two.

As any good manager, you have spent the last six months of your
new job observing the operations, getting to know your employees
and seeing where there are opportunities for improvement.
You’d like to implement some changes immediately, some in
the next few months, and put the rest on hold until later in the
year. You are evaluating your options.

Heisman Inc is a small family run business and many folks have
worked there for many years, if not their entire career. Everyone
knows the owner, Archie Griffin (of course) by his first name, and
love him as much as they love a family member. You understand this
and share their sentiments.

However, not much has changed in the last 20 years at Heisman.
And you’ve decided you don’t want to make too many changes too
soon. You personally have witnessed the frustration and angst that
change and modernization have created. A new Transportation
Management System (TMS) was successfully implemented last year, but
it wasn’t without some problems. As one of the primary people on
the project, you realized more communication to the employees and a
more methodical process would have helped. At the same time as the
TMS implementation, everyone got new computers. Normally this is a
good thing, but the two big projects at the same time frustrated
many of the more senior employees.

The warehouse is 30 years old and not many improvements have
been made over the years. Space is at a premium and the building is
really full. Items are often on the receiving dock for days, and
sometimes stored in aisles. Some materials have been stored on
trailers outside for over a year. Your boss, Troy Smith, the
Operations Manager, has said he’d really like to get rid of the
outside storage trailers.

You study the list you made of all the possible changes you can
make. They all need done, within the next year. You’ve cleared them
all with your boss, the Chief Operations Officer (COO), Mr. Eddie
George and have the approval of management.

You’ve also validated the budget requirements with the Chief
Financial Officer (CFO), Mr. Desmond Howard. (You don’t always like
Mr. Howard but respect his expertise and accomplishments and trust
his input and his budgets!) And the IT projects have been approved
by the Chief Information Officer (CEO), Bo Jackson (who is
interestingly also the CIO at another company).

The problem is…what to do now, what comes soon, and what
should wait?
Your list of changes (not in any particular
order) is as follows:

  • Hire a shipping supervisor
  • Install large ceiling fans throughout the warehouse to increase
    airflow (there is no A/C).
  • Replace two very old forklifts with newer models. No new
    training would be required.
  • Implement cross-training so all associates can work in any
  • Implement a warehouse-wide barcoding system. Includes hand-held
    scanners for all employees and requires one week of training and
    installation. Works with the existing Warehouse Management System
  • Install a new WMS. This would greatly increase efficiency in
    the warehouse and will eliminate two jobs. This
    WMS includes the barcoding system above. This installation will
    take six months in total and will require two weeks of training
    during month three and two more at the end of the six months.
  • Install new high-capacity, narrow-aisle warehouse racking.
    Installing these racks would require two of a different type of
    forklift (replacing the two existing) and require one week of
    training. The racking will take 2 months to install and will be
    very disruptive.
  • Install new on-demand, high-efficiency WH lighting. This would
    reduce the WH electric bill by 25% and greatly increase
  • Implement a safety program and conduct training. No safety
    training has even been done and a formal program doesn’t
  • Implement a quarterly “Warehouse Beautification” event. The WH
    has lots of cobwebs and miscellaneous odd and ends in the

The Assignment: Read “Lean Warehousing” Then,
in a paper format (not a list) analyze each improvement option.
Discuss which ones you think should be done immediately, which ones
should be done in the next six months, and which by the end of the
year. Explain your implementation plan and give your
reasons for your decisions.
Include the pros and cons used
in making your decisions. If any of the items are related to
another, discuss their connectivity.

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