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Renee McCormick

BUSI 650

Liberty University


Discussion Board:  Cross Docking

Cross-docking  is an efficient use of coordination between incoming and outgoing  shipments of products through distribution centers (Tootkaleh, Ghomi,  & Sajadieh, 2016).  Warehouses typically are used for receiving,  storage, order picking, and shipping (Motaghedi-Larijani &  Aminnayeri, 2017).  The act of cross-docking removes storage and order  picking as it is taking a shipment from the incoming truck and moving it  directly to the outgoing truck almost immediately.  This dance between  trucks reduces the costs of holding inventory and increases product  turnover.  Using the cross-dock concept has shown to reduce production  costs with the reduction of overhead and transportation costs consuming  30% of the price (Tootkaleh, Ghomi, & Sajadieh, 2016).  The  consolidation of shipments also allows full truckloads to be shipped out  reducing the number of partially empty trucks on the roadways.

The  selection of this key concept is of professional curiosity.  After  observing its effectiveness first hand during a tour of the Lowes  distribution center, the cross-docking concept should have been  considered as process improvement for my previous employer.  Multiple  shipments of special make-ups going directly to big box companies would  sit waiting for their time to ship and potentially miss their shipment  window due to poor coordination.


There are several different cross-dock coordination models based upon  the needs of a company and their supply chain.  Tootkaleh, Ghomi &  Sajadieh (2016) conducted a survey to compare several different versions  and found the best structure is the product substitution allowance.   Substituting products on the outbound truck allowed full shipments to  the stores without delays.  The original products would sit in holding  and go in the next shipment.

Motaghedi-Larijani and Ainnayeri (2017) found a gap in research as many  studies do not take into effect the waiting time of the outbound  truck.  This detail is important for their study using cross-docking  methods to improve fruit and vegetable distribution in Tehran, Iran.  If  an outbound truck is waiting for multiple incoming shipments, the time  and costs must be considered especially with perishable items.  Bergham  & Leus (2015)  also found the use of a parking lot allows a buffer zone for  coordinating trailers without truck drivers waiting to leave to minimize  personnel costs.

Another gap in research specific to transportation reliability was  addressed by Amini and Tavakkoli-Moghaddam (2016).  Companies using  cross-docking re dependent on the timing of shipments, yet trucks do  tend to break down.  The authors study the potential effect of truck  breakdown on the cross-dock coordination as this is an inevitable  reality that must be taken into account for planning shipments.

Article Summary

Cross-docking  may not be an immediate move from one truck to another truck.   Zaerpour, Yu, & de Koster (2015) review the benefits of using  limited storage on a temporary basis to maximize truck loads.  The goal  is to minimize product retrieval time and quickly load outgoing trucks  to maximize shipments.  For fresh produce and perishables, the study  recommends different working shifts to minimize the storage of  products.  This is accomplishment by bringing in the freshly harvested  item in the afternoon or evening, coordinating the shipment and storing  to ship out in the morning.

Storage  can be a premium at many distribution centers.  Zaerpour, Yu, & de  Koster (2015) recommend using a compact automated storage system to  reduce the necessary short-term storage area.  One downside would be how  deep the storage can be and require multiple reshuffles during the day  as shipments are packed.  To avoid this constant shuffle, shared storage  of different products in the same lane would work with much product  tracking.  There is a point that with cross-docking, the outbound truck  timing is known and will help avoid multiple reshuffles of product.

Biblical Integration

Cross-docking  provides efficiency for a corporation with their supply chain  management.  The Bible speaks to being efficient with our work.   Ephesians 5:15-16 gives a warning stating “look carefully then how you  walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time,  because the days are evil” (ESV).  The book of Proverbs continues with a  warning that of “the plans of the diligent led surely to abundance, but  everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5, ESV).  The  coordination of cross-docking must be precise to maximize the benefits  and cannot be thrown together.


The  concept of cross-docking is most applicable to companies shipping to  various locations on a continuous basis.  Many large corporations have  mastered the cross-docking task, including Walmart, Lowes, and other  big-box retailers.  Smaller businesses with continuous shipments should  consider applying cross-docking to their continuous orders in the effort  to reduce overhead costs and move inventory quickly to profit.   Cross-docking is the best fit when there are stable demand rates, large  volume of items, and low stock-out costs (Amini &  Tavakkoli-Moghaddam, 2016).  Coordination is key to align the incoming  trucks with outgoing trucks, but it is possible as corporations track  their shipments continuously.  As companies are trying to cut down on  costs to maximize profits, this is an opportunity to consider if it fits  with their business model and product deliveries.

