Aerospace & Defense Warehouse


About the opportunity

The client provides some of the world’s most advanced, technology-led defense, aerospace and security solutions. The client employs a skilled workforce of 87,800 people in more than 40 countries. Working with customers and local partners, they develop, engineer, manufacture, and support products and systems to deliver military capability, protect national security and people and keep critical information and infrastructure secure.

The Challenge

The client had been awarded several long-term programs, which accelerated their growth. Their warehouse operation was a shared resource and needed to increase their capacity to serve all programs rapidly. The aerospace & defense supplier’s operation was rapidly growing. The client had challenges absorbing the growth due to:

• Warehouse utilization at 85%
• Pick cycle time (3 days) was delaying orders on the line
• The warehouse layout was not optimal for picking and led to pickers wasting time searching
• Dock was bottleneck (Picking & Receiving)
• The client had no plan for staffing needs based on growth


After completing this engagement, the warehouse operation was poised to handle the new programs onboarding into their business. Late deliveries were no longer a risk of stopping production, and the client had a plan on how to handle additional growth.
We identified opportunities in the warehouse operation and used a three-phase approach:

• Phase 1 Picking process improvement: We focused on eliminating unnecessary tasks, improving the current process, and developing a picking strategy to maximize output.
• Phase 2 Warehouse re-layout: We re-laid out the warehouse inventory and developed picking zones grouped by product category. The new zones improved accessibility and eliminated time spent searching during picks. Also reduced travel times for supplies, equipment, and pick orders.
• Phase 3 Receiving process improvement: In the last phase, we focused on eliminating the receiving dock from being a bottleneck and causing late orders and developing leader processes for managing the operation through appropriate metrics


Our involvement lasted just short of a year in which we helped reduce:

• The client increased picking capacity by 42% from 4 picks/ hr to 7 picks/hr.
• Reduced order picking lead times by 67% from (3 days to 1 day) by eliminating unnecessary tasks and improving our strategies.
• Reduced our receiving lead time by 75% by improving our receiving processes and committing fewer mistakes.

About Us

We help manufacturers achieve and sustain operational costs reductions of 20%+, improve on-time delivery to 99%+, and reduce defects to improve product quality to 99%+. These changes help our clients grow company profit margins by up to 25%.
We have developed and used a proven approach to ensure manufacturers achieve and sustain significant performance improvement. Our consultants have over 15 years of experience working with manufacturers and developing their capabilities.
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