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Most Recent Articles

5 Excellent Reasons to Adopt MES - Manufacturing Execution Systems

In this final part of the series, we conclude the look into the deeper levels of MES functionality that enables final production to work effectively. We then look at different types of MES and summarize the key aspects of MES to consider when starting out or when upgrading an existing basic MES to a system with the latest IIoT digitalized technology.

Topics: Manufacturing Process Improvement ERP

Understanding MES - Manufacturing Execution Systems

In the first article of this series, we saw how the top level of Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) work in the factory to deliver benefits against business goals and requirements, managing the flow of production for final products and sub-assemblies. Now it is time to delve into deeper levels of MES, looking at other areas within the factory that MES manages, that enable the final production flow to work smoothly and effectively.

Topics: Manufacturing Supply Chain ERP

What Is “MES”? (Manufacturing Execution Systems)

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) have been around for quite a while now, and there are hundreds of choices out there for MES solutions. As MES covers a very broad and often loose range of added-value topics, it is rare to find any two MES solutions that offer the same scope of functionality. This is especially true given the rapid progress of related IT technologies, for example, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and initiatives such as the “Smart Factory”. It is therefore important to understand the principles and technologies behind MES so that it will work for your needs and requirements, rather than the other way around.

Topics: Manufacturing ERP

Why Robots Won't Replace Warehouse Workers

Despite the fact that ‘Sophia’, a humanoid robot, was granted citizenship by Saudi Arabia and the growing fear and trepidation among retail and warehouse workers in the past decade, the integration of robotics and automation into warehouse processes is hardly the job “Robot Job Stealing Apocalypse” it has been made out to be.

Topics: Technology Video Warehouse Automation

Quality Control as a Warehouse Efficiency Strategy

The most essential core component of any good warehouse efficiency strategy begins and ends with quality control. Your team may not be responsible for the quality of the products you deliver, or for the commitment to customer satisfaction that comes from products, but they are just as responsible as the manufacturer when it comes to the quality of their work. Each product is handled by your team as it passes through your distribution center on their way to retailers, consumers, or to another destination.

Topics: Warehouse Management Process Improvement Efficiency

7 Crucial Ways to Reduce Inventory

There is nothing quite as satisfying in a distribution center as a well-balanced inventory. Orders arrive, orders are shipped, and your fulfillment and delivery flows consistently like the tides. Inventory does not become overstock to take up space and have a negative impact on cash flow. With excellent inventory control, being out of stock of any item is a rare occasion.

Sadly, the perfectly balanced inventory is somewhat of a Zen-like ideal: The moment you identify the inventory as ‘balanced’, it morphs. The best you can do to manage the factors that affect inventory to control overstock or short-stocked items on the warehouse floor.

With some careful planning and a few deft adjustments to inventory management processes, you eventually establish a balance that you can maintain.

How can this be accomplished?

Topics: Inventory Control

Three Ways Dimensioning Technology Can Improve Efficiency

Consumers were projected to spend upwards of $682 billion during the 2017 holiday season, with 51% shopping online, according to the National Retail Federation. Thanks to e-commerce giant Amazon, consumers also expected their packages to arrive within one to two days, regardless of the retailer or parcel carrier. To keep up with this demand (which can be substantial all year long, not just during the holiday season!) and get packages out the door faster, warehouses and distribution centers across the country are implementing dimensioning technology to gain efficiencies.

Major shipping carriers like FedEx, UPS, and USPS have adjusted their policies regarding charging based on parcel dimensions vs. weight, setting the industry standard. Cubing or dimensioning solutions allow the warehousing industry to capture data and proportions of products so shipping costs can be predicted with much greater accuracy.

Topics: Technology Efficiency Dimensioning

Combating the Labor Shortage: 3 ways to Improve Working Conditions

I’ve been a business owner in the warehousing industry for more than a decade now, and the labor shortage issue has never been more prevalent.

At the beginning of the year there was more than 12.5 billion square feet of industrial space across the U.S., and this will only grow as an excess of 200 million square feet is currently under construction. Add to that the growth in ecommerce, which is expected to grow to $4 trillion by 2020. As warehouses grow and expand, the need for workers becomes increasingly critical. But who's going to do the work if your business is not ready to heavily invest in automation and robotics?

Topics: Warehouse Management Staffing Leadership

How to Improve Warehouse Receiving Process Flow

How well does your receiving process flow? Where is your warehouse at its strongest and what needs improvement?

Today we want to share four processes that include common shipping and receiving actions found in most businesses. We break down into three rating tiers:

  • Marginal
  • Average
  • Oustanding
Topics: Warehouse Management receiving Process Improvement

The Invisible Inventory - What's Missing in Your Warehouse Management

I often see areas of inventory which have no visibility in a system due to poor processes. For example, inbound goods sitting in trucks is very common.  When a formal receiving schedule does not exist, it is easy to get variances in arrival times. Consider these scenarios when inventory can become invisible:

Topics: Inventory Control Warehouse Cash Flow