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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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What’s the Right Warehouse Rack System for Your Operation?

March 8, 2016

Forklift in front of rack and shelving warehouse system

A warehouse rack system is a humble part of any storage operation that can quietly make or break its success. While that may sound dramatic, it’s a fact that in a warehouse or distribution center a rack system is at the core of operations. It’s involved in several stages of operations and it follows that it should be carefully considered.

The good news is warehouse racking systems are available in many different configurations. Most can be customized to suit your warehouse’s specific space and business needs, fill the cube and operate in most any way you’d like. Whether you are storing pallets, beverage loads, heavy components, furniture, food, cartons or any other load, rack systems can be designed to fit your application.

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Posted in Inventory Management, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Pallet Rack, Warehousing| No Comments »

Workbenches & Workstations – How to Optimize Work Flow

February 16, 2016

Dehnco Industrial Workstation
As your business grows, the flow of materials tends to bog down as demand increases, forced through the same channels and processes. Throughput grinding slowly down is a story as old as warehousing itself.

Frequently the operations that lag behind the rest of the process are in the picking, packing and shipping areas of your facility. What’s difficult is that these inefficiencies evolve over time, where they can almost be hidden from an analytical view. It seems that no matter how many people you throw at the problem they never catch up, and error rates escalate. Often the solution is in simple steps toward organizing your packing areas and putting supplies conveniently at hand.

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How to Reduce Your Storage Footprint with Spiral Conveyors

February 9, 2016

spiral conveyor system

In any warehouse or distribution facility, there are two critical—and usually very limited—commodities: time and space.

Warehouses and DC’s are limited by these two constraints – you basically have your square footage, your people, and 24 hours in a day—or less, if you aren’t running three shifts. These constraints drive us to refine processes and optimize performance. Let’s discuss a type of equipment that can save time and slash the need for space: spiral conveyors.

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Posted in Conveyor, Material Handling, Mezzanines, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »

How WCS Controls & Synchronizes Automated Equipment & Systems

February 4, 2016

Automated Conveyor System
When you deploy automated equipment and systems like conveyor sortation, picking, packing, and order consolidation, you may think that getting the equipment to do its basic job is the goal. That optimal production and worker performance had been gained. There’s a digital element that you may not have considered, though – a warehouse control system.
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5 Key Warehouse Performance Metrics for an Effective Operation

January 28, 2016

warehouse operations
Performance metrics are a universal way to measure a warehouse operation’s overall effectiveness, quality, and productivity. In today’s fast-paced and competitive environment, setting benchmarks and goals for a company is essential, but it’s not enough to set lofty goals for the coming year in terms of revenue, profits, or production. In the warehouse, success is the sum of all its parts. To reach overall production, quality, safety, or service goals, an examination of each step is essential. Through this evaluation process of different performance metrics, managers can find actionable information and begin prioritizing problems within a warehousing or distribution operation.

We’ve previously discussed how key performance indicators (KPIs) demonstrate the value of warehouse functions. Now, let’s take a dive deeper into five specific performance metrics to consider implementing in the modern warehouse. Read the rest of this entry »

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