Fastenal’s Lean Solutions personnel manage customer implementation projects from start to finish. This may include our onsite locations, strategic selling, or other projects related to branch sales efficiency. These Lean Six Sigma team members work closely with our branches and customers at their facilities to map how product moves through their current system in order to identify bottlenecks, extra steps, and other sources of waste, such as: defects, overproduction, waiting, non-utilized employees, transportation, inventory, extra processing, and more.
Team members hold initial customer implementation meetings, develop timelines and Gantt charts, perform cross-referencing & sourcing, establish the min/max and prepare inventory, and monitor data analytics to make decisions about continuous improvement. Then these team members will present new recommendations to create flow, eliminate waste, and drive out costs for the customer. The solutions might include our 6S method, which is based upon the pillars of 5S, to help customers create and maintain a clean, orderly, and safe work environment, or another inventory management solution, such as a Kanban replenishment program, JIT, industrial vending, vendor managed inventory (VMI), onsite, or another solution.