Engineered Labor Standards
We believe that computer-generated Engineered Labor Standards (ELS), developed through the application of universally accepted industrial engineering work-measurement techniques, represent the most accurate, reasonable and systematic approach to output expectancy.
Moreover, in the distribution business, where the relationship between management and warehouse operators is constantly challenged, the standards represent one of the most effective solutions, particularly in a tough Union environment. They provide a means to replace subjective decisions with objective ones, based on a proven system that is well accepted by both parties.
In order to measure productivity, one must be able to measure performance.
However, performance is only as meaningful as the standard to which it is compared. ELS are the form of measurement that will provide a company with the most satisfactory results, as well as great staff’s acceptance.
Applied Logistics’ ELS are recognized around the world as the “state-of-the-art.” Why?
There are several reasons why our standards are more accurate and more closely reflect the actual working conditions at any given facility .
The most important reason that sets us apart from our competitors is that our standards are individually tailored to reflect the unique conditions and to account for all the variables that exist at the facility where the data is collected.
In recognition of the fact that no two warehouses or order assignments are exactly the same, we do not use either pre-determined time standard data or averages, as there are no fast food answers to gourmet questions.
Our extremely detailed documentation provides management with all the tools necessary to settle disputes with trade unions.
It also eliminates the need to negotiate ELS and makes our standards virtually arbitration-proof.
Our Standards Manuals are in total compliance with the requirements of ISO 9000 and can be used as formal training tools for employees and supervisors.
The time study phase is extremely important, not only for the greater accuracy of the time values obtained and the close scrutiny of the methods being used, but especially because it allows us to constantly interface with the operators on the warehouse floor, one-on-one.
More than thirty years of taking time studies in distribution centers around the world have convinced us that stopwatches, hand-held devices or video-recording are not intimidating factors. Employees’ lack of knowledge is. By answering employees’ questions and eliminating their fears, we bring about better program acceptance and create a more productive work environment.
As a result of this approach and our commitment to accuracy and fairness, our ELS are by far the most welcome among employees and Trade Unions anywhere.
Our continuous time studies, as opposed to snap-back ones (also referred to as “repetitive” time studies), allow us to record the avoidable and unavoidable delays while they occur and to calculate their percentage – which represents a major portion of the delay allowances factored into the standard time – in a more statistically valid and accurate manner.
In order to accurately calculate travel and pick time, the warehouse is electronically mapped, so that the position of each pick and reserve slot, order desk, computer terminal, dock door, staging location, and other meaningful locations is exactly identified by x, y, z coordinates.
In addition, the computer program contains precise information in regard to each line item available for selection (item file), such as unit weight, cube, pallet ti-hi, inner-pack conversion factor, trigger point for replenishment, slot type/configuration, co-mingle factor, and so on. A six-digit slot numbering system (nine-digit, if necessary) uniquely identifies each slot of the distribution center by aisle, bay, and pallet position, including its elevation (AA-BB-SL). This solution enables the computer to calculate the correct travel time between two points of the warehouse using the shortest distance and the time necessary to raise and lower forks to/from a given pick/reserve slot level.
To summarize, the computer program stores all the elemental data related to all warehouse activities. It computes travel and pick time based on the precise knowledge of where the product to be selected is located and its weight and cube.
One of the best aspects of this approach is that it involves almost no maintenance.
This computation will automatically change when a particular line item has been discontinued or moved to another location.
If management decides to introduce any significant change to the current methods and/or equipment after the implementation of the ELS, there is no need to restudy the entire operation. Instead, only the work elements affected by that change need to be restudied to reflect the new working conditions.
Some of the key-features and benefits associated with our ELS are:
• Fair, reasonable and attainable
• Accurate and statistically validated
• Based on optimum and safe working methods
• Easy to maintain
• Greatly reduce labor costs
• Improve assets and resources utilization
• Require no capital expenditure
• Provide payback in months, NOT years
• Accept incentive programs
• Promotes higher employees’ accountability
• Apply to all warehousing and distribution functions