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Most Recent Articles

Our Readers Have Spoken: “Follow-Me” Technology’s Place in the Warehouse

Last week we shared with everyone a short video we made to demonstrate a new innovation in warehouse automation we are calling “Follow Me” (see it again here). It’s a drive engine mounted on one of our mobile-powered carts – but with a twist. Rather than start and stop using physical controls, the “Follow Me” feature enables the cart to follow the operator at their own pace, starting and stopping as they do. We were drawn to looking deeper into this because of the potential for hands-free applications, especially for picking in conjunction with a voice-collection system or for other tasks like inventory or inspection and maintenance.

Topics: Mobile Powered Workstation Carts Video survey

How Much Do You Love Your Mobile Power? One Client Shares The Love.

In a perfect world, we would sit back and let our customers do our marketing for us. Because with a Net Promoter Score of +56, we know our products are loved and widely used by them. And recently we woke up one morning thinking perhaps that perfect world was beginning to form when we received this video from Wurth, a global retailer group based in Germany with a core business in the distribution of fasteners and tools with over 120,000 different products. 

To be considered a supplier worthy of their endorsement is truly a privilege, especially when their corporate philosophy is so direct on what they stand for:

"When it comes to quality, we make no compromise. The Würth name stands for good, solid products and process quality in addition to outstanding customer service. Being close to our customers is important to us. More than 45,000 employees in 80 countries worldwide are busy looking after the needs of our customers."

Many thanks to the team at Wurth for making our day! Now, how can we make yours?

Topics: Video Mobile Power WERC

The Problem Creating Your Next Great Product

Product Development is a challenge for any business, but especially for small manufacturers. While there are reams of data and statistics out there showing you how many products fail every year, and how daunting the percentages are (and to be honest, there is a lot of disagreement on these numbers), there is relatively little mention of the challenges of coming up with your new product in the first place.

Topics: Productivity Manufacturing Process Improvement

Keeping Pace with Amazon in the Next Decade

Amazon Prime has set the standard for speedy delivery to consumers since 2005, putting pressure on brick-and-mortar and ecommerce retailers alike. Their more recent same-day shipping advancements as well as creative delivery options, like leaving packages inside consumers’ homes and vehicles have earned them notoriety as the preeminent retailer nationwide. These order fulfillment improvements have also drastically reset consumer expectations.

Topics: Supply Chain Shipping Speed Planning

Celebrate The Mad Skills in Your Warehouse

Recently our own Christine Wheeler and Drew Arnold had the pleasure of attending The 2nd Annual Pallet Games, hosted and organized by MavPak, Inc. in Plainfield, Indiana. It was a great opportunity to appreciate the kind of mad skills that are in use every day inside your warehouse, as well as a chance to give those teams some exposure and recognition for what they do.

Topics: Warehouse Event Contest

How To Maintain All of Your Warehouse Batteries

It’s not a secret that battery power has become a key ingredient in the equipment portfolio of the average warehouse. However, for most facilities, batteries are often an overlooked item that is seen as just an “accessory” whose importance is overlooked in the day-to-day operations. But with the growing variety of applications and the complexity of different kinds of battery chemistry becoming prevalent in the mix. Today we’ll look at the best practices involved in charging and maintaining the various types of batteries you currently use – or will use - every day in your facility.

Topics: Warehouse Lithium Iron Phosphate Lithium Power

How to Manage Forecasting and Inventory

Forecasting needs for space, SKU counts and otherwise daily management of inventory is never a simple task. While the front office staff who design and create new products, forecast the sales and order the inventory for the coming season or sales cycle may have years of experience and a portfolio of modern tools to work with (i.e. software), the team running the distribution center generally is less well-equipped to deal with the operational aspect of those elements in a predictive and flexible manner.

Topics: Inventory Control Predictions Process Improvement

The Growing Importance of 3PLs and How to Leverage them For Your Business

The digital revolution that is transforming the broader economy continues to shape distribution models as well. Increasingly business distribution centers are evolving to serve customers directly in addition to their more traditional roles as distributors for retailers and resellers.

Larger businesses are leading the charge to transform their own warehouses into world-class distribution centers. However, smaller businesses find it difficult to match their efficiency and speed with similar facility and systems investments. This disparity begs the question, “How can smaller companies keep up?” The best way to stay relevant is to outsource these non-core functions to better qualified partners instead of trying to match what large companies are doing.

Topics: Distribution Center 3PL Efficiency

Improving Staff Retention and Warehouse Productivity through Ergonomics

One area of staff retention and warehouse productivity that is frequently overlooked is the effect of ergonomics on production. Consciously or not, ergonomics pervades every aspect of facility management.

While some managers still look at ergonomics as a form of regulatory burden or reactionary response to a problem, successful leaders understand its ongoing importance. A proactive ergonomic focus helps organizations to maximize productivity and improve employee retention.

Prioritizing ergonomics drives management innovation in numerous ways.

Topics: Productivity Process Improvement Cost Reduction

The Rapid Ascent of Holograms in Manufacturing

There are a lot of innovations in manufacturing getting press in recent years, but most of them relate to the improvement of productivity through process improvement – continuous improvement, supply chain management, culture and developing talent. But there is one radically innovative technology that is flying under the radar but is already poised to bring the sci-fi future into today’s factories.

Topics: Technology Manufacturing Trends