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Shoptalk: EDC Pick Module Expansion

March 14, 2023

In our latest Shoptalk installment, employee-owner Amanda of our Systems Integration Group discusses how EDC upgraded and expanded its pick module operations.

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Posted in Order Picking & Fulfillment|

When is an ASRS System a Good Fit?

November 18, 2021

Muratec unit load pallet handling ASRS system in action.

Automated storage and retrieval systems are becoming more commonly deployed in today’s modern distribution, manufacturing and warehousing facilities because they make more sense than ever in an age of escalating demand and declining labor availability. Is space tight? What are the error rates throughout fulfillment? What kind of space issues do you see moving forward? What are the safety and ergonomic concerns?

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Posted in Automation, Labor & Efficiency|

How to Make Packing More Efficient

April 6, 2021

Automated packing area for an ecommerce distribution center, pick-to-totes operation.

Above: in this automated e-commerce distribution center, picks are packed into cartons from totes on the conveyor line. Because conveyors deliver the totes directly to workers, and the work is executed at ergonomic heights, the process is fast and efficient.

Order fulfillment is only as fast as its slowest function, and packing–often the last stop before shipping–can be a bottleneck. We’ve analyzed many operations that underestimated the needs of the packing department from the start, while others realized over time that new requirements, new SKUs and order volumes that were fine at go-live eventually bogged the packing function. It’s not unusual for picking processes to react faster and better to these conditions than the packing area.

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Posted in Order Picking & Fulfillment|

Putaway is Critical for Distribution Success

December 1, 2020

Putaway aisle in a distribution center, with flow storage and bulk storage accessibility.

Above: workers in a distribution center putaway aisle with flow and bulk storage accessibility. Picking aisles are left clear as the system is replenished. Photo credit: Unex Manufacturing.

Putaway, which is the methods and processes that occur between receiving inventory and that inventory resting in storage positions in a warehouse, may have more impact on the performance of order fulfillment or warehousing operation than most anything else.

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E-Commerce Propels 2019 Distribution Center Metrics Study

August 6, 2019

distribution center dock area

The annual DC Velocity/WERC (Warehousing Education and Research Council) DC Metrics Survey is out for 2019. This research is conducted every year and offers us insight into what measurements are most critical according to DC managers. As we know, the only constant is change, and this year showcases how e-commerce pushed accuracy and capacity to the forefront of DC managers’ minds.

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Posted in Warehousing & Distribution|

Carousels & Ecommerce

May 8, 2019

Vertical Carousels
Once an afterthought in the warehouse, vertical carousels are being reborn in the omnichannel age as a fulfillment finish line product. Retailers are eyeing carousels to help them aid in customer retrieval of picked orders shipped to a retail location, which is giving the carousel a “moment” as a new last-mile darling. Whether located in the back of the store for employees to use, or at the front for customers to pick up themselves, vertical carousels are showing to be a good fit for this new age of sales. But don’t sleep on their value in industrial settings or distribution channels.

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Posted in Automation, Labor & Efficiency|

Order Fulfillment is the First Line of a Great Customer Experience

January 15, 2019

order fulfillment operation using a hand scanner

Your most important customer satisfaction function is probably your warehouse and order fulfillment operations. Order fulfillment impacts the things customers care about most:

  • Did I get the right product?
  • Did I get it on time?
  • Did I get the right quantity?
  • Was my shipment damaged?

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Posted in Order Picking & Fulfillment|

Ways to Increase Order Picking Speed

December 4, 2018

order picking shelves in a warehouse
Years ago, direct-to-customer fulfillment was a niche business, dominated by catalog companies. Most distribution was mostly retail-oriented, with pallets of items shipping to store locations rather than to millions of front porches. Sometimes, retail brands would allow customers to order at stores and have their purchases shipped directly to their homes, but it wasn’t nearly as common. Today, speed from placement to shipment has become critical. Let’s dive into some ways you can improve this crucial warehouse metric.

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Posted in Order Picking & Fulfillment|

How to Convey Poly Bags & Envelopes

October 18, 2018

poly bag package

The shift from traditional retail to ecommerce is accelerating, and with that growth there are both challenges and opportunities for order fulfillment operations. Companies that spent decades perfecting retail distribution (large, bulk orders to a network of stores) are shifting toward direct-to-consumer shipments that are orders of magnitude more difficult to manage.

Among other things, this means that ecommerce companies must focus on optimal packaging. At Modex 2018, an industry expert panel including Hytrol’s Boyce Bonham discussed these issues.

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Posted in Conveyor Optimization|

Warehouse Management Headaches and How to Relieve Them

August 23, 2018

warehouse manager in a rack aisle
If you run a warehouse or distribution facility today, it’s likely that you are busy — really busy — and scrambling for time. E-commerce has changed the game, as customers demand more, faster, better. Managing a warehouse has always been a battle for time and the pressure never seems to subside. When we talk to warehouse managers and operators, here are some of the issues they face on a daily basis.

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Posted in Warehousing & Distribution|

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