Consulting is a practice at LIDD whose mission is to protect clients’ capital and ensure they invest wisely in supply chain infrastructure. Consulting projects come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the design and implementation of large-scale distribution facilities to, to the engineering of new supply chain processes.
Recently, LIDD launched a plan to leverage the firm’s multi-disciplinary supply chain expertise to help address the problem of food insecurity in North America. This initiative is driven by partnerships with non-profit organizations such as food banks, food pantries, food rescue groups, and meals-on-wheels services.
One client I’ve recently worked with is a food bank based in New York, who experienced capacity issues and inefficiencies from operating two independent facilities. The food bank sought LIDD’s expertise in facility design to help size and design a new building to support their long-term needs.
The first step in almost every consulting project is an on-site operations audit. The audit allows us to meet the client project team, convene informational workshops, establish equipment & physical infrastructure parameters and review processes from end-to-end. Some key takeaways from our operations audit were that the distribution facility was operating above capacity, there was insufficient freezer and cooler storage for the product volume, and a lack of dock space limited the client’s ability to ship and receive product in a timely manner.
Our first deliverable was to prepare our current state report and present initial findings. After building a robust quantitative model of the operations, we produced a report including data visualizations, building layouts, operational process walkthrough documentation and a preview of next steps and expectations. Next, we applied growth projections to our model to develop an operating strategy for the future-state operation. Ensuring accuracy and confidence in our modelling was critical, due to the additional complexities of merging two independent facilities. In addition to data analysis, we considered end-to-end processes and physical infrastructure requirements as inputs to design and configure the optimal facility.
Using relevant data and information, we developed Greenfield (new build) layout alternatives and assessed the alternatives in terms of operational performance, capital requirements and flexibility. Taking all variables into account, we made a capital-justified a recommendation for the best-suited option.
After our initial project mandate was finalized and LIDD’s final recommendations were delivered, our team provided ongoing support to the client by providing layout revisions and addressing ad hoc requests. Our teams’ collective relationships became so strong that we continue to provide support today. Working with this food bank was my most satisfying project at LIDD. The client team was amazing to collaborate with, and we maintained a pleasant relationship even as we navigated through disagreements.
Our hard work and dedication has led to multiple projects with partner food banks and non-profit agencies, giving more scale to an already successful experience.
By Isaac Jenne - Manager in Consulting Practice