LF Logistics collaborates with The Kitchen, Fung Group’s online crowdsourcing platform to empower their warehouse workers through Open Innovation.
Empowering the unheard innovators
Empowered employees are a powerful contributor to innovation and growth across an organization. When they are engaged and listened to, they are encouraged to spread their ideas from bottom-up. An innovative mindset begins brewing in each employee and ultimately a culture of innovation is unleashed across the organization. This has been explored and proven in LF Logistics Hong Kong.
Behind every major change, there is a champion, and ours is Patrick Grzywa, Vice President of LF Logistics in Operations. An avid innovator on The Kitchen since 2016 when the platform was launched, in 2018 he took his role to another level to sponsor a challenge on his own. He saw
an opportunity in The Kitchen platform as a way to empower operators to identify inefficiencies in the processes they undertook every day.
Breaking down barriers through open innovation
LF Logistics Learning & Development and The Kitchen teams co-launched a pilot program to break down traditional barriers between supervisors and operators. The challenge, focused on using the LEAN principles of standardization and the 8 Wastes to improve process and productivity in the warehouse, asked the operators: “How might we use LEAN to make your work easier?” The Kitchen was an online and interactive space for supervisors and operators to team up, and share ideas, creating an atmosphere of healthy competition between the teams. Operators and supervisors worked closely to one another to generate ideas to improve operational processes.
“This challenge increased our operators’ sense of belonging to the team and also to the company, making them realize that they could also contribute. It’s a great example to show the benefit of two-way communication” – Kin Chan, Assistant Manager, Hong Kong Distribution Center
During the challenge, The Kitchen platform could be accessed through kiosks on the shop floor. To further facilitate their conversations online, offline ideation workshops, underpinned with Design Thinking, helped operators to express the problems they faced in their daily operational work. There had already been one solution implemented amongst the first challenge – based on reducing over-processing, decreasing cardboard waste processing, resulting in a 39% increase in productivity.
Getting to scale by creating a community
Since the first pilot challenge, John Parkes was also inspired to sponsor his own challenge for the Global Management Trainees – what could “LF Logistics do today to improve our business in the next 12 months?” 6 more LEAN challenges are planned for 2019 on the LF Logistics community as the LEAN program will be rolling out to other Distribution Centers in Hong Kong and possibly facilities of Southeast Asia. From a single initiative to break down silos between operators and supervisors in one Distribution Center to forming its own collaborative space on The Kitchen – the LF Logistics community has demonstrated the growth of an innovative culture and that great ideas can come from anyone and anywhere.