Voice-directed technology can help improve worker safety and reduce employee-training time, yet some companies avoid them because of these five common misconceptions.
Companies planning new distribution centers or warehouses weigh process data to choose materials handling equipment.
Big data gathered by materials handling equipment helps warehouse managers improve productivity and safety.
Retailer DSW's new replenishment materials handling solution improves inventory control and reduces in-store markdowns.
Changing consumer expectations and demand for greater efficiency, economy, and productivity present new twists and turns in warehouse automation.
When a merger required Nature’s Way to consolidate distribution facilities, it called on the services of system supplier The Numina Group for a new design and technologies. Today, the facility successfully distributes products to customers in 50 states, and overseas through five supply chain channels.
TAJ Flooring used a transportation management system to improve shipment and freight spend visibility.
Bar-code reading errors slowed Champion Tire and Wheel’s operation; a new laser scanner got the company back on track.
This article provides a step-by-step guide to logistics network optimization.
Pallets are a vital piece of warehouse equipment for storing and moving products.
E-commerce retailers choose specialized distribution centers near parcel carrier hubs and transportation infrastructure.
Third-party logistics providers are assuming a less transactional, more consultative role with shippers.
Chris Halkyard, chief supply chain officer for e-commerce site Gilt, discusses managing flash sale logistics.
Actionable tips help you revitalize your warehousing, 3PL, trucking, and global logistics operations.
The right pick-to-light system can help increase productivity, improve accuracy, and increase picking speeds.
A new inventory management system by Manhattan Associates nurses Nature's Best's fulfillment operations back to health.
Applying lean principles to materials handling equipment purchases and configurations helps companies cut costs, writes Robert Arndt, Ryder Supply Chain Solutions.
Warehouse operations visibility means knowing the real-time location of your materials handling vehicles, drivers, and inventory so operations can be optimized for maximum productivity, says Phil Van Wormer of Sky-Trax.
Optimizing materials handling equipment and processes in the warehouse impacts the entire supply chain.
Collaborative distribution lets manufacturers, especially consumer product goods (CPG) companies, merge loads destined for the same end point to maximize trucking efficiency.
Dannon's network design provides flexibility and speed to serve customers quickly, reduces transport time and costs, and delivers on the company's sustainability initiatives, while ensuring product freshness.
By integrating contract packaging into distribution operations, companies can cut costs by 30 percent.
Geography, transportation infrastructure, and a strong distribution sector make Memphis a natural logistics hub.
Using colors, shapes, numbers, and mnemonics in warehouse signage can help reduce training and picking errors, while improving service.
When selecting a site for a new warehouse or distribution center, there's a second infrastructure that demands attention: the power generation and delivery system.
Global shoe retailer ALDO implements a high-stepping, end-to-end inventory and distribution system.
Smart companies carefully select and intelligently apply automation not only to boost productivity, but also to turn the distribution center into a competitive weapon, writes Mick Mountz of Kiva Systems Inc.
Five common misconceptions about LED lighting in industrial and hazardous facilities.
A modular warehouse control system can help smaller operations keep up with larger competitors.
Memphis supports global supply chains through highway, rail, airport, and inland port assets, and a qualified workforce.
Executives at two leading companies weigh in on supply chain’s value to their organizations.
Determining the best location for a new or expanding business in an increasingly competitive and global marketplace is challenging. These locations offer a number of advantages when it comes to meeting today’s logistics and supply chain needs.
Mobile communication technologies facilitate warehouse efficiency and productivity.
Intertape Polymer Group outsourced transportation to gain control of its diverse product line and protect profit margins.
Kevin X. Jones, vice president of inbound transportation at Walmart, focuses on building transportation synergies.
Partnerships between four shippers and their 3PLs demonstrate logistics outsourcing strategies.
When a natural disaster hits, consumers rely on home improvement stores for the products they need to repair or rebuild.
CeMAT 2014 showcases the latest materials handling innovations; Alibaba buys stake in Singapore Post; Paris looks to reduce city speed limits; Canadian rail industry begins phasing out DOT-111 tankers amid crude-by-rail boom; EU and China sign Customs agreement; Chinese food imports continue to grow; Nigeria looks to resurrect defunct national steamship line; Latin America is the world’s fastest growing market for software; Maersk Line voice support for Nicaragua Canal proposal.
New forklift-based technologies can positively impact safety goals in your facility.
Warehouse technology that supports communication and data analysis improves efficiency and reduces waste.
Innovation in forklift design has reduced overall warehouse and DC footprints and increased throughput.
With warehouse capacity at a premium, shippers consult 3PLs to help locate shared space.
An improving economy and e-commerce growth spur demand for warehouse space.
Hub-and-spoke transportation models maximize cargo shipping efficiency, delivering better visibility and cost savings.
Shippers rely on 3PLs and refrigerated public warehouses to invest in technology, implement standards, and facilitate strategic business process change to drive greater efficiencies.
New lift trucks feature device mounts, rugged tablets, digital controls, hydrogen fuel cells and auto guided navigation.
