Case Study 3: Pack up your troubles

A packing and despatch warehouse which stocks Marine charts, books and marine navigational products and information.

The dispatch department deals with a daily average of 150+ separate customer orders each day.

Each order has a picking list of customer requirements with a demand for a variety of different types of navigational charts, books and maritime products.

The daily routine of order picking would normally require the warehouse staff to work additional hours each day to fulfil the orders.


Staff in the project area were initially trained in some of basic concepts of Lean (5S, 7 wastes, Process Analysis, Kanban) and then tasked with an improvement project in their own workplace.

After carrying out a detailed analysis of the order picking process, the team were able to identify opportunities for improvement by eliminating wasteful activities and bring the value adding elements of the process closer together.

This created the blueprint for a new layout plan for the majority of stock items located in the warehouse. In addition to the new layout, improvements were made to the order processing by using bar-coding and a different packing method and materials.

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Implementing the new layout has resulted in the new order picking process having only half the original walking distance needed to complete a customer order.

With an average of 150 customer orders per day, this has made a significant difference to the time spent walking around the warehouse picking charts, books etc for each individual order.

The items for picking now only occupy half the warehouse space.

Product replenishment is from a bulk stock storage using a simple Kanban system.

An alternative packing method has eliminated the need for polystyrene packing media, improved the workplace environment and created extra space.

Customer Profile


Main focus of activity
Process Analysis & 5S

52% improvement to order processing
50% improvement in space utilisation
Kanban replenishment of stock








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