All along our supply chain, anything we can do to reduce travel miles, frequency of shipments and consumption of energy and materials also leads to cost savings and environmental benefits.
The changes we’ve made so far have been relatively easy to identify and implement – which means we’ve harvested much of the low-hanging fruit, such as shipping from ports that are close to our suppliers and establishing distribution centers closer to our end customers. Going forward, we’re aiming for the next level of logistics – what we call the “middle-hanging fruit.”
It’s a real challenge to go beyond the first wave of efficiencies and savings. It requires greater effort, richer insights and more creativity. And it takes a real commitment to help your team break out of established patterns and do things differently.
At Hasbro, our approach to meeting that challenge begins with one simple question: “What else can we do better?”
As we’ve tried to answer that question for ourselves, we’ve settled on three areas of focus that we believe can translate well to any business, regardless of scale. These are all practical ways to identify the next crop of improvements, develop the business cases to support them and implement the measures that make the most sense for your business.
1. Pursue continuous improvement: Every day, we work on improving our operations and logistics to increase efficiency and reduce costs. So, by the time we’ve implemented a change to our supply chain that reduces emissions and helps the bottom line, we’re already on our way to the next generation of improvements.
Perhaps you’ve already worked with your logistics provider to improve the efficiency of your shipments. You may have increased load size or begun using lower-cost and lower-intensity intermodal transportation. But if you’ve made changes like these, don’t stop there. Continue your efforts and focus on the middle-hanging fruit, such as redesigned packaging that maximizes the use of freight space.
Next page: Letting employees drive change