The most frequent request we get from potential clients is to “proactively deliver innovative solutions.” Kenco’s mission is to provide common sense solutions that drive uncommon value for our customers. Common sense may sound contrary to innovation; however, our common sense mindset has led us to take a tertiary look at a process-driven approach to innovation.
Innovation begins with a culture that recognizes continuous improvement is not a luxury but a necessity. Culture is the foundational element required to foster operational excellence and sustainable high performance. An organization’s culture defines the context in which its people operate. If continuous improvement is only a concept discussed by leadership, it will never survive or flourish. Good leaders bring a restless attitude towards the status quo and are always striving to get better. They must consistently serve as role models, so the entire organization will adopt a culture of continuous improvement.
Next, you drive incremental improvement through the use of the Lean framework and tools. By engaging and empowering employees (within the right culture) they will drive steady improvements week in and week out utilizing the Lean tool set: Kaizen, Gemba, Takt Boards, A3 Thinking, Water Spider Technique, Walk Pattern Sheets and other Lean practices. A proper Lean program provides the customer a warehouse of empowered associates that drive waste out of the operation every day resulting in lower costs.
Finally, there is the opportunity for true step change improvements which begin with an outside assessment. Over time it becomes hard for onsite teams to truly think outside the box and identify opportunities. Their intimate knowledge of the business can be a competitive disadvantage when it comes to driving innovation. Often times the best innovations come by cross pollinating creative ideas from one vertical to a unique application in a different vertical. A fresh pair of eyes is critical for a comprehensive assessment. Identifying areas for improvement in layout, network design, inventory optimization or transportation strategies can ultimately lead to a truly enhanced supply chain. Although the step change initiatives can be daunting to implement, they can also be the most critical and beneficial when it comes to your supply chain innovations.
To be successful as a 3PL we have to look beyond our clients’ everyday cycle by adding value through true step change initiatives. If a 3PL is unable to actively articulate value to their customers’ customers, they will undoubtedly be left behind by those who can.