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

Streamline and Simplify Your Distribution Center

July 18, 2017

view inside a distribution center
You’ve heard this pitch before: If you just implement this software, or that machinery, or hire my consultant, or buy into this other program, you’ll realize amazing gains. You’ll be more productive; more accurate; you’ll work less hours. Things will be great.

You may really need to expand your facility, or install expensive new WMS software or add high levels of automation, but it’s always worth checking on process or facility layout changes before you take the plunge. What are some areas you should consider?

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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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Laying the Groundwork for Using a 3PL Service

February 14, 2017

warehouse order picking area

Companies are utilizing 3PL services for their warehousing and shipping needs more often than ever. Many of the companies who choose to shift their operations to third parties are e-commerce entities that specialize in producing and selling a product and don’t want to run a storage and shipping facility. Others are traditional distributors, retailers, and others who believe that they should focus on core competencies.

If your company is considering a 3PL for its warehousing, shipping and logistics needs, what information do you need to have ready?

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Digital OSHA Incident Reporting: Mandatory and Coming Soon

December 5, 2016

fall protection harness system in a warehouse

If you are a safety or EHS director, you probably knew this was coming: starting January 21, 2017 certain companies will be required to electronically submit their injury and illness data. This is data these companies should already be keeping, so the requirement isn’t so much about new record keeping as it is updated methodology.

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Posted in Manufacturing, News, ROI, Safety & Ergonomics, Third Party Logistics| 3 Comments »

10 Tips: How to Protect Yourself from the Hidden Costs of Used Racks

November 8, 2016

order picker in a rack warehouse

Pallet racks are durable, and you know that if you spend any time in this industry. When properly specified, installed, used and maintained, they can last for decades. If you choose to install used racks, take sensible precautions to ensure safety and stability.

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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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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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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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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 »

Posted in Lean, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, ROI, Warehousing| No Comments »

10 Expert Insights on 2016 Manufacturing Trends

January 12, 2016

millennials-manufacturing

As noted in one Citrix report, 2016 is set to become a watershed year for manufacturing.
“The industry is showing signs of reinvention in areas including automation, 3d printing and data analysis, and the next five years looks to be pivotal in realizing this change,” says a Global Manufacturing article on the report findings.

With manufacturing at such a critical point in its long history, the ways in which industry leaders view the changing landscape will likely shape its future. Manufacturing in particular is positioned for domestic growth and, more than ever, industry leaders must guide their organizations strategically.

To get a sense of how experts are approaching the year ahead (and how this year’s trends compare to previous years), we connected with our vendor partners and other industry leading organizations.

The following is a look at 10 expert opinions on 2016 trends: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Automation, Manufacturing, ROI, Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing| 2 Comments »