Annotated Bibliography

Amini,  A., & Tavakkoli-Moghaddam, R. (2016). A bi-objective truck  scheduling problem in a cross-docking center with probability of  breakdown for trucks. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 96, 180-191. doi:

Many  studies of cross-docking methods forget the transportation follies that  can affect the supply chain coordination (Amini &  Tavakkoli-Moghaddam, 2016).  Vehicles do break down and need to be  considered when reviewing truck timing and delivery schedules.  The  authors identify these service interruptions as accidents and/or engine  or truck part failure and propose strategies to maintain the supply  chain.  These five strategies include repairing the truck to resume  work, use another truck temporarily, rent a truck temporarily, desert  the truck for an available truck, or leave the broken truck for a new  one.  Each of these would work depending on the situation.

Bergham, L., & Leus, R. (2015). Practical Solutions for a dock assignment problem with trailer transportation. European Journal of Operational Research, 246(3), 787-799. doi:

The  coordination of multiple trailers using limited docking space is  addressed by Bergha and Leus (2015).  A parking lot was designated as a  buffer zone between trailers, not at the loading dock and not ready for  shipment.  The article reviews the trailer movement to best address  timing and costs.  Temporary storage is also addressed with either a  structured design versus random placement of the trailer storage.  The  authors conclude that a random placement is better for maximizing space  than a structured placement.

Motaghedi-Larijani,  A., & Aminnayeri, M. (2017). Optimizing the admission time of  outbound trucks entering a cross-dock with uniform arrival time by  considering a queuing model. Engineering Optimization, 49(3), 466-480. doi:10.1080/0305215X.2016.1206414

Using  cross-docking coordination has reduced supply chain costs to the fruit  and vegetable distribution in Tehran, Iran (Motaghedi-Larijani &  Aminnayeri, 2017).  The authors attempt to address the amount of waiting  time for outbound trucks.  Models and math equations are reviewed to  compute the outbound trucks waiting time and costs associated with this  time.  This calculation will best maximize the cross-dock concept and  reduce overhead rates with trucks sitting with no shipments.

Tootkaleh,  R., Ghomi, F., & Sajadieh, S. (2016). Cross dock scheduling with  fixed outbound trucks departure times under substitution condition. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 92, 50-56. doi:

When  a shipment is delayed, Tootkaleh, et. al (2016) found using  substitution is best to maintain truck departure times.  Scheduling is  important for cross-dock use and delays can cause chaos to the supply  chain.  Using a substitute product for a delayed shipment will maintain  scheduled truck departures and limit the delay impact.  Delayed  shipments would be stored for the next outbound truck.  If a  substitution is available, the authors found it the best arrangement to  avoid missing shipment deadlines.

Zaerpour,  N., Yu, Y., & de Koster, R. (2015). Storing fresh produce for fast  retrieval in an automated compact cross-dock system. Production and Operations Management, 24(8), 1266-1284. doi:10.1111/poms.12321

Maximizing  the cross-docking system with limited storage is important for fresh  produce (Zaerpour, Yu, & de Koster, 2015).  The authors propose  multiple working shifts to minimize the time between the produce is  harvested when it reaches the customer.  Using a compact automated  storage system is proposed to reduce the necessary short-term storage  area.



Adam D. Fledderman, C.P.M.

October 2, 2019

Respectfully Submitted to: Dr. Scott Dickenson

Author Note

This research was written to satisfy Key Topic Explanation for Module Seven of the course

BUSI 650 Operations Management


Key Topic Explanation

Kanban  originated in post-World-War II Japan; as the Japanese economy began to  grow in alignment with the rebuilding of the nation, it was evident to  the practitioners of manufacturing that the countries limitations for  real-estate and manufacturing footprints would be a disadvantage into  the future (Tagaduan, 2009, 1). The use of systems to maximize the value  brought by all aspects from the organization, from production lines,  spare parts, and manufacturing associates is a critical component in  Kanban and the Toyota Production System, although the Toyota production  system brought these concepts to the forefront and provided validation  for the use of the ideas to the western business world, the basis for  Kaban is deeply rooted in Japanese culture. Due to its status as an  island nation with limited space and limited natural resources, Japan  historically faced an imbalance in international trade in the  procurement of resourced to fuel production, as a result of this  imbalance Japanese goods previously had been economically disadvantaged  thus limited export potential, furthering imbalanced the playing field  in international trade (Tagaduan, 2009, p. 554)


How Kanban/JIT is Used

On  the surface, the implementation of Kanban/JIT can increase  productivity, limit inventory levels, eliminate waste, effectively use  company financial resources, and positively impact cash flow, revenue,  and profit margin.

