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

How your 3PL Can Meet Customer Demands

May 12, 2017

conveyor order picking line

It’s a good time to be in the third party logistics business. 3PLs are in demand with no end in sight as the warehousing industry copes with higher volumes, increasing e-commerce demands and challenging customer expectations.

This gives 3PL operators with a unique opportunity to build lasting relationships with key customers, suppliers, and retailers of their choice. However, this can also lead to an increased demand for quality service from warehouses and fulfillment centers. In order for 3PLs to succeed in this new environment, they must be ready to face increasing levels of customer and prospect expectations.

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Harnessing Automation to Improve 3PL Performance

April 27, 2017

Warehouse conveyor in 3PL

As your 3PL grows and attracts more clients, products, and infrastructure, your product movement and storage capacity won’t be able to keep up with the increased volume. Growth is a great problem to have, but it’s still a problem.

Intelligent warehouse automation is an effective way to create better flow, enhance efficiency, ramp up throughput, reduce errors and improve your processes.  Introducing automated systems into your current warehouse environment can produce drastic reductions in time spent on certain day-to-day activities.

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What Pressures are Distribution Center Managers Facing in 2017?

March 21, 2017

fulfillment warehouse distribution center

In Logistics Management Magazine’s 2017 Warehouse/DC survey, there isn’t a lot that will surprise people on the front line of order fulfillment, storage, logistics and distribution management. As it has been for a while, e-commerce is driving the train, and its effects cascade into the rest of the business.  What are the major takeaways?

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10 Tips: Pick-to-Light Systems for Order Fulfillment

March 16, 2017

pick to light for order fulfillment

Light-directed picking is the heavyweight champion when it comes to productivity gains, order picking speed, increased accuracy, and ease of operator development.

Because it’s 100% hands free and requires no headpiece, it’s also highly flexible for many challenging fulfillment operations. We’ve compiled ten ways to analyze your operation to determine if these systems would be a fit for you. Obviously, more specific information will be needed, but this should get you started.

We spoke with Lightning Pick’s Dave Broadfoot about the best ways to ensure you are making a good pick to light decision.

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Factors for Robotic Bag Palletizing Systems

March 2, 2017

Robotic palletizer bag effector

Above: SAS Automation standardized bag-gripper

Palletizing is a standard material handling application for industrial robots, and bag palletizing is one of the most typical applications. Why? Because bag palletizing is simpler and easier than case palletizing. If your operation requires bag stacking/pallet loading – and you want to improve speed, reduce mistakes, and create a more ergonomic system, here are the things you need to know.

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Posted in Automation, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Palletizers| No Comments »

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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Posted in Lean, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Supply Chain, Third Party Logistics, Warehousing| 3 Comments »

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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Posted in Automation, Inventory Management, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Space Saving, Supply Chain, Third Party Logistics, Warehousing| No Comments »

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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Posted in Manufacturing, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Supply Chain, Third Party Logistics, Warehousing| 1 Comment »

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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Posted in Conveyor, Manufacturing, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Warehousing| No Comments »