Workflow as built from blocks! Toyota’s waybill generating system

A stack of papers here, a stack of papers there … We all have notes and prints on the desk. You can shrug your shoulders and say “it always worked” or try to modernize your work system. Here comes the mysterious word “workflow”. Do you want to know what it means and how to improve the flow of documents influenced the work of our client – Toyota?

How has it been done so far – papers, papers, papers

Logistic processes in large companies usually require a lot of documentation. To maintain receipting and sending stuff they have to constantly check and complete stock levels, prepare and fill in the appropriate forms, check their content… It’s a lot of tasks. And, after all, there are companies that send lots of parcels every day.

As you can guess, the Toyota factory is one of this company. Let’s skip the logistics aspect that our client is doing great, let’s analyze how waybills were created.

Above all, manually. To issue a waybill, employees had to collect all necessary information on their own. The weight and type of the load, the number of documents, their weight and type, as the sheets of paper – all this thing were notes down in the warehouses and transfer to employees who issue the waybills.

Then, each data has entered the form and handed the document to drivers. Laborious? Definitely. And remember that hundreds or even thousands of such letters are created monthly. Add to this a lot of paper (information from the docks were transferred on separate sheets) and not very precise names of goods sent. This method worked, but it is tedious and laborious.

The factory management knows that it can work differently. In the end, Toyota has created an electronic version of Kaizen and IHPL – a system of monitoring the carriage of parts at the factory. That’s why they ordered Vialutions to modernize the system.

And how to do it now – better workflow

Where did we start? As usual, from the exact knowledge of the situation. We talked a lot with Toyota factory management and conclusions were clear: the new system should:

  • improve the circulation of documents,
  • facilitate the creation of waybills,
  • archive truck routes and data on individual recipients.

Trucks which transporting parts from the factory usually move on regular routes and bring goods to the same customers. We created elements in the system, which allow you to arrange each route like you were building from blocks. Thanks to this, you can save every route just once. Each recipient already has data assigned to the system, as well as goods that usually go to him.

Does the truck constantly go to the same customers? Its route is inscribed in the system. A few little changes and you can generate shipping lists in the three required copies. A new recipient has appeared? Very well – adding another segment with data takes a moment. Sounds fast and easy? Because it is! This is an optimized workflow.

The workflow in the service of an order

Something else? Of course – dictionaries. A lorry driver just has to carry with him a waybill in the event of a vehicle inspection. A waybill can be also useful in the company – it contains much important information you might need. That’s why it’s good when you use uniform naming and permanent form. The dictionaries are useful – they are our blocks, from which we build every route.

Each recipient, product, warehouse, and route have assigned information. The ready-made elements allow you to quickly create a document.

Last, but not least – archiving. The efficient circulation of documents is important, but it is good to have your company archive. Thanks to our system, information on journeys and shipments of individual items is available, sorted and placed in the library. They can be easily found, reviewed and analyzed. This is a step further than Excel, in which they were placed previously.

How to improve the flow of documents in the company? How to standardize company documents? How to improve workflow? That’s right – a well-designed solution for companies and a system that worked slowly and took a lot of time, we have a well-organized database and a good system for creating waybills. Is your company ready for such changes?