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Warehousing and the Millennial Worker

February 20, 2020

warehouse workers reviewing a whiteboard plan

As the progression of baby boomer retirees continues–at a blistering pace of 10,000 each day–all industries are feeling the pressure to attract the younger generation. Not only is this need growing, but in terms of keeping up with the faster pace of business, it’s paramount. Warehousing is no different and faces the tough task of keeping millennial (and younger) workforces interested in walking through its doors for the long haul.

Just how do warehouse operators attract qualified hires from the millennial generation? What are some ways not only to bring in these employees–but retain them?

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Posted in Warehousing & Distribution|

How to Calculate Automation ROI

October 10, 2019

robotic palletizer system in action
Return-on-investment is critical to automation projects, but justification isn’t straightforward. If you’re trying to convince management to make capital improvements to your operation, a smart, accurate and succinct ROI summary can work wonders. Let’s dive into some methods you can use to understand what to do — and what you can’t quantify.
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Posted in Automation, Labor & Efficiency|

How to Reduce Warehouse Noise

April 16, 2019

manufacturing worker with earplugs

Anyone who works in a production facility or distribution center knows how loud these places are. The sound of forklifts, the constant whirr of conveyors, the thrum of generators, and the steady beat of all things mechanized can be overwhelming. There are also specific, distracting noise producers, such as small engines, stampers, and generators. Over time, people adapt to this environment, “tuning out” noise as much as possible.

Research from the National Institutes of Health is clear: sound affects productivity. It’s also unsafe on a number of levels for industrial workers.

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Posted in Safety & Ergonomics|

How Heat Saps Warehouse Productivity, Causes Errors and Reduces Retention

April 2, 2019

shop floor in heat
Warehouses, shop floors, and manufacturing facilities can be difficult environments for workers, and heat makes it even harder. Hot days and hard work conspire to reduce productivity and increase errors. We’ve found some research that spells out exactly how much, and have some recommendations to reduce the issues.

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Posted in Safety & Ergonomics|

The Impact Of Industrial Robots On Your Workforce

February 14, 2019

robot fulfillment

A research paper was released last month by two Harvard labor economists highlighted one of the coming decade’s most interesting talking points: the automated labor of the future. We are no strangers to the unique opportunities that adding robots can provide. What this paper sought to do was estimate the current effect of the introduction of robots on wages and employment, while also focus on the future they pose in industrial and manufacturing economies.

With this kind of research being conducted (with many more studies to be revealed for sure) and a spotlight put on the future robotic workforce, many with facilities that could use their services would be wise to discover how they can benefit. But what, exactly, should you be looking for?

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Posted in Automation, Labor & Efficiency|

Dealing with Warehouse Labor Shortages

July 26, 2018

warehouse workers with cartons

If you run a distribution center, factory or warehouse, it’s not news to you that labor is in tight supply. Demands is up, and workers — particularly skilled, motivated, productive ones — have more options than ever. E-commerce has transformed the business, with constantly-escalating demand for pickers, packers, assembly workers, drivers and warehouse labor. With national unemployment rates below 4%, many other industries are competing with you for the same labor pool. What can you do to cope with these issues?

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Posted in Warehousing & Distribution|

Why Your Order Pickers Should be More Like Fast Food Workers

March 22, 2018

food worker doing multiple tasks
Order picking operations in today’s rapid, ecommerce-driven market are faced with increasing demand and customer expectations on one side, and a fluid labor pool on the other. This isn’t dissimilar to the labor challenges experienced by fast food companies. What can you do to cope with this?

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Posted in Order Picking & Fulfillment|

Factors for Robotic Bag Palletizing Systems

March 2, 2017

Robotic palletizer bag effector

Above: SAS Automation standardized bag-gripper

Palletizing is a standard material handling application for industrial robots, and bag palletizing is one of the most typical applications. Why? Because bag palletizing is simpler and easier than case palletizing. If your operation requires bag stacking/pallet loading – and you want to improve speed, reduce mistakes, and create a more ergonomic system, here are the things you need to know.

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Posted in Automation, Labor & Efficiency|

How Dock Operations Improve Customer Service

January 10, 2017

flexible conveyors at dock door service

A loading dock is like a football center: It touches the ball every play, but gets no glory when things go well.

Almost all warehouses and manufacturing facilities induct and ship out almost everything through the dock area.  Your shipping and receiving areas are the conduit between your operation and the world beyond. Finding ways to improve operations in the dock area can yield positive results for almost any business. Whether your operation processes 10 pallets or 10,000 packages a day, you can improve the entire operation by optimizing dock operations.

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Posted in Docks & Shipping|

10 Ways to Set up Warehouse Workers for Success

November 29, 2016

warehouse worker picking from a storage rack

Companies spend lots of time trying to understand the best ways to increase efficiency in their operations. How do I increase pick rates? Why do we spend more time on things that add no value than we should? Why do we make so many mistakes, and how do I stop it? Why is there so much waste in the system? How can this be better organized?

These are all good questions, and the answer to solving these problems usually lies in developing people to work their best.

In this day and age of increasing industrial productivity, tough global competition, and tight labor, integrating personnel development with best practices facility design, automation, processes and management is key to reducing labor costs, increasing margins, and becoming a more profitable operation. People thrive in good environments where they are set up to succeed. What can you do to build the right situation for your people?

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Posted in Warehousing & Distribution|

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