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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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Posted in Automation, Order Picking & Fulfillment, ROI, Warehousing| No Comments »

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| 1 Comment »

Mobilizing Your Computer Stations for Operational Savings

June 30, 2015

Point of Sale Mobile Work Station

Reducing steps and wasted time

How many steps do your floor managers take going back and forth to the computer and print stations in the plant as they do their jobs? How much time does all that walking take over a year’s time? How much more work could be done if computers and printers could go where they do? If you’re managing materials going to and from storage, all that travel time is taking valuable people assets away from what should be their primary function. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Manufacturing, ROI, Warehousing, Workbenches & Stations| No Comments »

Incentive Programs for Warehousing & Manufacturing

May 7, 2015

returns center picking operation

Incentive programs are surprisingly common for industrial operations, and they can produce significant savings, quality increases and improved employee satisfaction – if the program is built correctly. In manufacturing, assemblers are often incentivized for quality and speed. In warehousing, it can be reduced product damage, pick rates, error rates or any number of other categories. When companies build out these programs, there are opportunities to create great value. How are companies going about this?

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Hytrol e24™ Rollers vs. Lineshaft and Conventional Motor Driven Rollers

April 21, 2015

Hytrol e24 conveyor sketch

Since Hytrol rolled out the e24™ 24-volt motor conveyor in 2008 at Pack Expo at the Cisco-Eagle booth, we have implemented many projects with the new technology. In fact, it has become 18% of power roller conveyor sales since then. Many manufacturers have copied the concept as well. Its advantages and cost savings are well documented, but this comparison takes it a step farther for several existing types of conveyors.

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Posted in Conveyor, News, ROI, Sustainability| No Comments »

Advantages of Modular Buildings in the Warehouse

March 17, 2015

Modular Building

In the past year I’ve toured manufacturing facilities that have office space right on the plant floor.  Those offices had been added as the company grew and needed more supervisors or engineers on the floor. They were using modular offices, of course. Later, I was fortunate to attend a training session on modular offices done by one of our suppliers, and it was amazing the forethought and engineering that goes into these modular buildings.

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New Year’s Resolutions for Your Warehouse

January 6, 2015

2015 is coming up

Resolutions like losing a pound (or 20!), learning to play a musical instrument, starting an exercise program, giving up smoking, or learning a new language are notoriously difficult to stick with. Worthwhile goals tend to be that way. When you’re thinking about what you’d like to do in 2015, save a resolution for your professional life. When it comes to your warehouse operation, since you work on it all day, every day, January is a good time to look at improvements you can make.

What could you resolve to improve in your warehouse this year?

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Posted in Conveyor, Pallet Rack, ROI, Warehousing| No Comments »

Records Storage Warehouses: Questions to Ask

December 11, 2014

records storage facility

The year is coming to an end, and many operations need to address records storage. We see an influx of companies coming to work with us on their records storage and archive storage areas from October through April. With new healthcare and other regulations, companies must store an increasing amount of paper records. If you have enough of a records storage load, and lack either the space or the time to manage your archives, you may opt to use a third party records storage facility.

When you are specifying a vendor, here are some questions you should ask.

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Posted in Industrial Shelving, ROI, Warehousing| No Comments »