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Information on the products and techniques to better store, handle, and move products in your facility.

10 Tips: How to Protect Yourself from the Hidden Costs of Used Racks

November 8, 2016

order picker in a rack warehouse

Pallet racks are durable, and you know that if you spend any time in this industry. When properly specified, installed, used and maintained, they can last for decades. If you choose to install used racks, take sensible precautions to ensure safety and stability.

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Hiring and Developing Outstanding Order Pickers

October 12, 2016

order picker working on flow rack system

Order fulfillment operations come in all sizes, shapes and types, including a basket of challenges that diversity creates. One of the most difficult challenges in this industry is developing order picking talent. It’s competitive these days, as you know, for distribution facilities and e-commerce fulfillment centers. One of the best ways to enhance those operations is to develop your labor force more fully. What can you do?

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How to Create a Conveyor Maintenance Checklist

October 4, 2016

Hytrol conveyor system

The following is a guest post by Boyce Bonham, Chief Engineer at Hytrol. 

Staying on top of your conveyor maintenance is an integral part to the success of your operation. When left untended, equipment can become inefficient, unreliable, and a potential safety hazard.  To keep your alleviate the problems that come with poorly-maintained equipment, it’s important to create and follow a standardized maintenance checklist for each of the conveyor types in your operation, from gravity conveyors to powered conveyors.

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How to Solve the Ergonomic Problems of Floor-Level Carton Picking

September 27, 2016

order picker in a rack warehouse

When working with palletized goods stored at floor level beneath a rack beam in a typical warehouse, there are significant issues for order pickers who execute these tasks daily, including strains and stresses that can lead to major injuries, down time, and worker compensation expenses. What can you do to reduce the chances of these types of problems?

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How to Make Rack Aisles Safer for Foot Traffic

August 17, 2016

warehouse store loading water bottles

Above: Stock image of warehouse store and pallet rack

Pallet racks by nature are very safe storage equipment, but in any areas people interact with machinery, and heavy storage, there are dangers. A recent accident at a big box warehouse retailer helps illustrate some of the problems with busy pedestrian aisles between heavy storage racks.

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In Tight Labor Markets, How Can Warehouses Thrive?

August 12, 2016

warehouse worker in a pallet rack aisle

Distribution is growing — booming, some would say — particularly in larger markets. This tend is being driven by many factors, including a sustained economic recovery and low unemployment rates. Also, e-commerce powers like Amazon are in the midst of one-day or same-day delivery guarantees that require larger, more capable distribution networks that can serve major markets faster and usually within close proximity. These factors help to create stress on labor shortages in these cities, as newer distribution facilities open and existing ones expand. Add to that, the ongoing woes with skilled labor and a generally aging labor force.

How can you cope with a tight labor market?

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What Causes a Pallet Rack Collapse? How Can You Prevent it?

June 24, 2016

Pallet Rack Collapse

When heavy loads are stored on multi-level pallet racks, collapses and product falls are a primary safety concern. Busy warehouses with many workers who drive or walk between aisles of rack should find ways to reduce the chances of a disastrous event.

Stopping a collapse is an order of magnitude easier and less expensive than a single incident. Due to its interconnected nature, when pallet rack falls, it’s usually an entire row, or a series of them. Costs, in terms of damaged product, lost production time, and injuries can be extreme. In many “just-in-time” manufacturing operations, losing components means losing days of production time.

So: what can you do?

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Improving Customer Experience Through Manufacturing

June 16, 2016

manufacturing activities

Today’s consumers know what they want — and they want it fast.

The global online marketplace has placed infinite possibilities at customers’ fingertips and competition is stiff. This is no longer a consumer trend; B2B companies have to change how they approach customer experience. Buyers are not only looking for a superior product, they also want great customer service and an efficient sales process.

Hue Schlegel of Wildeck put the current trend in the most succinct way possible: “The customer is king, so you have to give them what they want.”

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Technology’s Impact on Manufacturing & Distribution Center Industry

June 14, 2016

conveyor system automated

Automation comes sharply into focus at industry shows like this year’s Modex 2016. It’s an opportunity to see the latest innovations in technology up close and hear from vendors the new ways they are incorporating automated material handling systems into their own facilities, as well as serving their customers.

Manufacturing, distribution and supply chain companies are doing everything they can to keep pace with the rapid change of technology, from the Internet of Things to 3D printing to highly intuitive software. As we made our way around the show floor, we were curious how the increase of automation is affecting the workforce, updating facility processes, and changing how manufacturers do business. Let’s take a look:

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New Ways Manufacturers Are Attracting and Retaining Talent

June 8, 2016

manufacturing employees

If there’s one takeaway from Modex 2016 that will stick with us it’s that the supply chain industry is evolving at a rapid pace. From automated material handling to software that harnesses and makes sense of big data to safer and more ergonomic products, the show was rife with innovation.

While the technology is improving, most companies are facing challenges in another critical aspect: Hiring skilled workers. As the workforce ages and veteran employees look to retire, companies are struggling to fill positions. We’ve written about the manufacturing skills gap before and it was a topic that came up repeatedly in our conversations with industry colleagues at Modex. After all, the Manufacturing Institute research shows that by 2025 the skills gap will result in 2 million unfilled jobs. It’s a great concern across the industry.

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