Six Sigma in Transportation

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    Hello, Does anyone knows, or may come with an idea of how can six sigma be applied into a Freight Transportation business.



    MPG, Pre/Post trip time reduction, Damaged goods, Vehicle damage, On-Time Delivery, Break-down assistance, Vehicle PM, Fleet size, Vehicle aquisition/disposal (life cycle), Back hauls . . .
    It depends on what portion of Freight Transportation you are referring too.


    Six Sigma Novice

    Using Six Sigma on transportation projects can be tricky and here’s why.  Alot of management will want you to cut cost and expenses…never mind if you make the processes more efficient.  It’s all about the bottomline to them.  This is okay but it can degrade the six sigma methodology alot.  Hopefully this isn’t the case.
    Couple of things to look into:
    1)  On time deliveries to your customers.  Your couriers should track the time they arrive at your customers’ locations.  You should be able to obtain this info and match it up to the actual requirements (based on the contract with the customer).  What is the allowable deviation?  Are your customers satisified with the current deliveries or are they just accepting late (or early) deliveries as “par for the course?”  Define your scope.  Measure and analyze the data.  Maybe you just have one or two routes that are delivering late that you could help improve.
    2) On time arrival at your facility:  Are the trucks arriving on time at your facility?  Does their sporadic arrival times cause your employees to work overtime?
    3) Non-Six Sigma area:  Fuel Surcharge.  Now this is a cost reduction project.  Some couriers use different tables for their fuel surcharge (which is added to bills).  There is a gasoline fuel surcharge table and a diesel fuel surcharge table.  One the tables (I forgot which one) is cheaper.  I had one courier that used the gasoline fuel surcharge but all his trucks ran on gas.  Might be an area worth looking into.
    4) Transporation Bill Audit:  Is there a process in place to audit the actual transportation bill against the static contracts.  Believe it or not, there is sometimes variations between the bill and the contract amounts.  Some couriers I found automatically bill you which sets up the possibility to be billed on holidays that your facility isn’t even at work.  Audit some past bills and come up with a DPMO or standard deviation.  Set up a goal to reduce that.  Create a process that can be sustained to help lower that.
    That’s all for now.  I hope it helps!

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