Roberto Boero, Operational Director NLMK Clabecq
NLMK produces heavy steel plates of varying quality and dimensions (3 to 24 meters). After production, the plates are stacked above each other at on-site warehouses. Once a truck arrives at the warehouse, the ordered plates need to be located, freed from the plates stored above and charged into the truck. This process is therefore time consuming, representing a costly bottleneck. Locating, tracking and loading plates is complex as the plates are moving permanently from storage unit to others. The former system was not ensuring the reliability of the inventory, limiting the output capacity and creating non optimal workload.
NLMK management and our consultants partnered to develop and implement a specific track & trace solution allowing to locate and track the plates while assigning efficient storage location. The challenges? Managing the change in an extremely prudent industry as steel, building a strong consensus amongst the stakeholders, proof testing the solution on the floor level and deliver a functional and 100% trustworthy inventory management system.
The implication of all the stakeholders in the design of the solution allowed to implement a fully functional system on one production line warehouse within 3 months unlocking a 99% inventory reliability. After roll-out on the whole plant, the output capacity of the factory grew by 20%, lowering the average output time by 35%. The proximity and presence of our consultant allowed a smooth transition and acceptance of the solution ensuring the use of the track and trace at its full potential. As stated by field operators: “Our work is incredibly facilitated: we don’t waste time anymore on locating the plates”. This positive feeling towards the system and tracking guns is strengthened by the fact the operators participated in the definition process, therefore ensuring a high practical usability.
- 20% output capacity increase
- 99% Inventory reliability
- Average time to retrieve an order reduced from 13 minutes to 1
- Average output time reduced by 35%
- 98% decrease of delays caused by lost orders
- Design of the solution jointly with all the stakeholders
- Practical usability and factual added value of the solution
- Change management expertise and tools to trigger and accompany concrete behavioral change
- Logistic experience and methodologies
- Ability to demonstrate benefits and adapt to any obstacle