Lean Visual Management: Improving a Volunteer Experience

Lean Visual Management: Improving a Volunteer Experience

Volunteering 1Last week, a group of LeanCor team members volunteered for a local church clothing drive organized by Central Parkway Ministries. There were 80 boxes of clothing donated for 1500 needy families in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Our duties consisted of removing tags, folding, and sorting by size and gender. The amount of clothing donated required a massive amount of volunteer time and manpower.

When we arrived at the warehouse, we were assigned to an area with two 48 x 42 x 40 inch boxes filled with all types of children's clothing. To give you an idea of the box sizes, our group of five team members made it through one box in a time span of two hours! First, we needed to remove all tags from the clothes. Next, the clothes needed sorted according to size and gender. Finally, the clothes needed placed on racks that would then be rolled over to the main area for distribution. Volunteering 3

We split up into three "stations" - two people removing tags, two sorting by size and gender, and one person placing piles of sorted clothing on the racks. After about 20 minutes of pure chaos, we realized we were not accomplishing much of anything. After some brainstorming, we figured some simple lean visual management would greatly improve the process and increase our productVolunteering 2ivity.

Luckily, the organizers of the clothing drive had already created labels for the main distribution area. The labels were separated by blue and pink for gender, and varied by infant, toddler, and boy/girl sizes. We grabbed some labels for our group's rack and got to work. From then on it was smooth sailing and we accomplished much more than we thought possible!

Based on visual cues, visual management helps you quickly locate materials and information, identify issues before they become problems, and create ownership for team members. Visual management provides the following benefits:

  • Makes problems visible
  • Conveys information and instruction
  • Creates a self-explaining workplace

After volunteering, we felt good about our contribution - to both those in need and to improving the clothing drive process!

Written by Kelley Dodd, Marketing Specialist at LeanCor

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Posted by LeanCor Supply Chain Group

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LeanCor Supply Chain Group is a trusted supply chain partner that specializes in lean principles to deliver operational improvement. LeanCor’s three integrated divisions – LeanCor Training and Education, LeanCor Consulting, and LeanCor Logistics – help organizations eliminate waste, drive down costs, and build a culture of continuous improvement.

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