"The results show in improved logistics and work process efficiencies, namely in the environmental shed, pole disposal process, and staging areas," said Deborah Anderson, Manager of Materials and Logistics. "When I first arrived, over 800 scrap poles were filling the bunks to capacity, taking up space, and posing a safety risk. Pole cleanup was first on the priority list. The team chain-sawed 370 tons of scrap poles into 10 foot transportable pieces last year, and sent them off to the landfill."
A similar issue presented itself in the issue and return of materials. No designated staging area or clear process in almost an acre of space led to confusion in material pick-up and returns. A dedicated staging area now helps eliminate the material scavenger hunt crews were experiencing. A colour-coded tagging system supports materials clarity and each of the five crews now has a colour associated with their group.
The color coded tags are used to identify and track materials, from pick up to drop off, including items returned to the environmental shed such as contaminated soil. The labels are waterproof and replace the former system of tie on tags that frequently fell off or blew off on the way back to the depot. After only a month in use, the system is proving to be effective enough to migrate into the store room for material pick-up requests.
The Materials Management team has a long list of initiatives to tackle in 2014. First on deck is to document and publish a process map; a critical first step to reduce cost and increase efficiency through improved competency and enhanced safety.
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