When  dissecting Kanban/JIT as segments of the Toyota Production System, it  is crucial that organization leadership fully understands the conceptual  scope.  The workforce must understand it as a way to grow efficiency  and effectiveness.  It must be communicated is a culture that must be  adopted and lived at all levels of the organization. Not just on the  plant floor, and by individual contributors in the professional  disciplines, this concept must be embraced from the top-down, from the  CEO to the janitor. As a core concept of the Toyota Production Concept,  Kanban helps to utilize the abilities of the workforce entirely.  Kanban  should create opportunities for associates on all levels to display  their talents, with the ability to succeed and advance on their merits  and the value they bring the organization (Tagaduan, 2009, p. 554).  While leadership and stakeholders may see the elimination of waste from  the manufacturing process as a gain in profit, they must also recognize  an increase in worker productivity and satisfaction in their work.  Workers seldom see the benefit in an effort that results in no gain for  themselves or their organization; the elimination of waste makes the  associate’s actions more productive, and their results more beneficial.

Interest in Topic

Having  spent my career in supply chain and procurement, I have become  fascinated with the concept of elimination of cost.  Cost eliminations  that I have pursued were not only from the price of the product but also  the process used to manufacture it. One of the most powerful tools that  I have witnessed is the use of the Toyota Production Systems,  specifically Kabana ad JIT. Through the elimination of waste and  improved utilization of associate abilities, manufacturers can expect to  see an increase in the quality of goods produced and a decrease in the  cost of goods sold. As a result, the price that the product enters to  market with can be decreased, if found to be beneficial to grow sales  through pushing the market, rather than reacting to the pricing dictated  by competitors. The lower cost to produce can enable the sales force to  be more aggressive with selling pricing, or to allow for a premium  price, and while possibly not increasing sales at a higher rate may grow  profit margin organically, and grow sales through a higher perception  of quality.


The  optimization of inventory levels is a vital principle of Kaban and the  Just-in-Time system.  These systems rely on correct lead times from  suppliers to appropriately fill stock rooms to support production.  The  use of JIT is often seen in conjunction with Kanban.  The collaboration  of systems provides the best user knowledge to feed the adjustments to  inventory levels as production volumes ebb and flow with time (Liberty  University, 2017, p. 225). The use of Kaban can optimize inventory  levels in the JIT environment to prevent bottlenecks by identifying the  stages in the process that have experienced previously hire scrap or  fall out.  Using Kaban to accurately calculate the needed stream of  product, starving of production can be prevented (Liberty University,  2017, p. 66).

How Kaban and JIT can affect the make-to-stock, or make-to-order products can vary.

With  the implementation of a Kaban System or higher Toyota system, the  result will be the lessening of inventory and waste, the improvement or  production, and the ability to better use financial resources. The  calibration of the benefit of the implementation of these processes will  fall upon the Finance Department. As there will be an anticipated  benefit to the investment of time, resources, and employee morale, it  will be critical that a clear understanding of inventory and financial  allocation levels are accounted for before, during (at key milestones),  and at the realized implementation of the process. The result, and  hopefully benefit of these efforts will be captured and aggregated by  finance, this allowing for recalculation of overhead and labor rates  through the manufacturing process, and a realization of a lower cost of  goods sold, and higher profit margins.

The  internal customer of the supply chain and operations will see benefits  from the implementation of Kanban and the Toyota System, the elimination  of waste will allow for a higher level of quality to be produced, this  should, in turn, decrease internal demand on the inspection and rework  function, which may allow for re-direction of these assets to bring  value to other areas of the business.

Article Summary

In  his article, Tagaduan (2009), discusses the process in which Toyota  developed the Toyota Production System and perfected their use of Kanban  and JIT inventory. Previous attempts had been made by Toyota to mimic  the successful production methods of Ford Motor Company.  Although  benefit was gained, full-scale matching of the efficiencies of Ford was  not realized.  The developer of Kaban had studied the work previously  completed by their forbearers and found that these projects had failed  to address inventory levels as a segment of efficient manufacturing.   This allowed for a focus of their study on reducing inventory to bring  value (Tagaduan, 2009, 1).

