We were asked to consider ways in which the production systems could be changed at one of Gillette’s European manufacturing plants to improve the plant logistics and reduce inventory. Following an intensive programme of work and detailed analysis, proposals were put forward to show the benefits of moving to a product flow based production control with the introduction of a kanban system. We then moved on to look at ways in which automation could be introduced into the plant covering storage, retrieval systems and automatically guided vehicles. We were able to demonstrate the potential for significant benefits from the combination of improved control and handling.
European warehousing and distribution
As an important element of a project to develop Gillette’s European supply chain, we carried out the work to determine European distribution requirements. This included a study of warehouse location, taking into account volume flow from Gillette’s European factories and delivery patterns to European distribution centres and customers. A warehouse location cost model was developed which took account of regional land prices, rents and labour rates, as well as the transport costs. Options for most suitable warehouse locations were presented, together with outline specifications for the size and performance of the warehouse facilities.
Following this we specified the warehouse design and fit out requirements, and produced the Invitations to Tender for VNA racking, trucks and other equipment, as well as the contract for management of the facility. After contracts had been placed we provided a project manager to supervise the fit out and start up of operations.