Sears Logistics Services

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MSQPC - The Quality Center - 22 N. Front Street, Suite 200, Memphis, TN 38103  (901) 543-3530.   Fax: (901) 543-3510.

Sears Logistics Services Wins the Chamber Quality Cup Team Award Based on their use of PATS.

Memphis RRC is one of the Take-With Channel units within Sears Logistics Supply Chain.  This operation meets the needs of target customers and shareholders by enabling the merchants, logisticians, and retail stores to work together:

-           Meet in-stock requirements

-           Optimize asset utilization, including inventory and facilities

-           Support the store-centric model including predictable delivery

-           Minimize total Supply Chain costs while maintaining or improving required service levels.

The goal of utilizing the Process Activated Training System® seeks to reduce the amount of time it takes to adequately equip an associate with the information needed to become productive in a job function.   It supplements the Take-With Channel’s documented standardized processes by generating simple training scripts that can be utilized and revised in a more timely manner with just-in-time information to drive the behavior for execution.

The nature of this business is driven by peaks and lows as sales volume dictates.  The objective is to move merchandise to customers (selling units) over a wide geographic region to ultimately supply product for ads, sales and replenishment.  During the peak season planning process the management team agreed that the traditional training process was somewhat effective, but could not support just-in-time training within a short period of time based on volume spikes.  The training program required a process improvement that would allow more associate participation and empowerment in the process to reduce training cycle time for new associates.

The General Manager of the facility first introduced the PATS methodology to members of the quality team, Human Resources, and the Supply Chain Park with a presentation given by PATS Developer, Dr. Donald C. Fisher.

Unlike most businesses, SLS has a set of documented standardized processes to support unit compliance.  These processes provided detailed aspects of each operation and can become quite complex.  There was a need to maximize the content of the processes while reducing the complexity.  PATS offers a means to satisfy this requirement and also raise the level of training execution to another level.

Traditionally, Sears utilized OJT and standard equipment trainers.  By utilizing PATS there is a move from the traditional hierarchy to an inverted hierarchy that is associate driven.  “Trainers” were replaced with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who are certified to execute the training process throughout the facility.  This changed management driven training by empowering associates peer selection of two non-exempt associates as gatekeepers of the training program known as Group Training Leaders (GTLs).  The GTLs now have the responsibility of tracking the progress of associates training, monitoring effectiveness and reporting to the Program Coordinator.

Success is measured by job function productivity improvements, expense reduction, associate turnover, worker’s compensation expense, key performance indicators, and cycle time.  The unit has these pre-determined indicators that measure progression of improvement on a daily, monthly and annual basis.

The goal for this program is to utilize the show, tell, demonstrate and observation methodology to drive expected behavior for process execution.  The PATS methodology creates an associate owned training structure which helps retain knowledge within the unit.  As more associates are trained using this methodology it will aid to reduce the amount of deviation in operating processes despite volume driven associate turnover.  By empowering associates to own training, overall unit morale will increase over time.

The PATS methodology offers numerous benefits for the facility.  Utilizing this training methodology supports the goal of meeting in-stock requirements, driving customer centricity, both internally and externally, and helping the unit to produce predictable deliveries to Sears retail selling units.

The Memphis RRC Training team is empowered and supported with balance participation and skill sets to include Human Resources, Six Sigma Green and Black Belts and a process certification board.

Challenge Level winner for the Memphis RRC Training Team

The success of the RRC Team was achieved through implementing the Process Activated Training System to document their best practices and develop a just-in-time training system. Etta Glass, General Manager (second from right), is accompanied by Toya Stith (holding the Cup), Douglas Coombs, Quinton Wakefield, Elorise Langs, Walter Black, Chandra Andhe, and Dr. Donald C. Fisher.

The Winning Sears Logistics Services Team

The Chamber Quality Cup MSQPC - The Quality Center offers the Memphis Regional Chamber of Commerce Quality Cup Award which is aligned with the former RIT/USA Today Quality Cup - America's Team award and the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Additional information and the nomination form are   available on-line!



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