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An Empowered Supply Chain

SC LRP Forum Presentation 2014
by

Colette Brown

on 13 October 2014

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Transcript of An Empowered Supply Chain

An Empowered Supply Chain
Staples Supply Chain Leadership Rotational Program Forum
1. What is empowerment?
2. My FC experience
Associate recognition
Associate education
em·pow·er·ment
noun
/ɪmˈpaʊəmənt/

1
: a management practice of
sharing information,


rewards
, and
power
with associates so that they can
take
initiative
and make
decisions
to
solve problems

and
improve service
and
performance
.
ASSOCIATE RECOGNITION
Associate Recognition Committee:
Charged with creating a supportive and fun community within the fulfillment center through various initiatives
Welcome board
Informational boards
Monthly charity events
Empowering associates:
SAY IT
LIKE IT IS
Recognition for everyone and the energy of each individual
Hourly production updates
KEEP IT SIMPLE
iMatter is one, clear outlet to communicate many messages:
Building goals
Department goals
Individual productivity metrics
As well as other general communications
A free exchange of information & ideas can lead to an increased risk of confidential and/or secure information being leaked.
Empowering experienced associates with operational knowledge can create a sense of entitlement among the most tenured associates.
Colette Brown
October 14, 2014
ASSOCIATE EDUCATION
Wave Restocking & Replenishment Green Belt:
Providing the resources and information needed to make the right decision
Shrink wrap bins
Clear signage
Individual productivity goals and tracking
3. Empowerment in the FC
Empowered associates
Empowered leads
Empowered supervisors
4. Benefits & risks of
empowerment
The Power of:
2
: the idea that giving associates
skills
,
resources
,
authority
,
opportunity
and
motivation
, and holding
them
responsible
and
accountable
for outcomes of
their actions, will contribute to their
competence
and

satisfaction
.
AGENDA
INTRODUCTION
5. Empowering Staples values
6. Recommendations on how to
empower
7. Closing remarks
CONCLUSIONS
MY FC EXPERIENCE: LONDON, OH
Understands and manages carton and pick volume
Example: Julie sees the cartons coming in and out of her mod and moves through out this broader territory
Prepares following mods for incoming carton volume
Proactive communication with all other Breakpack and Finalization leads
Understands staffing needs in both their own area and other areas of the building
Example: Julie does not just ask to move pickers to her mod
Alerts the next lead and the finalization lead to maintain carton flow and prevent gridlock
EMPOWERMENT IN THE FC
Kaleigh Hodges & Cindy McCombs
Empowering lead:
Julie Lewis
Empowering supervisor:
Rick Young
Interested and enthusiastic about cross-training
Example: Kaleigh is a breakpack picker trained in wave restocking
Frequently assesses restocking need based on empty locations, full stocker locations and "no product" cartons
"Role - jumping"
Self - prioritization
Knowledge of the business, volume trends, etc.
Example: Cindy uses her knowledge to identify on-the-fly changes in staffing needs
Communicates with her supervisor to better align staffing to volume

“The person who sweeps the floor should choose the broom.”
– Howard Behar,
former president of Starbucks
Thank you!
Questions?

RECOMMENDATIONS
BENEFITS
LIVING STAPLES VALUES
INDIVIDUAL
PRODUCTIVITY
IMPROVEMENT
INCREASED FOCUS ON
QUALITY
MORE
TRAINING
CAPABILITIES
iMatter Program
Individual LPH and BPH published at startup areas
iMatter reports reviewed bi-weekly with each associate
Encourages improvement regardless of where they are compared to the department goal
Particularly helpful in large departments
Example: London Breakpack (145 associates)
Pick-to-voice hinders on-the-fly communication
Associates spread across 5 mods and 3 levels
iMatter Sample Text
Understanding that their actions directly impact the customer experience
Attune to details
Example: Breakpack
Quantities of sub-sellable SKUs
Damaged product
Mixed product
Neat packing of carton

& RISKS
Continuous training through experience
Cross-training
Shadowing
Back-up lead positions
“Each one; Teach one”
Understanding what you need to do and not just remembering what you were originally trained to do

There's a fine line between managers empowering their direct reports to make decisions and direct reports having the authority to do whatever they want.
MISUSE OF AUTHORITY
SENSE OF
ENTITLEMENT
SECURITY RISK
OWN IT
Intrinsic motivation
Drive for autonomy, mastery and purpose
Example: Breakpack associates that see the full picture beyond their zone, mod, and level
Interpreting lower volume as an indication to switch zones

BE CARING
“Research has shown that a simple act of kindness ... [positively impacts] both the recipient and the person extending the kindness. Even more amazing is that persons observing the act of kindness have similar beneficial results. Imagine this! Kindness extended, received, or observed beneficially impacts the physical health and feelings of everyone involved.”

Wayne Dyer, The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-Create Your World Your Way (Carlsbad, California: Hay House, 2005).
WORK
TOGETHER
Individuals and departments are responsible for sharing their resources to facilitate the common quest for success
COMPETITIVE
ADVANTAGE
By empowering associates, Staples gains a competitive advantage that its competitors will never have access to...

The sources of energy and commitment within Staples associates.

HOW TO EMPOWER
HOW TO EMPOWER (II)
Clearly communicate expectations, objectives and responsibilities
Involve all affected stakeholders in decision making
Practice trust; it is reciprocal
“Research shows that the performance of team members is strongly correlated with the degree to which they are trusted by their supervisors. Overly close supervision erodes on both sides.”
Tap into the company’s collective intelligence and foster creativity and innovation among Staples associates.
Companies and their stakeholders are best served by “letting a thousand flowers bloom.”
Combine empowerment with accountability. There is no other type of empowerment

“Instead of asking how employees can better serve the organizations they work for, we need to ask, ‘How do we build organizations that deserve the extraordinary gifts that employees bring to work?’ To put it bluntly, the most important task for any manager today is to create a work environment that inspires exceptional contribution and that merits and outpouring of passion, imagination and initiative.”
- Gary Hamel, a pioneer within management thinking.

Enable, empower and challenge your associates to help improve
Practice reverse accountability
Ensure associates have everything they need to be able to reach their peak performance
Ensure associates are not wasting time on non-value-adding activities
Educates associates on the mission (both departmental & building-wide)
Example: Rick's team understands the mission and their role in accomplishing it
Freedom and comfort-level to try new things and innovate within given parameters
Practices servant leadership
"Good and right" philosophy
Example: Rick acts on associate ideas even when he believes he knows the "right" way to do something
Generates confidence and increases team spirit by bringing associate suggestions to realization during challenges
Full transcript