In 2006 during the ASME Congress and Exposition in Chicago, I presented a white paper about my personal hands-on experience of the great benefits in delivery, productivity and environment impact by using slipsheets instead of pallets.
In a first glance, it is surprising to realize that the use of slipsheets is still insignificantly used despite of the benefits. In fact, with global supply operations increasing in volume and cost, one could imagine companies would like to realize savings 25%-level savings. Here is what I think is happening:
1. The old "Silo" organization still king in the supply chain operations. To see the benefits of using slipsheets, one requires to see the complete value stream of moving a product from China to Mexico and from Mexico to the US. Supply chain operations are still organized in "silos" where different departments have a slide of the value stream and their performance is measured for their individual performance under their direct control. Similar to silo manufacturing organizations. the "divide and conquer" principal behind Taylor's approach. With this level of specialization and ownership collaboration is difficult as incentives are on sub-optimization regardless of the whole. What would be the benefits of all the expenses and hassles of becoming slipsheet-ready for the plant manager shipping the products out? None. His time and of his team would be better used in many other projects impacting his "numbers". So the solution is to involve the highest level of the organization to see the whole picture. Yes, but it is not that easy as it sounds. Even at the highest level, ins some organizations, operation responsibilities may be even keep in silos.
2 - Social and Economic Inertia. As in physics, a body requires an initial burst of momentum to break free and to move forward in a different direction, in our organizations, current conditions are prefer due to physiological and economical inertial. In addition to fair to change and preference to stay in our conform zones, economic and personal relationships and interest built and maintained for years will be required to break on this change. The closer we look into the past, the farther we are from a future.
For sure, there are more reasons...let me know.