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

Limiting Access to your Dock & Warehouse Areas

May 12, 2009

man trap driver security cage

Leaving a dock door open all day is an invitation to have someone stroll your aisles, check out your inventory, and perhaps take something. Most busy operations, particularly in good weather situations, leave those doors open. Often, the crew is busy with actual work; they don’t have the time to monitor visitors, delivery drivers, service providers, and every other person who strolls in.

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Steel (and Material Handling) Prices might be on the Move

May 12, 2009

Steel millAlthough most metal markets are still depressed from their all time highs of the last few years, it’s quite likely that steel pricing is going to increase in the near term. What’s that mean? It means that pricing for steel goods like warehouse racks, conveyors, shelving, mezzanines, and other material handling equipment will be on the rise.

“We are clearly going to see higher prices for May,” said Marty Forman, president of Forman Metal Co.  in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Things aren’t going to explode, by any means, but the scuttlebutt is that steel prices are going up $15 to $20 a ton.”

The takeaway? Prices are as low as they will be for the near future right now.

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The Plight of the Warehouse Manager

May 6, 2009

warehouse manager - distribution center management

With the advent of widespread e-commerce fulfillment, just-in-time principles, lean management, supply chain collaboration, globalization, the need for ever-faster response, and constant pressure to reduce expenses through headcount and shift reductions, today’s warehouse manager is being asked to do more than ever before.

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Workbench supply placement should be constantly evaluated

May 4, 2009

Packing operation with conveyor lines

There isn’t enough room at your average industrial workstation. In fact, many order pickers, packers, shippers, and other professionals might tell you that you could have a 10′ long workbench, and they’d still be squeezed for space. In a busy operation, it’s a constant battle between availability of materials and space for doing the actual work. So what’s the solution? A larger workbench top? According to Packmaterials.com (registration required, but a pretty useful resource from Dehnco – we have reprinted the entire piece here, with permission), if there is not enough workstation storage area a bigger table won’t help – and may hurt.

The tabletop surface should not be considered storage space in the first place. So that leaves the unanswered question: how do you get more storage space for needed materials?

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Doing more with less: the core mission of material handling

April 27, 2009

Cisco-Eagle CEO Warren Gandall discusses ways to do more with less in a struggling economy

order picking at a warehouseAchieving more with less is a core goal of most businesses. In the warehousing and industrial world, that means building more, shipping more, doing more – controlling more – with fewer resources. The typical issue is labor in many of these operations. It takes people to run a shipping operation, and plenty of them.

“In economically challenging times like now, you’re being asked to produce more per person than ever,” said Cisco-Eagle’s CEO, Warren Gandall. “You’ve probably had to let people go. You may have shut down some areas, cancel contracts, cut a shift, and take the steps necessary to emerge from this downturn. But the big question is, how do you emerge stronger?”

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Wire Security Cages: Welded vs. Woven

April 22, 2009

Woven wire security cageWith the focus on plant security the last few years, it’s little wonder that companies are outfitting their warehouses with security partitions and cages for high-value inventory, restricted access areas, tool cribs, and other places where more physical control of the property is needed. They are superb in these functions, keeping tools, components and inventories safe for a relatively low cost vs. other kinds of security measures.

Recently we started to offer welded wire partitions alongside the traditional woven cages that have been standard in the industry for years. Both are good equipment. Both will secure an area. Both will keep unauthorized people out of places they aren’t supposed to be. But they are different products, with different applications.

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Metal Lockers: Quick Ship vs. Production

April 12, 2009

Penco Vanguard LockersWe’ve offered quick ship metal lockers from Penco for years. They ship fast, they’re easy to order, but sizes, color, and other options are limited. You can order them today and you’ll get them fast. They’re used all over the place – schools, warehouse locker rooms, industrial and commercial facilities. People like them for easy, inexpensive secure personal storage. But now, we’re offering Built to Order Vanguard Lockers priced by the frame on our site. This gives you a ton of options and flexibility.

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Why Dallas is Great for Distribution

April 10, 2009
Dallas access to US markets by truck

Dallas access to US markets by truck

5 Reasons the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex  is a great place for Distribution, order fulfillment, and manufacturing

Wringing out every atom of efficiency from your supply chain is more important than ever. Figuring out where you’ll distribute products from is a key part of that decision. Here’s the case for the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex:

  1. Central location. Dallas is about as centralized as you can get, in particular when you consider its relative distance from North America’s 4 major business centers (New York, LA, Mexico City, and Toronto). 98% of U.S. consumers can be reached in a couple days by truck from DFW.
  2. Lower operating costs. Dallas warehouse space costs is inexpensive, and business costs are the lowest among major metropolitan areas. Tax rates are nearly 20% lower than the national average, and the weather is excellent.
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A variety of material handling equipment guides

April 2, 2009

conveyor optimization guideHELP SPECIFYING JUST ABOUT ANYTHING

Over the years, we have compiled a large number of guides for everything material handling related. These are things that can tell you everything from what caster wheel works best on a particular surface (on a floor with oils and greases you would want phenolic wheels, for instance) to safe ladder usage, to mezzanine decking advice.

Conveyors are extensively covered in our guide areas (MHIA has recognized this resource in its annual content awards). There are lots of guides, and if you’re trying to specify a particular kind of equipment, it’s a good bookmark to have.

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Ways to make your facility more energy efficient and worker-friendly during warm weather

March 27, 2009

warehouse worker in hot summer conditions

As Spring kicks into gear, the heat of summer hasn’t hit yet in most places. The time to implement facility changes that could help you control climate costs and provide a better atmosphere for your operations is now, not once the weather has changed. It’s not just a matter of air systems; smaller, incremental changes at entry points or near work areas can have a big impact on worker comfort and productivity. Theses changes can also save you money.

As temperatures climb, more air conditioning isn’t always the best, or even the most effective solution – and it’s certainly not the most cost effective.

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