Making Dock Door Processes More Efficient
Overview and Challenge
Kenco Innovation Labs partnered with Kenco Engineering to create a more efficient way to display useful and timely data to associates working inbound and outbound loads. The two Kenco teams and the customer realized there was a need to reduce detention fees, lower dock door turnaround times, and boost employee engagement.
The “Rocket Turn” project culminated in a pilot project at a Kenco-managed warehouse in Texas. Kenco mounted a large flat screen TV beside ten individual dock doors at one end of the building; each screen display showed data relevant to that specific door at any given time.
On the day of “go-live,” associates were instantly riveted by the information displaying at their dock doors. The associate's names, task assignments, remaining time, as well as customer and trailer information, was visible for all to see. Background screen colors of green, yellow, and red showed if they were on task, or falling behind.
This information sparked many conversations; the digital signage vividly showed management if data had been entered incorrectly, if metrics were correct, if EIP expectations were reasonable, and if associates needed to be shifted around to support other team members.
Gamification was implemented; at the completion of each task, the assigned associate’s performance is shown on a large display screen. At the end of three months trial, metrics indicated a 5% improvement in efficiency at doors equipped with the new system. Also, a similar system installed at a couple of other Kenco warehouses showed a 10-15% decrease in dock door turnaround time.
Extrapolating from known performance and operational metrics, Kenco engineers calculated that an ROI could be achieved in a very reasonable amount of time; these numbers are driving plans forward to do a full-scale rollout at further Kenco warehouse very soon.