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Doing more with less: the core mission of material handling

April 27, 2009

Cisco-Eagle CEO Warren Gandall discusses ways to do more with less in a struggling economy

order picking at a warehouseAchieving more with less is a core goal of most businesses. In the warehousing and industrial world, that means building more, shipping more, doing more – controlling more – with fewer resources. The typical issue is labor in many of these operations. It takes people to run a shipping operation, and plenty of them.

“In economically challenging times like now, you’re being asked to produce more per person than ever,” said Cisco-Eagle’s CEO, Warren Gandall. “You’ve probably had to let people go. You may have shut down some areas, cancel contracts, cut a shift, and take the steps necessary to emerge from this downturn. But the big question is, how do you emerge stronger?”

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Why Dallas is Great for Distribution

April 10, 2009
Dallas access to US markets by truck

Dallas access to US markets by truck

5 Reasons the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex  is a great place for Distribution, order fulfillment, and manufacturing

Wringing out every atom of efficiency from your supply chain is more important than ever. Figuring out where you’ll distribute products from is a key part of that decision. Here’s the case for the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex:

  1. Central location. Dallas is about as centralized as you can get, in particular when you consider its relative distance from North America’s 4 major business centers (New York, LA, Mexico City, and Toronto). 98% of U.S. consumers can be reached in a couple days by truck from DFW.
  2. Lower operating costs. Dallas warehouse space costs is inexpensive, and business costs are the lowest among major metropolitan areas. Tax rates are nearly 20% lower than the national average, and the weather is excellent.
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Ways to make your facility more energy efficient and worker-friendly during warm weather

March 27, 2009

warehouse worker in hot summer conditions

As Spring kicks into gear, the heat of summer hasn’t hit yet in most places. The time to implement facility changes that could help you control climate costs and provide a better atmosphere for your operations is now, not once the weather has changed. It’s not just a matter of air systems; smaller, incremental changes at entry points or near work areas can have a big impact on worker comfort and productivity. Theses changes can also save you money.

As temperatures climb, more air conditioning isn’t always the best, or even the most effective solution – and it’s certainly not the most cost effective.

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How can you slash DC labor costs? With product slotting

March 24, 2009

The North Texas WERC (Warehouse Education and Resource Council) is presenting a Dinner & Educational seminar on the topic of product slotting. According to WERC, Product Slotting may be the most cost-effective improvement opportunity in today’s distribution center. Slotting is assigning an item into the right storage fixture type and placing it into a location that results in the most efficient use of space, equipment and labor resources. To get the product into the right location many factors can be analyzed including product velocity and order commonality. At the same time, the optimum location must satisfy special storage and handling requirements, such as weight and contamination issues. The optimization of product slotting can be complicated without the aid of an advanced slotting program. There are a few on the market, and WERC has invited Optricity to demonstrate how their slotting program  solves this complex opportunity to slash your DC labor costs.

The Dinner presentation is Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 4:30. It costs $40, and includes dinner and networking sessions. For more information, visit the WERC North Texas events page.

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The Top 10 Distribution Center Locations for 2009

March 22, 2009

sortaation system at a distribution warehouse

Operations & Fulfillment (an excellent publication you should be reading if you aren’t already) has published a list of the top locations for warehouses and DC’s in 2009, in this article “Where to Warehouse: The Top 10 for 2009.”

The winner this year was Henderson, Kentucky, assuming a single warehouse. Dallas, Texas finished among the best locations in a 5-warehouse network.

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RMI Announces R-Mark for Welded Wire Rack Decking

February 11, 2009

pallet rack with wire decking

The Material Handling Industry of America recently announced that the RMI (Rack Manufacturers Institute) has certified several manufacturers of wire rack decking “R-Mark” compliant, meaning that these companies have conformed to the Institute’s testing and utilization standards. The industry developed the latest and most comprehensive consensus documents ANSI MH16.1 – 2008 – Specification for the Design, Testing and Utilization of Industrial Steel Storage Racks and MH26.2 – 2007  – Specification for the Design, Testing and Utilization of Welded Wire Rack Decking. Members of RMI voluntarily choose to conform to ANSI MH16.1 – 2008 and MH26.2 – 2007 and any successor document(s).

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Posted in Industrial Shelving, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Pallet Rack, Safety & Ergonomics, Supply Chain, Warehousing| No Comments »

Optimizing Your Distribution or Manufacturing Operation During Slow Economic Times

January 21, 2009

warehouse storage

It isn’t news that the U.S. has been in a recession for most of the last year. It also isn’t news that you can utilize certain equipment and process improvements to upgrade at lower costs, and even return your investment more quickly in an environment like this one. Here are some ideas.

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Can Your Floor Bear the Weight of a New Mezzanine?

December 13, 2008

Structural mezzanineCisco-Eagle has created an informative article you should check out if you are thinking of installing a mezzanine in your facility. When implementing an Industrial Equipment Platform (mezzanine) be sure that you are not putting too much stress or weight on the floor of the building. Too much weight will cause the floor to crack – or worse. This article tells you how to calculate the correct load capacity and column spacing for any new structural mezzanine project. Floor capacity depends on the thickness of the concrete, but that’s not the end of the story. It also matters how much the soil underneath the slab will compress.

Click “Calculating Mezzanine Floor Capacities” to get the whole story…

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Cisco-Eagle to present at North Texas WERCouncil End of Year “Celebration and Education”

November 12, 2008

Cargill Distribution in Friona, TexasIf you’re in the North Texas area or can easily make the trip, I highly recommend that you attend the North Texas Warehousing Education and Resource Council  “Celebration and Education” seminar on December 10, 2008 in Dallas at the Marriott DFW Airport North.  It’s an excellent day of networking, education and fun. Cisco-Eagle’s Donald Prater is presenting at this session, on the topic “Cargill Excel Beef Case Study – Taking Order Fulfillment to the Next Level.” Donald has implemented multiple facilities for Excel over the years and has keen insights on how to best improve the operations at these kinds of fast-paced, complex operations that you can apply to an operation of almost any kind.

The conference costs $30.

See  our case study on Excel’s innovative order fulfillment project.

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New testing methods deployed at University of Arkansas RFID research center

October 30, 2008

rfid-conveyor.jpgDmitriy Nesterkin, a graduate student employee of the University of Arkanas RFID Research Center, has recently developed a new test data management system for use in the Lab. His software application will allow test data to be stored and analyzed from within one system. In recent weeks, the RFID Research Center has also added two Masters of Information Systems (MIS) students to their staff. These two students have successfully extended a software application that was written by former student employee, Jarrod Bourlon. This application will now be able to handle new inputs and outputs. (Note: Cisco-Eagle is a strategic sponsor of the RFID center)

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