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It is the Veteran…

May 28, 2010

Memorial Day

This has very little to do with warehousing, storage, or material handling – the normal stuff you’d see on this blog. It has everything to do with the debt we owe our veterans as the long weekend approaches.  This certainly isn’t original on our part, but it’s about the most apt thing I can think of to say. If you served, or have family who have served, thanks. We owe you everything.

It is the  VETERAN,  not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.

It is  the VETERAN, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN,  not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is  the VETERAN, not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.

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Section 179 Enhanced Limits Extended for 2010 tax year

May 25, 2010

This is great news for small business. How great?

All businesses that purchase or finance less than $800,000 in business equipment should qualify for the Section 179 Deduction. To qualify for the Section 179 Deduction, the equipment purchased must be placed into service between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010. The list of qualifying equipment includes machines purchased for business use, vehicles, computers, and property attached to your building that isn’t part of the structure (essentially, most material handling equipment). For more information, check out the Section 179 website – it has lists of qualifying companies and an online calculator that helps you figure out your position. As always, see a tax professional to ensure your company and purchase qualify.

Please Note – The HIRE Act does not extend the 50% bonus depreciation that was available in the 2009 tax year.  We’ll let you know if there is movement toward extending that credit.

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Cisco-Eagle Wins AACE Employee Ownership Awards

May 17, 2010

Employee-OwnedThe ESOP Association recently announced its 2010 Annual Awards for Communications Excellence (AACE) award winners, and Cisco-Eagle was among the companies honored. These awards recognize the outstanding communications and educational programs. The awards were presented at the Association’s 33rd Annual Conference in Washington, DC. Cisco-Eagle has been an ESOP (employee owned) company since 2000. Our awards include:

  • 1st Place: Category 5-B, External ESOP Advertising – Website
  • Runner Up: Category 3-A, Printed Materials, 250 or fewer employees

For more information on Cisco-Eagle’s employee ownership culture, see our ESOP area.

Read more about the AACE Awards.

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Seeing the light: how going energy efficient saves you money

April 19, 2010

Warehouse lighting system - high efficency

Implementing an energy-efficient lighting system can make your facility much brighter overall, and in particular, it can brighten those dark ‘canyons’ between rack rows.

It also saves you money on utility costs. In a large distribution center, the daily cost savings is significant, even before you factor in enhanced productivity due to an overall better working environment. But it gets better: Under the 2005 EPACT law, you can deduct the entire cost of a new lighting system, up to 60 cents a square foot if the system reduces lighting power density below he maximum allowable lighting power densities listed in ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2001, and if a few other requirements are met. This typically results in a much lower cost of ownership and a very quick return on investment.

Oh, and combined with other energy saving upgrades to your facility, that 60 cents could climb to $1.80 a square foot.

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Podcast: 5 Easy Ways to Save $100,000 in Distribution Costs

April 9, 2010

Cost vs. Service

The folks at the Material Handling Institute of America have thrown all of last year’s ProMat sessions in Podcast/Webcast form onto their website, for free. This presentation is intriguing – who doesn’t want to save a hundred grand? It’s presented by Louis J. Cerny, Vice President of Sedlak, and lasts about 37 minutes; it’s easy to listen to in the background if you don’t feel the need to watch the slide presentation.

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E24 Power Roller 24-volt Conveyor: Transfers & Merges

April 1, 2010

E24 Powered Roller Conveyor from Hytrol has become very popular with conveyor users due to its advantages over conventional conveyor and motorized rollers.  This quiet, energy-efficient conveyor fits the green mode that many operations are following, and can deliver exceptional flexibility, superb heat dissipation, and a robustness that cannot be achieved with motors embedded in conveyor rollers.

Below are two examples of  creative application of E24 technology…

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Vertical Lift helps University of Texas

March 22, 2010

Vertical Lift (VRC) at University of TexasTypically, you see Vertical Lifts deployed in heavy industrial settings. They’re frequently used in multilevel facilities, in manufacturing plants, or paired with a mezzanine.  Cisco-Eagle’s Houston office recently worked with Pflow to implement a lift in a unique application: to help the University of Texas marching band access the field.

From the IEN Article:

“Tradition dictates that the Texas band, cheerleaders, and Big Bertha, the world’s largest bass drum, enter the stadium through the north end zone after a pre-game parade. The initial design had the band march from the street to the field down a ramp with a clearance of only 3 ft below the main concourse. When it was determined that Big Bertha would not fit down the ramp, the architectural team sought to find a feasible solution. After a thorough review of various options, a Pflow Series-F VRC was specified to periodically elevate a section of the concourse up 9 ft, creating a 12 ft high clearance for the band to safely enter and exit the stadium through the ramp that passes under the main concourse.”

“Pflow partnered on the project with Cisco-Eagle, a material handling company based in Dallas and a longtime Pflow dealer in the Southwest. After an initial on-site consultation with the general contractor and the project architects, Cisco-Eagle and Pflow collaborated with Pflow’s industry leading engineering team and returned with an innovative solution. No other lift manufacturer came back with a proposal after the initial review phase, apparently assessing that the demands required of a viable system would be too great.”

 

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Did Wood Pallets Cause the Tylenol Recall?

February 11, 2010

wood pallets

According to DC Velocity, the answer may be yes.

The maker of several over-the-counter drugs, including Tylenol, Motrin and Benadryl, announced a broad-based recall of these and other drugs after receiving complaints of an “unusual moldy, musty or mildew-like” odor. Johnson & Johnson received what the company described as a “small” number of complaints of issues including nausea, stomach pain, vomiting or diarrhea.

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Posted in Manufacturing, Material Handling, News, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Pallet Rack, Safety & Ergonomics, Supply Chain, Warehousing| No Comments »

WERC Sets 2010 Annual Conference

January 26, 2010

WERC Conference logo

WERC (Warehousing Education and Research Council) has announced its 2010 Annual conference, geared for the needs of warehouse and distribution management. The conference is set for May 16-19, 2010. The WERC conference offers on a strong educational program for warehousing/distribution professionals from long-time to just-starting-out. Practitioners, subject matter experts, industry suppliers and academics freely share their experience and ideas. You’ll walk away with new insights on the best ways to optimize resources, maximize productivity and optimize performance. For more information or registration details, visit the official WERC site.

Posted in Automation, Docks & Shipping, Material Handling, News, Order Picking & Fulfillment, ROI, Safety & Ergonomics, Supply Chain, Sustainability| No Comments »

Improve order picking processes without automation

November 20, 2009

Cliff Holste at Supply Chain Digest (opens in a new window) has a good piece on ways to improve picking productivity.

Distribution centers will benefit from emerging automated case picking technologies, but those don’t fit for every operation, at every level. They’re also expensive upgrades, so your ROI has to be considered as well.

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