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

How Distribution Centers are Working to Reduce Costs

November 25, 2014

picking area at a distribution center

This year’s Logistics Management magazine distribution center operations survey has an excellent analysis of recent warehousing trends at a national level. One of the more intriguing (and perhaps helpful) questions, was on the actions DC operators are taking to lower operating costs.

When it comes to those costs, the pressure is always on. Particularly in those unfortunate companies where the distribution center is considered just a cost, not a chance to add value. Even if you are hitting cost targets, you are probably interested in reducing operational costs without reducing effectiveness.

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Posted in Order Picking & Fulfillment, ROI, Supply Chain, Third Party Logistics, Warehousing| No Comments »

Upcoming Material Handling & Logistics Events

November 21, 2014

Trade Show Floor

We’ve compiled a list of upcoming materials handling, logistics, manufacturing, and other conferences you may want to attend in the coming months. Stay tuned – we’ll add more as they become available.

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Order Picking Error Rates: What’s Acceptable?

November 5, 2014

order picking at a conveyor line

It’s easy to say that you’re striving for 100% accurate pick rates, but how realistic is that goal? And should it be the actual number you shoot for? Mis-picked orders, any number of them, are expensive. Incorrect orders are expensive to re-pick. They’re expensive to return and restock. Shipping dollars are lost both directions. Most importantly, mistakes are expensive because they can cost you customers.

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Questions to Ask: Carousel Picking Systems

October 28, 2014

horizontal carousels

Carousels are a high performance order picking technology option, but only if you match them to the right operational needs and applications. If you are considering a carousel system for your operation, it’s important to understand when these “goods to person” picking systems are appropriate, and where manual picking might still work better for you. The real issue is, can you make a carousel, or any automated solution, outperform a good manual system?

The answer is: not always. Let’s look at ways you can push your project in the right direction.

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How Flow Rail Systems Improve Drive-In Racks

October 17, 2014

drive in application converted with flow rail

Drive-in rack is one of the best high-density pallet storage methods available, but it’s always had some drawbacks:

  • Forklift damage within the lane is always a possibility as drivers must drive in, then back out inside the rack structure
  • Since there must be driving space, drive-in racks lack lateral braces, which make them somewhat more vulnerable to collapse if struck
  • Driving into and out of that rack structure also takes time
  • Drive-in racks allow you to store only one SKU per bay
  • Drive-in structures are typically 30 to 40% empty at any given time

Now there is a way to get the benefits of drive-in rack – dense storage through deep lanes – without the dangers inherent with driving into the rack space.

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This article is part of a series of articles on Flow Rail. Click on a link below to view one of the other articles.
  1. How Flow Rail Systems Improve Drive-In Racks
  2. How Flow Rail Helps Reclaim Storage Space In Push-Back Rack
  3. High Density Pallet Storage Racks: Comparing Pushback, Drive-In, and Flow Rail

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

Pick Light vs. Voice-Directed vs. RF Picking Systems

October 1, 2014

light directed picking

These systems are at their best for open case picking systems. When you’re picking full pallets and cases, they’re less useful, although that depends on the situation. You can mix these systems in a single facility of pick pod area for maximum effect with inventory slotted to match the necessary profile. Each has a role, depending on what you’re picking, how your facility is set up, and the nature of your picking methodology. What might be best for a given situation?

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Lean Warehousing and Manufacturing Roundup

September 14, 2014

flow cell work station application

Lean manufacturing has been the rage for some time now, but the process isn’t as prevalent in the warehousing and distribution sector. This is unfortunate, because the principle of doing more with less speaks to the very core of warehousing. The reason to go lean in warehousing is to reduce reliance on warehousing. Here is a lean roundup of articles, blog posts, video, and more from around the web.

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Additions to Improve Your Pallet Storage

August 22, 2014
Pallet Rack with Safety Netting
 Pallet Rack with Mesh Cages

Pallet Rack with Safety Netting

Pallet Rack with Wire Mesh Caging


People store all kinds of things on pallet rack – from truck engines to fine jewelry. How do you protect valuable goods from being accessed by unauthorized personnel? What about inventory toppling off the back of the rack into an aisle where workers are?

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Posted in Inventory Management, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Pallet Rack, Product Ideas, Safety & Ergonomics, Security, Warehousing| No Comments »

Order Picking that Doesn’t Pull any Punches

July 11, 2014

I just got done adding some mobile automated pick dispensers to our website and got thinking about how a fulfillment manager can know when they need to add pick dispensers. So I went out on the internet and found some great info at the website hosted by MHI, an industry organization for material handlers.

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Order Picking: Optimizing and Storing Slow Movers

June 18, 2014

Order picking slow movers in a shelving row

The focus when it comes to order picking is usually (and justifiably) on the fastest-moving product. You slot your warehouse for fast movers. You pareto-focus on the 20% of the product that generates 80% of the business, as you should. But it’s also useful to consider the slow-moving inventory and pick locations. Simply putting the slowest movers in the least accessible area may make them consume more order picking time and storage space than necessary.

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