The  general findings of Tagaduan are in line with the findings from  Meredith and Shafer in the text.  However, there is a difference in the  approach to the topic.  Tagaduan focuses on the use of the tool as a way  to optimize inventory and impact the ability of production to  contribute to the revenue and profit of the organization, while Meredith  and Shafer focus more on the fundamentals of the concept with examples  of how it may be used to bring benefit

Before the invention of the Kaban system, the restrained ability to  carry inventory due to particular limitations had been acknowledged as a  standard and accepted limiter to manufacturing.  This often forced many  Japanese organizations to produce in a job shop or batch processing  model (Tagaduan, 2009, 1). This limited potential production volumes,  and also set market prices much higher than could be afforded by the  general populous, and served as a strict barrier to growth and  innovation. Tauchi Ohno and Shiega Shingo, in efforts to improve  production at their employer, The Toyota Motor Company, developed a  system based on the exchanged of cards for goods from inventory and  other cards which triggered insufficient inventory levels that would  initiate production, thus manufacturing cells that produced components  and subassemblies could only produce product if they were granted  authority by the possession of a Kanban card (Tagaduan, 2009, 3-4). The  core belief in this system is only to produce what is needed when it is  required. The use of Kanban will prevent overproduction of inputs, which  will then reduce the use of space on non-value adding inventory, allow  for manufacturing personal to be redirected to other functions, and  prevent the over the ordering of raw material and other inputs from  outside third party suppliers.

Tagaduan does not contribute time in his paper to the Theory of  Constraints, while Meredith and Shafer draw attention ot it, and its  rule in the utilization of Kaban and JIT in the manufacturing process.   By acknowledging constraints and building systems to improve  organizations can make great strides.

Biblical Integration

The  bible gives us many guidelines on wastefulness and its perils. In  proverbs 21:20, we are told, “Precious treasure and oil are in a wise  man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.” And in Ephesians 5:15-17  we see that God wants us to be deliberate and impactful with our efforts  “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making  the best use of the time because the days are evil. Therefore do not be  foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”. The concepts  involved in the Toyota Production System, Kaban, and JIT are  holistically aligned with God’s desire for us to be diligent stewards of  the resources that he trust us with. The principles of the Toyota  Production System that lead to the invention and widespread adaption of  the Kanban inventory management process have significantly impacted the  ability of an organization to improve internal efficiency through the  concise and deliberate management of inventory levels and production  triggers. The system is based on the root of understanding the processes  and ability of the organization and improving the gaps and growing the  strength even further. The core of the Kanban and Toyota system have  spurred a culture of continuous improvement in all types and functions  of business, not only manufacturing. The culture of analysis and  challenging why things are done in an attempt to eliminate waste has  resulted in the ability of organizations to streamline production,  minimize inventory, and maximize output and value.


It  is critical that when implementing a Kaban system, the implementing  party shall be cognizant of supplier lead-times, inventory programs, and  safety stock levels (Liberty University, 2017, p. 8).   These are all  inputs that define the availability of the product,  any miscalculation  to the Kanban function could result in inventory levels that could  starve production, risking costly downtime. However, if these levels are  miscalculated, they could provide much higher inventory levels than  needed.  Using Kaban as a method to regulate and predict inventory  levels to optimally feed products can help prevent the starvation of the  production lines with a buffer inventory that is large enough without  wasting resources and space (Liberty University, 2017, p. 66). Tagaduan  (2009), discusses the limitations that Japanese manufacturers face in  regards to the area for storage of stock and the constrained  availability of real estate for development as a leading motivator in  the development of the Kanban system (p. 2)

The  use of an Enterprise Resource Planning system can interact with the  Kaban philosophy, often it is common that the ERP system will be  interfaced throughout the organization, with demands of production  sending signals to other departs to trigger their production, resulting  in the ordering of raw material and components by the procurement  function (Liberty University, 2017, p. 16).

Annotated Bibliography

Danese, P., Romano, P., & Bortolotti, T. (2012). JIT production, JIT supply and performance: investigating the moderating effects. Industrial Management & Data Systems112(3), 441–465. doi: 10.1108/02635571211210068

In this article the authors conduct a study to understand the  interactions between JIT supply practices and the JIT production model.   The authors found in the research that there was a link between the two  subset of JIT principles, and that by linking together they can bring  greater value to the organization.  Their research also found that if  having to select between the two the priority should be focused on JIT  production, as the value of finished good inventory is greater than that  of component and raw material inventory.  The authors state that to  truly maximize effectiveness within the organization the use of both is  recommended.  It was also found that if an organization is to focus only  on JIT production principles that the supply chain should attempt to  implement introductory supply JIT concepts if possible to create a ready  supply base to support the new initiative.

