Sunland Logistics shares Lean Journey with the OpExChange

Sunland LogisticsSimpsonville, S.C. – The OpExChange held an in-person event last week at Sunland Logistics Solutions in Simpsonville, South Carolina. Sunland has been a member of the OpExChange for three years. They shared how their continuous improvement programs not only improve their operational performance but also directly benefit their customers.

Sunland Logistics Solutions is a third-party logistics provider (3PL) specializing in warehousing and value-added services with a lean approach. Their industries of expertise include automotive, retail, e-commerce, chemical, and industrial. They offer a wide range of solutions, from reverse logistics to foreign trade zone accessibility. Their ten locations span across the Southeast and Midwest with 4 million square feet. They have five facilities in South Carolina. The event today was conducted at their headquarters in Simpsonville, SC, their company headquarters since 1982. This facility is 735,000 square feet.

John Farris, Continuous Improvement Manager for Sunland, gave the initial presentation to the OpExChange group. Several Sunland executives joined us for the event, including Arch Thomason (CEO), Hari Sivaprakasam (COO), and Liza McAngus (Director of Marketing).


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Dennis Shealy from the SC Dept. of Commerce and Mark Farris from the Greenville Area Development Corporation joined the event as honorary guests.

EVENT SUMMARY

John’s presentation began with an overview of Sunland Logistics and how their customers receive value. Several of their clients are OpExChange member companies that benefit from the reverse logistics and other 3PL expertise from Sunland. John shared some of their value-added services that not only include kitting but also included processes such as refurbishment and reprogramming of electronic assemblies. In SC, they also offer a shuttle service – SunTrans, LLC.

John shared the Sunland management system which embodies four core values: Safety First, Servant Leadership, Learning Organization, and Results Matter. A video explaining how Sunland embraces these values is available here: https://youtu.be/itYx9d8kLGQ

The presentation also delved into several other areas that make Sunland unique and expounded on both their core values of both servant leadership and being a learning organization.

John gave greater detail into Sunland’s commitment to continuous improvement and being a learning organization. They are on a lean journey and are making great progress. Key facets that Sunland is incorporating are visual daily management, education of the workforce in lean manufacturing, and engagement of the workforce through programs such as “Two-Second Lean.” The company recently invested in a dedicated “Dojo” for continuous improvement learning.

After the 45-minute presentation, the group was divided into four small groups for an hour tour of the entire facility. Many of the items presented during the presentation were seen in-action on the facility tour.

After the tour, the group gathered for an interactive discussion. The meeting concluded with an “plus/delta” session in which the group gave feedback to Sunland – things they noted that they really liked, and opportunities they observed for further improvement.

During the presentation and tour, John noted that several of their improvement initiatives were inspired from other OpExChange members and previous events. Influences from OpExChange members Dish Network and Dantherm Cooling were observed. This is great evidence of the OpExChange collaborative spirit!

The OpExChange is a peer-to-peer network of companies in South Carolina dedicated to learning and growing together. Member companies host events and share practical examples of industrial automation, lean manufacturing improvements, and leadership development. It is an invaluable resource to member companies that provide access to others who are on similar improvement journeys. If you are interested in joining, contact Mike Demos (mike@opexchange.com) or visit the OpExChange website to see other planned events: www.OpExChange.com.


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