Case Study: Logistics Sector

Exec Summary

Case Study: Logistics Sector, ACN - Australian Consultant Network
800 Employees
Case Study: Logistics Sector, ACN - Australian Consultant Network

Logistics Sector

Case Study: Logistics Sector, ACN - Australian Consultant Network

Delivery times dropped from 13 weeks to 6 weeks

Case Study: Logistics Sector, ACN - Australian Consultant Network
Holding costs dropped by $50M per year and Staff turnover reduced from 40% to 4%

The Issue

Our client required to cut their order to delivery lead-time in half. The lead time would need to reduce from 13 weeks to 6 weeks to maintain a competitive edge. Competitors were able provide a product solution anywhere in the world in around six weeks. Our client was losing customers.
The client moved from six warehouses to hundreds of local storage sites to have inventory closer to customers and managing decentralised logistics was more challenging and needed to go right first time. This included the installation of a version of SAP that has decentralised storage at its core. This would impact 400 Customer Business Analysts (CBA’s). Their well-established method would change from a spreadsheet to an SAP system.
CBA’s had to master a completely the new technology that caused them to interact in a new way with customers. The SAP solution also didn’t work smoothly and there was widespread resistance from both customers and the CBA’s to adopt the new system. Critically, staff turnover had hit 40% per year. Interestingly, some people adopted SAP quickly. A few even started to show significant improvements in inventory costs. Their customer response times also improved.
The client needed to understand why and how some of the CBA’s were performing so well with the new system and create a way of training and developing the capability of CBA’s to this new level.

What ACN did…

Our work was to understand how the best performers were able to operate the new system and achieve outstanding results. These high performers managed to maximise on the cost savings of a decentralised inventory and reduce delivery lead times. After our initial diagnostic we were able to identify the critical attitudes, skills and ways of working that facilitated great results. We then started to build best practices for optimising SAP and the new workflow.
We questioned experts in different locations. And together they provided the intelligence to pick out the wisdom from the key performers. We asked the questions and organised their work into a coherent learning roadmap. In partnership with the Project Manager, we facilitated an alignment workshop. Together we were able to create an “authorised version of best practice”. This became accepted by the CBA’s as their handbook for SAP. All CBA’s now had the ‘expert knowledge’ enabling them to use the SAP system process and be successful.
The Project team aligned on a key role for CBA managers. Running learning cohorts as Observer/Coaches, managers transformed their relationships with their teams. This also added credibility to the importance of learning and to the content. Our role was to support the CBA managers become great learning group leaders.

The Outcome

Learners completed one practical Learning Action each week. Learning elements included practicing building a better forecasting relationship with a customer. To complete the roadmap took around 30 minutes per week for about 4 months. CBA’s learned how to be great at using SAP and to better meet customer expectations.

The CBAs and their learning group leaders met to discuss what they learned from the Learning Actions every-other week. This was an essential practice and together they learned how they could better manage the inventory.

Holding costs dropped by $50M per year,
CBA staff turnover reduced from 40% to 4% and delivery times dropped from 13 weeks to 6 weeks.

Client Quotes :

“Changed the entire atmosphere of the group.”

“People felt great about the empowerment provided through the program”

“Most importantly they [CBA’s] came to see SAP as an enabler rather than a burden”

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