Have productive team meetings

We know what you’re thinking. Not another meeting!

Hear us out, though. Supply-chain and Distribution is an intense business, and minor problems can repeat themselves day after day, preventing leaders from looking forward in their business and being able to work ‘on the business instead of ‘in the business’.

9 am meetings can sometimes seem daunting, but team meetings are an amazing way to ensure everyone is on the same page or has access to the information they need. They’re also one of the simple team building activities for the workplace.

How can I make meetings work better for any team?

Meetings can be a chance for everyone to see what the rest of the team is doing and how they work. Make this checklist a valuable part of any productive team meetings you might encounter.

Let’s take a look at how having regular stand-up meetings can benefit your day, week and month, even if you don’t have an office space to call your team!

1. Talk Health & Safety

Safety should be your first priority before going on the job.

Set aside some time to review new incidents and follow up with any past issues. Ensure that your company and team equipment is still in tip-top condition before putting them to work. Give it a thorough checkup to avoid any problems on the job.

2. Talk about yesterday

Review each one of your daily KPI’s, i.e. throughput, pick rate, indirect hours, etc. How are these KPI’s tracking for the week? Are you on target for your main weekly KPI? We call this ‘landing on the head of a pin’. You can reach your weekly target more accurately by learning from the previous day to hit what might have seemed like an ambiguous target before.

A team meeting is a perfect time to talk about yesterday, but differently than before. It’s not the team discussing what happened and who did what; you want to be proactive. You want your team looking forward, looking at data from yesterdays supply-chain operations and the accuracy of forecasts.

3. Plan for today

Use this time in a team meeting to talk about what needs fixing, how you will fix it, who is responsible for setting it, and when to deliver that fix.

What is your production plan? How many cartons do you have to handle? Can you pick those cartons with the workforce attendance?

Remember, full cartons are divided by forecasted pick rate divided by hours in a shift that requires equal team members.

Take the time to discuss the ‘leads’ that have come up. A lead may be an issue or an idea, and it can come from anywhere; an email or piece of paper, an observation or someone shouting from the back of the team room, but it needs to be discussed. Whilst talking about the lead, each team member takes notes to action their responsibilities.

4. Talk about each Department

One by one, go around the table; Sales, Operations, Customer Services, Safety Strategy, Inventory, Business Analysis. Let each manager or expert talk freely to their area. Sometimes ideas need to be discussed and/or reviewed by the team before moving forward. It’s a good moment to learn about each team members role and responsibilities.

By having daily meetings, you will have a chance to discuss any new ideas with your team, even if they may not be directly related in terms of projects or tasks. Aim for a maximum of 5 minutes per person to keep it fresh and snappy.

suppl chain management

5. To ask for help and help others

We’re challenged daily with new things. It’s an excellent time for people who have a task to complete but aren’t sure how to tackle it to present their situation and get the feedback they may not have considered before.

You can offer advice and direction to any of your colleagues if they’re stuck with something. Sharing feedback and checking for assistance is a great way to help your team during their meetings.

6. Give the team an opportunity to contribute

Take notes on what team members are doing to deliver the team a better result.

Team members like contributing, showing their knowledge and understanding of their impact on your team’s performance. The unit can also sell themselves and inspire others with why they need to be part of your team. This team meeting can also function as team bonding, team building and team recognition.

You’ll also find team members listening to each other more, team members pitching in on ideas and team-mates potentially finding a new unique approach to solve a problem.

7. To install a High Performance Culture

Many people work better to a deadline.

And a problem that exists today might be forgotten about in the time it takes for a weekly or monthly meeting to come around. Once you have the tasks and objectives of your team set, it is easier to set measurable indicators for everyone to focus on. It keeps everyone accountable and on the same page regarding their responsibilities and tasks.

Meeting together in a team is the team’s chance to take ownership of performance, respond to business issues and be part of team improvement every day.

8. To communicate

It’s a common fact that some leadership teams just don’t talk enough.

What is leadership in management teams? It might be as easy as flicking through the daily report. It’s important to communicate with your team about what is happening around them and to know if there are any opportunities or roadblocks for projects you may be working on together.

Personalities clash, and it can be easier to avoid a conversation when you have the choice to. When the conversation becomes fluid in a daily meeting, walls start to dissolve between departments. Silos come apart when communication flows.

By having daily meetings, you will have a chance to discuss any new ideas with your team, even if they may not be directly related in terms of projects or tasks. Regular meetings will clarify agendas, and everyone stays on the same page.

9. To change faster

With all of the above, change comes naturally and can come up to five times faster.

When you meet with your team members daily, it gives them a chance to go over their priorities and tasks for the following day. It helps to keep everyone motivated and focused on their daily tasks.

How long should the daily meeting last?

Don’t spend any longer on a team meeting than it needs. Discuss what needs to be discussed and carry on with your days.

45 minutes should be more than enough time per day for your daily operations. If you have more tasks in your business, you can hold two meetings a day; morning and afternoon work well for a company, while afternoon works best for projects.

You’ll have more time to plan

To have fewer meetings, planning your appointment at 9 am is will give you more time to prepare for the day’s work.

You’ll be surprised how much rework melts away when everyone is aligned for the day.