Henry Ford is championed as one of the pioneers in developing the lean warehousing philosophy. Eiji Toyoda and Shoichiro Honda are usually mentioned in the same breath for their contribution towards making lean warehousing part of their winning strategy in creating successful auto businesses geared towards reducing wastage of time, storage space and raw materials. Institutions such as the Material Handling Institute of America are today pushing for handling of raw materials and processed goods using the latest warehousing equipment and technology. This is because lean storage is significant in progressing the global economy in a manner that ensures steady supply of goods to the growing population in addition mitigating negative environmental effects emanating from industrial practices. Companies such as Industrial Scientific Corp. have been instrumental in demonstrating environmental and economic benefits that lean warehousing philosophy can bring about.
As a company dealing in gas detection equipment and systems, an increase in production once threatened its production as its warehousing space ran out quickly. As a result, the company was faced with the possibility of missing the set deadlines and this could have culminated to loss of clients. ISC had the costly option of building a new storage facility or hiring one. However, it had the third option that involved lean management of storage space. ISC adapted high-bay storage techniques, expanded its mobile cart movements and automated its warehouse inventory data management systems. As a result, the company reduced 300 sq. feet initially occupied by carts to 67 sq. feet, leaving over 200sq. feet of free storage space hence saving the cost of constructing a new warehousing facility, pushing up its efficiency and profits.
As a manufacturer or a warehouse operator you can do things the old fashioned way and throw away your innovation and financial grip or opt for the lean way and sail through modern industrial challenges modernity presents.