Toy Supplier DC Case Study

Argent Global Services partnered with a toy manufacturer to implement a comprehensive Productivity Improvement Program in its company owned distribution centers.


This client wanted to undertake a significant initiative to improve the operation of its distribution centers, provide an improved platform for manpower planning and forecasting through the implementation of a Labor Management System (LMS). In addition to traditional warehouse operations, this client provided significant value-added services to meet the unique needs of its multi-national customers and specialty retailers.

Discussions lead to management’s understanding that a LMS was a valuable tool but, in and of itself, would not meet their needs. Argent proposed that the client invest in a Productivity Improvement Program (PIP) like those it had successfully implemented in other client operations. The program would consist of:  Best Methods, Performance Measures (Engineered Labor Standards), Performance Coaching and a Labor Management System (VantageRPM). The client realized that implementing such a comprehensive program would enable them to achieve their objectives.

Company Fact Sheet
  • 2 Distribution Centers – East Coast & West Coast
  • Combined square footage: 2 million
  • Employees: 250 for 10 months, 500 during Christmas peak


The client’s objectives in implementing the Productivity Improvement Program were to:

  • Provide timely and accurate management reports that would enable distribution center management to effectively monitor and manage performance
  • Forecast manpower requirements by activity based on projected volumes and planned productivity metrics
  • Identify coaching opportunities, document their content and provide timely feedback to employees
  • Increase productivity & reduce cost


Argent worked directly with corporate and distribution center management to implement the Productivity Improvement Program. Industry expertise along with traditional Industrial Engineering tools were utilized to drive the implementation of process improvement initiatives and achieve the performance and cost savings objectives.

Workflow and process changes were identified that required Argent to work closely with the client’s IT department to modify their proprietary WMS to enable the implementation of those changes. This enabled the streamlining of various operations, in particular Order-fill and Value-Added-Services (VAS). Best Methods were developed, documented and implemented with management’s support in all key functions. Argent engineers conducted time and motion studies to develop Engineered Labor Standards. A Performance Coaching Program was implemented, and supervisors were trained to conduct one-on-one observations and coaching sessions with direct labor associates. The VantageRPM Labor Management System was implemented and users were trained how to leverage the information that would be available to them.


The Performance Improvement Program provided a solid foundation for continuous process improvement and the establishment of individual accountability. Best Methods ensured consistency of operation within each function and reduced new-hire training time. Engineered Labor Standards provided a fair and accurate way to monitor individual and team performance and productivity. Performance Coaching resulted in increased management time on the floor, improved communication between management and employees and reduced turnover. The VantageRPM Labor Management System provided dynamic reporting capability that enabled management to monitor progress on a timely basis, identify opportunities for improvement and forecast labor requirements to improve staffing and scheduling.

Project Highlights

  • Estimated annual labor savings of $2.2 million (@30%)
  • 45% reduction in peak season labor
  • Eliminated 40 seasonal pack stations
  • Increased throughput and capacity
  • Increased labor utilization
  • Increased warehouse capacity and optimized space utilization
  • Improved customer service and service levels