When Will the Black Friday Madness End?

I remember when part of my family’s Thanksgiving tradition was finishing our delicious meal together, cleaning off the table, then busting out the Black Friday ads. We would all pass these ads around the table, circling and initialing the items that caught our eye – either as a potential present for us or for someone else.…

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From Cars to Hospitals: Lean Processes in Healthcare

During one of my first consulting engagements, my client had a penchant for veering off topic.  So naturally when she brought up her black belt in Lean Six Sigma, I assumed she was about to share her interests in martial arts.   During my time in the hospital as a medical student and surgical resident, I had never heard of Lean processes, let alone Lean Six Sigma. …

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Pharma Industry Transformation: Welcome aboard

The pharmaceutical industry is undergoing significant change. A decline in blockbuster drugs, eroding profit margins and changing customer preferences and demands present challenges, but also opportunities for pharma companies. Transformation will occur from R&D to Consumers. It’s no secret that the pharma sector is behind when it comes to operating efficiently, especially in the...

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Simulating Retail – Enter the Customer

This past May at the IIE National Conference, we presented a case study about the challenges and benefits of simulating retail store operations. Simulation is a tool that utilizes a computerized model of a real world system or process that is run over time periods reflective of reality. It is a great tool for a company to test changes to its operations in a virtual environment, without...

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Is your outbound dock setup a bottleneck for your entire distribution operation?

Although there are many variables that influence the overall throughput of a distribution operation, one that seems to get overlooked often is the setup of the outbound dock.  Whether it’s a staffing imbalance or as simple as the method order selectors use (or don’t use) to stage their pallets, the outbound dock can have a negative effect on your overall operation if not managed...

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Ergonomics – Does it improve safety or efficiency, or both?

Ergonomics can be applied to any situation in which humans interact with equipment, processes, information, etc. Many industries can benefit from ergonomic improvements. A classic example of an ergonomic improvement is the use of handrails on truck exit doors in the delivery and field service industries. This placing of hand rails near the exit door of trucks helps to alleviate the...

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Internal Surveys: A Fast, Free BI Tool and 5 Simple Keys to Using Them Effectively

As evidenced by the proliferation of business intelligence tools and vendors, the pursuit of metrics and data is essentially ubiquitous to businesses of every size and industry.  Gartner predicts business intelligence software revenue will reach $13.8 Billion in 2013, climbing to over $17 Billion in 2016 (Source: CMS article citing Gartner).  Given the macro-level uncertainty...

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Is your warehouse productivity flatlining?

Manufacturers and distributors face increasing pressures to maximize efficiency in their warehouses. But how they do so varies greatly. Finding the right balance of processes, technology, labor productivity, equipment and training is an art form. Warehouse managers must integrate these components into a comprehensive strategy, something that is easier said than done.…

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Email: marketing@westmonroepartners.com
222 W. Adams
Chicago, IL 60606
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