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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 Dimensional Shipping Weight Affects You

January 14, 2015

If you haven’t taken a look at your shipping invoices lately or talked to your freight rep, you probably should do so before the day is out. Significant changes have been made in the way shipping costs are calculated and it will impact your bottom line – no matter what you’re shipping.

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Cisco-Eagle website now calculates shipping costs

January 17, 2009
Shipping by motor freight

Shipping by motor freight

It’s common for websites that ship products via parcel services to calculate shipping costs, making it easy for buyers to learn total costs before ordering. Very few sites can calculate LTL or motor freight shipments for heavy, bulky equipment like industrial shelving, wire security partitions, warehouse racks, or conveyors.

That changes recently, as www.cisco-eagle.com can now provide instant shipping costs.

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Palletizer Perspectives: Is Palletizing Suitable for My Operation?

August 4, 2008

Palletizer - palletized cans

With the growing popularity of automating the palletizing function, we arranged an interview with vonGAL, a leading manufacturer who has the largest installed base of palletizers in the country. Bobby Edmond is vonGAL’s Director of Applications, and has been in the business for 25 years. He has seen applications in a wide range of industries, and in companies large and small. I asked him if he would take time to share his thoughts, and answer a few questions of interest to those that might be considering palletizing for the first time.

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This article is part of a series of articles on Palletizers. Click on a link below to view one of the other articles.
  1. Palletizers: ergonomics and justification issues
  2. Palletizer Perspectives: Is Palletizing Suitable for My Operation?

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Palletizers: ergonomics and justification issues

June 30, 2008

lifting from the “golden zone”As interest continues to grow in automated palletizing, let’s take a brief look at a few of the issues surrounding these applications.

Over the next couple of months, I’ll be providing a handful of blog postings relative to palletizers. We will begin with what is driving the growth in the use of these products, then a look at basic systems, cost estimates, what you can expect from a properly applied palletizer system, and then share specifics from a couple of actual implementations in distribution centers.If you are experienced in palletizer systems, you will likely be familiar with much of what is covered here. If you are new to palletizing, or considering your first system, hopefully this information will help you understand what the issues are and how you can navigate them.

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This article is part of a series of articles on Palletizers. Click on a link below to view one of the other articles.
  1. Palletizers: ergonomics and justification issues
  2. Palletizer Perspectives: Is Palletizing Suitable for My Operation?

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Posted in Automation, Material Handling, Palletizers, Safety & Ergonomics, Space Saving, Supply Chain, Warehousing| No Comments »

Cost of delivery – look out!

March 13, 2008

Last night I while watching the news on TV, I saw a story on the cost of diesel fuel. Where I live I understand that diesel fuel runs about 60-80 cents more per gallon than what I pay now for unleaded. The news story showed a trucker filling his tank, and the total bill came in around $600!

The story cited the rising cost of oil and increasing demand for diesel in other countries as contributing factors to the rising prices. I am sure that the current value of our dollar has also affected the price at the pump.

Those increasing fuel prices affect the delivery cost of capital equipment. Most freight companies add a fuel surcharge to the cost of delivery. As the price of fuel fluctuates, they adjust fuel surcharges accordingly. One freight company we work with adjusts their surcharges weekly. Read the rest of this entry »

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Along with the cost of a gallon of gas, your transportation costs are rising (but fuel isn’t the only reason)

November 14, 2007

It’s more immediate of course, when the cost at the pump jumps, but rising fuel costs are a reality in your shipping operations whether you are pushing product to customers or bringing it into your facility. We’ve all seen the fuel surcharges and continually-rising freight rates.

According to Operations & Fulfillment, labor developments may have just as much impact over the next few years. Over the next 5 years, the latest UPS contract amounts to a $9 per hour labor cost increase, which will certainly make its way downstream to shipping charges. Developments in other companies such as FedEx and labor negotiations across the shipping and freight world mean that even if fuel prices stabilize, it’ll cost you more to ship and receive products.

Curt Barry’s article at Operations & Fulfillment recommends some of the steps you can take:

  1. Look at transportation in the context of the total supply chain efficiency. (see Curt’s article for tips).
  2. Institute vendor compliance policies, include routing guides for inbound carriers. Do not permit vendor-controlled freight.
  3. For high returns businesses, use return services.
  4. Join an inbound freight consortium with contracted carriers and negotiated best rates.
  5. Do your homework. You have to understand your volume and shipping characteristics, etc.
  6. Consider a freight consultant, which can reduce costs 15% to 25%.

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