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Most Recent Articles

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

Making Good Resolutions for Your Distribution Center in 2019

Making New Year’s resolutions is something we all do, or joke about, or both. But regardless of which category you think you belong in, there’s no question that the New Year is a good time to re-examine how you do things and implement improvements in the workplace.  But where do you start? Every year, the list of “we should…” is a long one, but here are a few ideas that we think are a good place to start:

Topics: Safety Process Improvement Planning

Make Returns Processing a Positive for Your Business

The “Merry” part of the Christmas season can often be forgotten quickly when the first trucks show up at the receiving docks with mountains of returns. There is nothing worse as a retailer than experiencing the feeling that your products were “unwanted”, but if you do it right, returns processing can be a positive for your customers and your bottom line.

Topics: receiving Process Improvement Efficiency

The Holiday Season is Here – And So Is The Logistics Grinch

If 2018 hasn’t gone fast enough for you, the holiday season is upon us and like every holiday season, nothing is ever easy! This year there are a number of potholes that are appearing on the road to the holidays and beyond, and if you have not already prepared for some of them you might find yourself celebrating without any “roast beast” this year!

Topics: Process Improvement Planning Efficiency

Building a Sound Product Development Process for Small Manufacturers – Part II

Last month, we published Part I of this article, where we talked about making that transition from “freewheeling inventor” to “process-driven listener”. Basically, it is about being more systematic in how you collect the data and insights that lead to more relevance in your new products. This is hardest for the business which was started from a single brilliant idea that succeeded, because it is not uncommon for the small manufacturer to not really understand WHY their initial product succeeded. Play-Doh, the ubiquitous colorful molding clay of everyone’s youth, was originally created in the 1930’s as a wallpaper cleaner. Success is great, but if you started out intending to be an innovator in the cleaning products business but all of your customers are under five years old, where do you go next?

Topics: Manufacturing Process Improvement Planning

Water Spider: Tiny Insect or Production Floor Game Changer?

With heightened competition from the global economy, a dwindling workforce as a result of the labor shortage and increasing demands from customers—it’s never been more important for manufacturing facilities to focus on efficiency. Of course, many operations managers turn to lean techniques in an effort to streamline and increase production, but how can facilities take things a step further? 

Topics: Manufacturing Lean Manufacturing Process Improvement

Building a Sound Product Development Process for Small Manufacturers – Part I

If you’re like many small manufacturers, you started your business in one of the following ways:

  1. You saw a gap and had an inspired idea that you turned into a successful product
  2. You worked for another manufacturer and saw a better opportunity to become their supplier.
  3. You cashed out of your first career success to fund your dream startup.

And if you are a 2nd or 3rd generation business owner, then your family likely started one of those ways too, and they did well enough to make it successful for over a full generation.

Regardless of how you started and what you started with, everyone has the same problem:

Topics: Predictions Process Improvement Planning

Investing in Staff Retention Takes Many Forms – Including Big Ass Fans

(Or, we just wanted  to use the word “Big Ass” in a serious business article.)

While we’ve seen the topic of staff retention in warehouses and manufacturing plants  come up more frequently than ever, most of the discussion until now has been focused on compensation and skill training. While there are legitimate needs to address stagnant pay, lack of career paths and insufficient training, in many cases retention is much more about creating a great work environment.

Topics: ROI Trends Process Improvement Staffing

How to Streamline Material Handling During Receiving

Receiving in a manufacturing environment is an overlooked process area that can be the start of numerous bottlenecks, accuracy errors and wasted motion. A few simple tools that have transformed receiving in the logistics world can be leveraged in a manufacturing environment to radically change the outcomes and improve your metrics in this critical process area while achieving a positive ROI in less than 12 months.

Topics: Manufacturing receiving Process Improvement

How to Reduce Turnover and Improve Productivity on the Manufacturing Floor

There’s no doubt—manufacturing is a tough industry to work in. With tight turnaround times, increasing shipping demands and the need for immaculate quality, it’s a challenging space for a business to grow and thrive. To further complicate things—administrators are finding it difficult to attract and retain talent.

Topics: Manufacturing Lean Manufacturing Mobile Power Process Improvement Staffing