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Navigating Your Way to Warehouse Savings

September 10, 2019

warehouse

Today’s warehouse managers are fighting growing inventory levels, dealing with increased SKUS, and managing higher frequency of tiny orders. Dealing with this daily grind many often have no time to find or fix operational issues. If your company is not fortunate enough to have a team of industrial engineers, you could be missing many opportunities.

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Posted in Warehousing & Distribution|

3PL Reverse Logistics: Going Reverse to Move Ahead

July 20, 2017

Make Reverse Logistics a priority

E-commerce customers are increasingly comfortable with a buying experience that includes easy, free and frequent returns. Returns—and the issues involved with them—are nothing new for retail and e-commerce distribution, but the “new normal” of frequent returns offers 3PLs that can leverage their reverse logistics capacity a significant competitive advantage over competitors who can’t adapt to the new reality.

While some companies consider reverse logistics a necessary evil, those with well-managed returns programs can increase overall efficiency and profitability  while satisfying customers and increasing loyalty. They find ways to resell more returned products, and are able to dispose of or restock what they can’t resell more efficiently and with less environmental impact.

What are some ways to increase your returns capacity?

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Posted in Warehousing & Distribution|

Guard Rail: Steel vs. Flexible Poly

October 7, 2015

forklift impact on guard railing in a warehouse

These collisions have done some damage

In both cases, the guard rail has deformed. That’s good (kind of), because both guardrails have done their jobs and protected the people, equipment or facility structures behind them. On the other hand, you can see that the rail systems have been damaged. Let’s see how they match up in form, function and lifetime cost. Typically when you have a forklift barrier, it will eventually be impacted, and those impacts can be direct or indirect, fast or slow, serious or cosmetic. When the impact is direct, fast and damaging, what are the critical differences in rigid and flexible rail systems?

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Posted in Safety & Ergonomics|

Industrial Automation and The Flexibility Problem

August 22, 2013

as-rs-system

Earlier this year, Food Logistics published a provocative article, “Automate or Die”.  Do you have to automate? Of course not. But it brings to mind a good question: where is the point of acceptable ROI for automation projects? When does it make sense? What aspects are potential pitfalls?

We’re  inside warehouses, distribution centers, commercial operations, and manufacturing facilities every day. We don’t see full scale automation in all — or even most — of these operations. We’ve even seen some companies who have automated go back to picking with carts. We’ve seen others thrive due to their automated projects. The point is, you certainly won’t “die” if you don’t automate. But that doesn’t mean that you should not automate some or all aspects of your operation.

In some cases, we try to make the case that automation isn’t needed. In others, we try to help these companies understand when a capital investment in automation equipment and/or software will save money, increase productivity, reduce problems, and improve their business. It’s not  something that you can do from a distance.  It requires a command of the facts on the ground, in the servers, and throughout the supply chain.

So, the question is, why automate? 

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Posted in Automation, Labor & Efficiency|

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