Georgia offers manufacturers and distributors superior access to logistics providers and transportation infrastructure.
Cosmetics companies face challenges such as time- and temperature-sensitive shipments and retailer packaging requirements.
Automated materials handling tools boost warehouse productivity and improve efficiency.
Ensuring supply chain security requires that shippers and logistics providers stay one step ahead of thieves.
Follow these steps to choose a warehouse management system to improve fulfillment operations and inventory visibility.
New books on supply chain, logistics, and transportation help logistics professionals stay sharp.
Foreign Trade Zones can help global shippers cut operational costs and speed customs clearance for imports and exports.
Tools such as electronic data interchange (EDI) and advanced picking solutions support lean supply chain operations.
Reducing warehouse energy and water consumption helps companies improve their bottom line and bring value to customers.
Successful order fulfillment begins with strategic and tactical planning well in advance of the holiday season.
Warehouses and DC networks adapt to changing supply chain trends; U.S. FTZ activity continues to grow; Trendset malfeasance raises red flag for shippers.
Establishing an efficient distribution center network require careful planning and frequent updates.
An order management system from DF Young and Superior Technology helps Cintron Beverage Company boost inventory accuracy, fulfill orders easily and quickly, and track products throughout the supply chain.
To optimize warehouse operations, integrate solutions like warehouse management systems and warehouse control systems.
Minnesota's warehouse tax may push jobs out of state.
Decisions about buying pallets or leasing pallets require shippers to think strategically to acquire the best option for their operation.
This story examines what customers want in an e-commerce operation and shares fulfillment strategies that merchants use to keep those customers happy.
Technology management can affect warehouse operations’ connectivity during and after a power outage. Whether the facility’s warehouse management system (WMS) is installed on-site, delivered via a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) program, or hosted in the cloud can have a huge impact on maintaining productivity, writes John Sterling of Foxfire Software.
Online retailers seeking new sites for DCs and warehouses need the transportation infrastructure to support a constant, rapid-fire flow of shipments – plus a capable workforce, affordable utilities, and business incentives to help them get the most from their investment.
Parties storing goods in warehouses need to be alert to liens on their goods, writes Ron Leibman of Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland, & Perretti LLP. To avoid unpleasant surprises, both parties to a warehousing agreement must understand their rights and the documents that cover their transactions.
A warehouse control system that integrates voice-directed picking technology, a high-speed sortation system, and scanning technology streamlined party goods supplier Oriental Trading Company’s picking, packing, and shipping operations.
Close-out retailer Tuesday Morning implemented Interlink’s WHSe-LINK warehouse management system to receive, store, and allocate its daily inbound shipments of unique SKUs.
Schwan’s Home Services optimized its distribution network by using a hybrid insourced/outsourced model; and Sun-Maid Growers of California used collaborative distribution to create better economies of scale in its transportation operations.
The materials handling landscape is shifting to accommodate traditional brick-and-mortar and Internet retailers’ changing needs.
The Alternative Site Framework designation is changing the Foreign Trade Zone landscape, allowing shippers a more expedient process for streamlining the supply chain.
Continuous e-commerce growth has prompted an increasing number of retailers to use third-party logistics (3PL) providers for handling their direct-to-consumer fulfillment. Jeffrey B. Graves of Sedlak Management Consultants explains that for retail logistics executives, assessing 3PL capabilities that best fit their company’s requirements can be a challenge, yet critical for optimum return on investment (ROI)
Food company Bob Evans entrusted Millard Refrigerated Services with its warehousing and distribution operations. The two businesses worked together to expand both their supply chain capabilities.
Savvy distribution and supply chain managers should be looking at sortation and its related disciplines as a means of addressing problems and achieving savings, writes Jay Moris of Invata Intralogistics.
By working together to align the processes by which shippers tender freight and carriers receive it, supply chain partners can achieve greater efficiency at the loading dock while improving safety, quality, performance, and margins for all stakeholders.
Automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) can be an efficient materials handling option for warehouses and distribution centers, but they are not right for every facility. Norm Saenz, senior vice president and principal, TranSystems Corporation, offers advice on deciding if AS/RS is right for your facility.
Brian Hancock, president, North America for Martin-Brower, discusses the unique supply chain and distribution operations supporting the McDonald’s restaurant chain.
Advancements in lift truck technology give distribution center and warehouse managers flexibility in using their forklift fleets.
Pharmaceutical manufacturer Catalent upgraded its Philadelphia packaging center’s high-bay warehouse with an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) served by three aisle-changing stacker cranes developed by LTW Intralogistics.
With production already at capacity and limited room for expansion, visual technologies manufacturer Christie installed two Shuttle Vertical Lift Module (VLM) storage and retrieval systems from Kardex Remstar – recovering 70 percent floor space, doubling capacity, and cutting labor requirements in half.
Mexico-based automotive glassmaker Vitro Automotive opened a distribution center in the United States to serve Detroit automakers just-in-time requirements. Its long-time logistics service provider Evans Distribution Systems staffed the new DC for Vitro to ensure a quality workforce.
