Initial Involvement: A large, multinational pharmaceutical company realized its inventory deployment process, including the inventory location itself, was creating high indirect material costs because of lost productivity. Work orders were completed via a kitting process with technicians selecting products from bins throughout the facility. However, because products were stored in multiple locations, technicians were, at times, required to travel 40 to 45 minutes to secure the necessary items.
Added Value: Working with the client’s Six Sigma champion, Synovos recommended a “Super RoboCrib” carousel vending unit with locker capabilities. The unit is typically stocked weekly with enough inventory to cover up to two weeks. It has tremendous capabilities, including several required by the Food and Drug Administration such as lot control.
“These are well-built and reliable machines,” said Tim Ames, manager, Storeroom Technology, Synovos. “As long as you spend a few hours each month maintaining them, they won’t cause any problems. They are always there, waiting to be used.”
With this new process in place, technicians no longer need to walk across the campus to get parts; the kits are completed and issued using the locker capabilities of the Super RoboCrib.
Results Realized: Technician trip time was reduced to six minutes from 40 to 45 minutes, saving more than 300 miles in foot traffic and seven hours each week. This particular site is saving more than $90,000 annually, not including the increase in man-hours available for wrench time. The savings delivered 100 percent ROI on the project in less than 12 months.
A second site reaped savings of approximately $150,000.