Model store status in the 20 Keys system for operational excellence
In order to consistently supply customers with quality products on time, with the quantities they require, a smooth, fast production flow is required, where supply is synchronised with market demand. In the 20 Keys System for Operational Excellence a number of Keys focus on achieving such a production flow. One concept which power is often overlooked is that of creating “model stores”.
A store is any location where parts, consumables and materials (those things which are used in support of the production process) are stored. The function of stores is to help ensure a smooth flow, by buffering for variation in the production system, from the beginning of the process until the final product is delivered to customers. On the one hand the system should not have too many stores (and stock in such stores), as it ties up working capital. On the other hand, the system should not have too few stores (and stock in such stores), as the production process might then be starved, especially when variation is introduced into the system. The latter will impact negatively on the ability to deliver required product quantities on time to customers. The first step is therefore to draw up a coupling strategy (Key 8 – Coupled Production, focuses on this) where the different coupling points required will be specified. A store is one form of coupling point.
Basic requirements for a model store are:
- Key 1 (focusing on safe, clean and efficiently organised workplaces) needs to be at a certain level, as measured by the Key 1 check-sheet.
- The store must be indicated visually, with a responsible person allocated to it.
- There should be no unnecessary or defective items in the store.
- Items must be organised in a way that it is quickly and safely retrievable.
- Reorder levels to manage inventory levels should be clearly indicated.
- All items in the store should be controlled in terms of quantities, with regular stock-taking.
These requirements are audited and if all are fully in place, the store is certified as a “Model Store” and a certificate is awarded which can be displayed in the store.
A model store is not a place that just looks good, is clean and with labeling of items. The objectives are also about operational excellence:
- Supporting a smooth production flow
- Safe working
- Saving cost
- Efficient service by the store
- Financial control of assets.
Another important benefit is that the implementation of model stores energises the workplace, as once one model store status has been achieved, other teams responsible for other stores/coupling points will compete to achieve the same.
County Fair Farm Services have been implementing 20 Keys for a while and recently the Stores Team (in picture) took up the challenge to implement model store concepts in the store – supplying parts and consumables to farms.
To read more about ODI’s Operations Management and Improvement Coaching, click here.
Author: Johan Benadie Director at ODI
ODI provides holistic solutions that promote people development and operational excellence, through training, coaching and consulting, supported by a range of excellent products.