Kumar, C. S., & Panneerselvam, R. (2006). Literature review of JIT-KANBAN system. The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology32(3-4), 393–408. doi: 10.1007/s00170-005-0340-2

The authors deliver a literature review focusing on the principles and  benefits of the Kaban and JIT production tools in this article.  The  initial phases of the article focuses on the history and philosophy of  the concepts, and how they have been used to bring benefits to  manufacturing.  In addition the authors also review the blocking  mechanisms in the implementation and use of Kaban, as well as possible  solutions.  They further discuss the measurement of performance of  Kanban/JIT and how to insure the integrity of the measurement.

Piplani, R., & Ang, A. W. H. (2017). Performance comparison of multiple product kanban control systems. International Journal of Production Research56(3), 1299–1312. doi: 10.1080/00207543.2017.1332436

In this article the author discusses the basis for the history of  Kanban control system and their impact on manufacturing as a waste  elimination and efficiency building tool.  The author highlights that in  recent history attempts have been made to further the Kanban concept as  a manufacturing control system, it is highlighted that much of the  efforts and research around these developments has been focused on the  single stage manufacturing process.  Thus these systems are not fully  transferable to more complex environments.  The author conducted  research on how new developments would perform in regards to more  complex product lines and manufacturing operations, noting that  adjustments in the concept would allow for optimization and increase  value in the process.

Sugimori, Y., Kusunoki, K., Cho, F., & Uchikawa, S. (1977). Toyota production system and Kanban system Materialization of just-in-time and respect-for-human system. International Journal of Production Research15(6), 553–564. doi: 10.1080/00207547708943149

This article highlights the history and core principles of the Kanban  and JIT tools, and their place in the Toyota Production system.  The  author highlights the origins of the tools, based on the needs of the  limited space at manufacturing firms during post World War II Japan.   The lack of space led to the creation of tools and methods that would  dedicate as much effort and floor space as possible to the creation of  value and profit for the organization.  As a result the use of Kaban and  Jit to minimize inventory and control inputs and outputs was born.  The  authors further discuss that while the system aims to eliminate waste  it always provides what is needed for production, not allowing the quest  for savings to halt the need to produce.  The authors further discuss  that Kanban and JIT were designed with the original intention of respect  for the human and as a tool to enrich the professional lives of the  workforce.

Tagaduan, D. (2009). Kanban system used to optimize inventory levels. Lucr?ri ?tiin?ifice :

Management Agricol, 6, 1st ser.

In  this article Tagaduan proposed the value brought to contemporary  manufacturing by the Kanban system.  He discusses the origin of the  system as a component of the Toyota Production System, and how it was a  result of the quest to meet the Productivity and outputs of the Ford  Motor Company.  Tagaduan also discusses how the limited production space  due to constrained real estate supply of post-World War II Japan made  the need to increase productivity a matter of life or death for  organization.  This demand fostered the culture of continuous  improvement that is synonymous with Japanese companies. Tagaduan further  discusses the contemporary use of Kanban, allowing for optimizing  inventory levels and feeding production with a stable supply while  minimizing the square footage needed to inventory materials.


Danese,  P., Romano, P., & Bortolotti, T. (2012). JIT production, JIT supply  and performance: investigating the moderating effects. Industrial Management & Data Systems112(3), 441–465. doi: 10.1108/02635571211210068

Kumar, C. S., & Panneerselvam, R. (2006). Literature review of JIT-KANBAN system. The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology32(3-4), 393–408. doi: 10.1007/s00170-005-0340-2

Liberty University (2017). Supply Chain Management. New York, NY: McGraw Hill Create

Meredith, J. R., & Shafer, S. M. (2019). Operations and supply chain management for MBAs.

Hoboken: Wiley.

Piplani, R., & Ang, A. W. H. (2017). Performance comparison of multiple product kanban control systems. International Journal of Production Research56(3), 1299–1312. doi: 10.1080/00207543.2017.1332436

Sugimori,  Y., Kusunoki, K., Cho, F., & Uchikawa, S. (1977). Toyota production  system and Kanban system Materialization of just-in-time and  respect-for-human system. International Journal of Production Re