humorous tone but making a high impact reflection, a manufacturer expressed
his logistical frustration with this question at a recent enlightening
presentation he gave.
we do not have the right system to assure the correct flow of materials and
this gets still worse when inventories are overwhelming. Countless times I
have seen spoiled aged materials be dumped without ever being utilized and
that hurts the economy of the person, the Company, and America.
mandatory these days – and strictly observed in the Lean Manufacturing
disciplines – to assure the correct and thorough utilization of all our
resources. Materials are sometimes turned into major losses by not being
is for just That!
creativity is critical here. The goal in this particular case is to make
sure that we use first the materials that we received first. FIFO is as most
of the Lean Manufacturing thoughts, pure common sense, but as usual easier
said than done. We actually have a large number of great examples of FIFO
everywhere, but not always are we set to “Observation Mode” so we
overlook many clever ideas. One place that has always been fascinating and
was appreciated by the Japanese (when they discovered the “Pull-System”)
is the supermarket. The supply or replenishment of new products is always
put in the back of the shelf, so the First In is easy to reach by the
customer and goes First Out.
out! The FISH kills the FIFO!
there are some other items that seem to not be FIFO friendly, so we need to
become more creative to assure that we do not get the bad news that First In
is Still Here [FISH]!
was a kid I made a few coins by helping a local grocery store in peak hours.
Don Joaquín the owner was one of the kindest employers I have met in my
long 50+ year career. His systems, though were terrible. At the time,
customers would come to the counter and ask the people inside the store for
the products they wanted. The granulated sugar in that store was put in a
drum sitting on the floor next to the counter and the scale we used to weigh
the customers’ orders. At some point, reaching the sugar would get more
difficult as the level in the drum would drop. Easy, one of the stronger
guys would simply bring a new sac and fill the drum up again and again…
Same logistics was applied to beans and other grains. Do you get the idea?
Of course, the bottom of the drums was in the case of the sugar, like a
rock! And in the grains some moldy stuff would take care of the long time
abandoned grains. Now, compare that concept to the coffee grains dispensers
in any supermarket today. The supply is poured on the top, but the customer
gets the grains from the bottom. That is FIFO! Same thing you can observe in
the dairy section, where you pull the products from the front and someone
from inside the refrigeration chamber will replenish from behind.
always help design and implement an efficient FIFO system for any materials
you may have in your facility, Just give us a call! or Send
us an Email. In some cases we may be able to help you even without
having to go to your place in person.