Smarter Space in the E-Commerce Landscape

January 18, 2018

pick module in ecommerce warehouse

Online sales will account for 17% of all U.S. retail sales by 2022, up from a projected 12.7% in 2017. As you might imagine, warehouses are suffering from a major capacity crunch. Whereas previously warehouses were organized to handle large volumes of each product, E-commerce orders are characterized by a low quantity of many items or just a singular item. In an e-commerce oriented warehouse, huge quantities of SKUs exist, each needing their own specific storage slots.

Warehouse managers know that inventory levels can fluctuate anytime within a sales season, especially during a holiday when inventory levels are typically at their peak, often double or triple normal levels. Plus, because of the Amazon-effect, consumers are demanding more products with faster and better service, putting additional strain on warehouse space. Because of this growth, many businesses are looking for additional space to distribute and store products, but warehouse real estate is hard to find.

What is a retailer to do? The answer for additional space can be found within the four walls of your current operation.

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Improving Ergonomics in the Warehouse

November 28, 2017

gravity roller conveyor

With the rising costs of workers’ compensation insurance and global pressures to increase productivity, warehouse and distribution center managers are taking a much closer look at improving ergonomics. With as many as 65% of worker’s compensation claims associated with manual materials handling, insurance companies are raising their rates—or mandating ergonomic improvements for continued coverage.

Equipment suppliers are responding to the need, engineering and designing features into their products to help workers minimize the strains associated with lifting, reaching, twisting, pulling and pushing. These new product features can also help address the demand for increased productivity as well.

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10 Tips: Pick-to-Light Systems for Order Fulfillment

March 16, 2017

pick to light for order fulfillment

Light-directed picking is the heavyweight champion when it comes to productivity gains, order picking speed, increased accuracy, and ease of operator development.

Because it’s 100% hands-free and requires no headpiece, it’s also highly flexible for many challenging fulfillment operations. We’ve compiled ten ways to analyze your operation to determine if these systems would be a fit for you. Obviously, more specific information will be needed, but this should get you started.

We spoke with Lightning Pick’s Dave Broadfoot about the best ways to ensure you are making a good pick-to-light decision.

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10 Ways to Keep Orders Moving During Your Busiest Season

December 23, 2014

I received a newsletter the other day that really hit home during this busy Christmas season. It was about keeping warehouse order pickers motivated in their work and I thought, “That’s really key during peak seasons when highly stressed workers can get burned out quickly.” So, how do you keep order pickers moving when they’re already under the gun?

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Posted in Automation, Conveyor, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Product Ideas, Robotics, Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing, Workbenches & Stations| No Comments »

Order Picking that Doesn’t Pull any Punches

July 11, 2014

I just got done adding some mobile automated pick dispensers to our website and got thinking about how a fulfillment manager can know when they need to add pick dispensers. So I went out on the internet and found some great info at the website hosted by MHI, an industry organization for material handlers.

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Innovations in High Density Storage

June 13, 2014

SpeedCell Dynamic High Density Storage

Ever find yourself wondering how you can get more out of your pallet rack? Do you have goods that take up very little space, but your pick operations don’t call for entire pallets full of the product? Then you might need to look at ways to achieve more density in your storage, and we’ve recently found a gem of a product that can help you out. It’s called Dynamic High Density Storage and it’s made by SpeedCell.

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Tactics to Reduce Small Parts Order Picking Errors

December 3, 2013

small parts picking line with Unex carton flow racking

Small parts are more difficult to count, measure and handle. They tend to cause more errors than case picking or larger component orders. If you are having errors, you should try to define the causes — and the suspects abound. Can you find out what’s causing the errors? Once you do, what happens next? Here are some common causes and solutions to this issue.

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The Ultimate Guide to Conveyor Systems

November 25, 2013

Conveyor System

Conveyors are an optimal way to enhance warehouse productivity, but, in order to maximize their benefit, it’s important to specify the right conveyor system to your application.  In an effort to assist our clients with material transport operations in distribution, warehousing, military logistics, and manufacturing, we’ve created this collection of Cisco-Eagle’s best conveyor system resources.

The following guide to conveyor systems is intended to help you determine how you can increase your operation’s efficiency, boost its productivity, reduce errors, and increase throughput – all while you reduce costs and overhead burden.

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“Undercover Boss” Underlines the Difficulties of Large Scale Distribution

December 26, 2010

warehouse overhead view

Tonight’s Undercover Boss on CBS featured GSI Commerce CEO Michael G. Rubin, and as my wife and I were watching it, the loading, order picking and packing segment brought home the difficulties of these operations. It’s a somewhat rare mainstream glimpse into large scale distribution operations.

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How to Improve Order Picking without Automation

November 20, 2009

picking from flow racks
Cliff Holste at Supply Chain Digest (opens in a new window) has a good piece on ways to improve picking productivity.

Distribution centers will benefit from emerging automated case picking technologies, but those don’t fit for every operation, at every level. They’re also expensive upgrades, so your ROI has to be considered as well.

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