One Person Load Team Process Improvement


A global leader in the office furniture industry relies on Kenco to manage three of its regional distribution centers in the United States.  Kenco’s goal is to ship office furniture to customers on time, with the highest level of quality, and to exceed all key performance indicator (KPI) targets.


The regional distribution center was challenged with the goal to increase the units per man hour (UPMH).


To meet this high performance goal, Kenco changed the loading process from a two-person load team to a one-person load team.  This process change was initiated after careful consideration of all safety and environmental factors.  This improvement is identified as a “methods” improvement as one of the 6 M’s of DMAIC, a Six Sigma problem-solving model:  Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control.


In the 13 weeks following the implementation of the one-person load teams, the regional distribution center went from 28.1 to 33.9 UPMH, an increase of 20.6%. Since implementation, there have been weeks as high as 38.5%.  Results of 38 to 40 UPMH can be sustained if volume remains consistent.