The team at Clarity Visual Management enjoy a challenge, so when DPD wanted visual management to drive the performance in their new Superhub, we put our heads together and got to work. We think our solution is as serviceable and looks as impressive as the hub itself, and we are pleased to say that DPD think so too!
If you travel anywhere on the roads of Great Britain or Europe, you can hardly be unaware of DPD! DPD has over 11,000 people operating 3675 vehicles from 56 location serving 6,500 customers … no wonder their vans are a familiar sight! DPD’s new ‘Superhub’ in Hinckley, near Leicester, is built on a 33-acre site and has the capacity to handle an incredible 72,000 parcels per hour.
Unlike many of our visual management projects, DPD’s requirements were very specific. They knew exactly what they were trying to achieve and understood the Lean principles that lay behind their requirements. Where they needed help was in finding a physical way to get the visual management where they needed it. To be effective it had to be near to the centre of each teams centre of operation and visible enough to drive results. It was also important it would not physically be an obstruction to workers, would meet their health and safety requirements, and, importantly, be robust enough to withstand the demands of an incredibly busy, 24-hour parcel depot!
The operation works on the principle of having teams which each have responsibility for a number of ‘inlets’ (incoming parcel feeds) and ‘outlets’ (outgoing parcel feeds). At the beginning of each shift, each team has a team meeting where the KPI’s, challenges, results, targets, etc are discussed and which takes place around the visual management. DPD needed a solution that would enable the visual management board to be lowered during the ‘start-of-shift’ team meeting so that it is easily updated and presented to the team by their team leader. During the rest of the shift, the visual management needed to be a visible reminder but must not be a physical obstacle or health and safety hazard to workers.
“The work Clarity has done for our site has revolutionised the way we operate our lines; staff are actually communicating with one another and we’re all using the data and hard facts shown in the KPI boards to make decisions. Clarity’s professionalism and knowledge were a huge asset and it made the implementation of this complex project totally painless. The quality of the solutions Clarity provided is unquestioned; they assessed our needs and came up with an innovative idea which is professionally executed with a modern style. My main mission when I first started out working with Clarity was to get something in that solved our communication problems, engaged staff and looked the part – I think that through working with Clarity we’ve achieved all that and more.”
Paul Mann – Hub Operations Manager, DPD
In addition, we were tasked with providing an aesthetically pleasing solution as this was a brand new, flagship site and likely to be the focus of much public attention. Specifically, colour coding was to be utilised to segregate the different teams.
After much consideration, on-site discussions, development of prototypes, etc, Clarity Visual Management came up with a unique but ideal solution which quickly spread to other DPD depots. Our solution consisted of a sturdy mobile ‘arm’ to which was attached a magnetic receptive board, which was then covered with one of our printed Clarity Magnetic Overlays. This had a further advantage that as the programme developed, the overlay could be simply peeled off and replaced without any need to disturb the mechanism.
Today, the system is working perfectly … the arm holds the vital information unmissably visible, but above the heads of the workers, until a meeting is scheduled, when it is lowered to become the central point for the team discussion.
Following a recent requirement for more boards for their Smethwick depot, it was also good to hear that, through Clarity supplying the whiteboards pre-assembled, they were able to mount the boards in a far shorter time than anticipated. Paul Mann, Hub Operations Manager, commented ‘… we were able to fit all eighteen boards in one and a half hours’.