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Lean 3PL Warehousing—Create a Perfect Flow

January 31, 2017

Lean 3PL warehouse
Creating a lean warehouse or DC is not something a 3PL can accomplish overnight, but it’s something that can improve your efficiency, flexibility and ability to take on new business without expanding into new facilities or massively revamping existing ones.

It takes vision, planning, strategy, tools, foresight, patience and intelligent tactics. When your warehouse is lean, it will be easier to hold, inventory, and pull the most important goods. This helps you eliminate errors, increase throughput, and satisfy customers more comprehensively.

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For 3PLs, Flexibility is a Critical Business Goal

January 18, 2017

Automated distribution warehouse

3PL companies operate in an environment that demands rapid changes and requires continual evolution.

Client requirements can change in a week (or less). New business opportunities can spring up that were unanticipated a month before. From my days working for a 3PL, I know that the ability to swiftly change in order to satisfy both your customer’s increasing demands and those of an industry that never rests were a top priority. The problem? That’s easy to understand, but hard to do.

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10 Ways to Set up Warehouse Workers for Success

November 29, 2016

warehouse worker picking from a storage rack

Companies spend lots of time trying to understand the best ways to increase efficiency in their operations. How do I increase pick rates? Why do we spend more time on things that add no value than we should? Why do we make so many mistakes, and how do I stop it? Why is there so much waste in the system? How can this be better organized?

These are all good questions, and the answer to solving these problems usually lies in developing people to work their best.

In this day and age of increasing industrial productivity, tough global competition, and tight labor, integrating personnel development with best practices facility design, automation, processes and management is key to reducing labor costs, increasing margins, and becoming a more profitable operation. People thrive in good environments where they are set up to succeed. What can you do to build the right situation for your people?

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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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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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Modex Interview Series: UNEX

May 10, 2016

Modex 2016 Show Floor, Atlanta Georgia

At Modex 2016 in Atlanta, we had the opportunity to sit down with Brian Neuwirth, President of UNEX, for a wide-ranging discussion on the state of manufacturing. He shared his insights on key issues facing the industry from improving customer experience to addressing the skills gap.

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Industrial Workstations: The Key to Improved Productivity in the Warehouse

April 19, 2016

Modern packaging and shipping work bench station

Providing employees with a comfortable, ergonomic, and efficient workspace is a necessity in any picking, packing, assembly, inspection, quality control, manifesting or other industrial operations. A proper industrial workstation, tailored to the task and employee, goes a long way toward creating a healthier and more productive workspace and environment.

There are dozens of options for workstations, ranging from a simple bench to a more elaborate set up designed with the job in mind. Let’s take a look a few industrial workstations and their unique benefits.

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Demonstrating the Value of Warehouse Operations

April 12, 2016

Executive in the warehouse

You know that your warehouse is critically important to being able to satisfy customers. You know how warehousing mistakes can impact your company’s bottom line, and how excellent warehousing can boost it. You know that a lack of resources can cripple a thriving storage or distribution operation. You also know that there are people in some organizations who don’t understand this.

Communicating the warehouse’s value is almost as important as establishing it.

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High-Density Alternatives to Traditional Shelving

April 7, 2016

Rotabin Shelf Storage
Sometimes you need instant access to supplies, pick order inventory or assembly parts. You don’t want to open a box, carton or drawer – you just want what you need right there within reach. Traditional storage shelving requires adding bins, dividers and more to get that kind of access. There are some excellent alternatives!
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