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How Can We Help the Helpers?

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The current crisis we are in is taxing all of our healthcare resources – both human and material. As a manufacturer supplying equipment for the warehouse and logistics industries, we are especially aware of the strain being placed on supply chains as well as the important people who keep them running smoothly.

Crisis Management Resources for Facility Managers

By now we are all aware we are dealing with an unprecedented global crisis that is going to impact every business and customer we know. But the impact will vary by the industry and type of customer being served. While we are not in the business of playing the role of economic pundits peering into reams of data and making predictions, it is safe to say that a boost in E-commerce operations among across many industries is already happening as retailers shut stores.

Topics: Crisis Management COVID-19

Warehouse Efficiency Tips: Part 1 - Dock Design

Have you spent any time observing the activity on your dock recently? How do you feel about the way it works and the share of cost it takes in your operations? Are you tracking the cost? Well, given that nearly every operations facility is a “cost center” on your company’s P&L, you should be looking at your cost structure for each of our main “Process Areas” like Receiving, Picking, Packing, Shipping, etc. While there are a lot of factors that go into generating the cost model for each of your processes, two areas in particular - Receiving and Shipping - are particularly dependent on the design of your dock and the equipment deployed to support it.

Topics: Dock Design Warehouse Tips Value-add Processes Warehouse Efficiency Process Areas

Five Warehouse Trends We See Coming in 2020

With the holidays now a month behind us, the big of pile returns finally processed, the financial books closed for 2019, and your planning for 2020 (hopefully) completed, it’s time to take a look at 2020 and share a few thoughts on what we see as some trends to expect you’ll hear about this year.

Topics: Mobility Mobile cart battery charging warehouse trends RFID End-to-End Solutions

Mobile Device Management to Track Your Mobile “Fleet”

Batteries That Ruin Vacations?

About 7-8 years ago during one of our first annual Customer Satisfaction Surveys, one of our early and loyal customers was selected for an interview which is something we do to get some more qualitative insights to go with the quantitative results we get from the online survey. At the time this customer said something that we’ve always kept in mind as challenge we knew we would always need to devote our energy to solving a bit better every year. This was well before we had even conceived of creating our Lithium battery, the PowerSwap Nucleus, and at the time every cart we sold came with a rechargeable SLA battery similar to the ones still available today. Depending upon the configuration, most users would get 6-10 hours from a single charge, and then bring the entire cart to a power source for it to get recharged, usually overnight. One of the challenges with SLA however, has always been recovering them if they are left to run down completely without being recharged. Along with the relative weight this chemistry brings to a power source, this was the most common support issue we’ve traditionally had with SLAs.

Back to the survey. When the customer was asked in our interview “what is your biggest concern about your Newcastle carts?”, he responded “Going on vacation. Because I lose sleep wondering if someone made sure they were all plugged in at the end of the day.”

Topics: Mobile Power SLA battery life mobile device management Mobile cart battery charging PowerSwap Nucleus

Why do YOU Work in the Warehouse Industry?

 

How Does Your Warehouse Compete for Workers? 

Who loves working in the warehouse industry? We do of course. But apparently YOU do too. Perceptions of outsiders regarding work in the industry sometimes suffer from a common dislike of work that is “dirty” or requires a level of physical exertion or discomfort not common to an office environment. While some parts of the industry still live up to what is generally an outdated image of the modern warehouse environment, the modern distribution center is thankfully a much safer, cleaner and generally stable work environment in most industries. This is from a combination of many things, including regulation, technology and automation, and perhaps most importantly – competition.

Topics: warehouse industry warehouse workers warehouse careers warehouse worker salary

How Does Your Warehouse Compare For Space and Congestion? – Industry Benchmark Review, Part I

Unless your facility is consistently recognized as a bleeding edge innovator and always staying two steps ahead of the rest of your industry, you’re probably like the rest of us and are hungry to know more about how your facility performs or compares to your competitors or others in your industry.

Topics: Distribution Center Warehouse Management Warehouse ECommerce Industry Benchmark Review

What is “Industry 4.0”?


Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

“Industry 4.0” is a term now in common use generally to describe the “fourth industrial revolution”, a term that it is used interchangeably with. But what does it mean, on a high level and specifically for what impact it might have on your business?

To get us all on the same page, let’s first go back to “Industry 1.0” and be clear about the other distinct eras of industrial revolution:

Topics: Technology Manufacturing Trends

Wasted Steps at the North Pole

Last week the Washington Post did some excellent work calculating a number of key statistics around the logistics of Santa’s big night of Christmas Eve (See “The Breathtaking Scale of Santa Claus’ Task on Christmas Eve - by Philip Bump”).

Topics: Productivity Metrics Warehouse

Warehouse Labor Best Practices

In October, Newcastle Systems’ own Kevin Ledversis was on a team of presenters in a webinar that dug into the challenges managers are facing with labor issues – sourcing, hiring, training and retaining in addition to things like performance and pay.  We’ve covered labor and staffing as a regular topic here over the years, and think the data that was assembled for this webinar is worth sharing widely.

Topics: Warehouse Staffing Cost Reduction Research