Warehouses are one component within a much larger distribution ecosystem, writes Editor Felecia Stratton.
Companies such as Pep Boys and Georgia Pacific are harnessing technology to gain greater warehouse labor productivity through labor management systems; incentive programs; and warehouse management systems connected to forklift-mounted mobile computers.
A consultant, integrator, and wholesaler share some warehouse wisdom.
Tablets offer several advantages over notebook computers and handheld devices, says Chris Wright, DRS Technologies.
Warehouse managers are using a mix of consumer-grade smartphone technology and rugged mobile devices to optimize their workflow, says Laura Kelleher of Honeywell.
Developing a customized warehouse management system (WMS) was a collaborative process for packaged food products direct-sales company Tastefully Simple and technology provider Softeon.
When baseball cap maker New Era’s business growth hit critical mass, it realigned its distribution operations, fusing Menlo Worldwide Logistics’ outsourced solutions with its global supply chain.
Thanks to e-commerce, many distribution centers are now fulfilling a greater number of smaller orders – rendering conventional materials handling automation systems somewhat outdated. Is flexible automation the next frontier?
Retailers such as Brookstone, BuySeasons, Pet Supplies Plus, and Wayfair streamline their supply chains to deliver better customer service.
More efficient operations are the key to warehouse productivity – and, in turn, more satisfied customers, according to Kenco’s Jason Minghini.
Peter Hartman of Retrotech offers strategies for optimizing product flow through warehouse automation to achieve better order fulfillment performance.
RFID technologies allow computers, objects, and individuals to interact in new ways, supplying logistics providers and materials handlers with predictable and actionable data to enhance their service offerings and operations, explains Ravi Pappu of ThingMagic.
Colgate took more than four million miles out of its network while handling five percent more cases of product – and even managed to cut logistics costs, sharing the savings with customers and suppliers.
Healthy warehouses use strategies such as one-on-one training, layout optimization, materials handling equipment, adjustable partitions, performance measurement tools, wrist-mounted bar-code scanners, and energy-efficient lighting.
Mobile-robotic systems are easy to design and install, with overall lower installation and operational costs than traditional warehouse automation systems, says Mick Mountz of Kiva Systems.
Amazon closes Texas distribution facility over sales tax dispute; Robert Guenther of United Fresh Produce Association comments on FDA Food Safety Modernization Act; U.S. General Services Administration rolls out green guidelines for government suppliers; Crossdocking use is on the rise
Warehouse automation allows distribution centers to take a hands-off approach.
Industry experts explain how to avoid threats to warehoused goods, conduct a global security assessment, and benefit from renewed government and private sector attention to supply chain security initiatives.
Industrial property developers are cultivating greener distribution facilities and nurturing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards compliance. The bounty? A harvest of benefits for their tenants.
Natural pet food manufacturer WellPet partnered with Aspen Logistics and Kane is Able to improve its supply chain and warehousing operations.
When Boise Paper wanted to consolidate five Northeast region facilities into just one, it turned to Nexus Distribution for customer service excellence built on a sound implementation process.
Jeremy Woods of Summit Realty Group explains how an orchestrated strategy to integrate supply chain, energy use, and real estate costs can help save money.
A Direct-to-Store Delivery (DSD) delivery model helps consumer goods manufacturers gain speed and increase inventory turns.
The key to successful shipping in Alaska is to partner with a transportation provider that knows how to manage Alaska’s many obstacles.
For shipping and receiving, there are three types of pallet programs: single-use or one-way, extended-use or buy/sell, and leasing or rental. Hillary Femal of IFCO Systems describes the uses and benefits of each type.
Charlie Jacobs of APL Logistics explains the cost savings and efficiency benefits of implementing lean practices, as demonstrated by three warehousing case studies.
Small and mid-sized manufacturers lack the scale to ship in full truckloads, creating thousands of separate, inefficient lines of supply—all moving to the same mass retailers. Collaborative distribution reduces the number of trucks on the road and cuts distribution costs.
A voice-enabled picking system keeps ice cream company Dreyer's Edy's workers productive and equipment functioning in sub-zero environments.
Inbound Logistics Publisher Keith Biondo outlines how Walmart is taking inbound logistics to the next level.
Gulf ports maintain container volumes despite Deepwater Horizon oil spill; Supply chain leaders climb the corporate ladder; Toyota Material Handling engineers work with MIT scientists and the U.S. Army to develop a remote-operated fork lift
Here's the story of one consumer product, starting with its origin as a variety of inbound ingredients and following its progress from plant to warehouse to retail store.
Boost your cross-docking operation's throughput for more efficient one-stop shipment, with these tips from Nelson Bettencourt of CEVA Logistics.
Nonprofit organization MedShare distributes recovered medical supplies to the places of greatest need.
Ferber Warehousing's 650 clients benefit from the firm's innovative total business distribution software solution, Conveyor.
Labor management tools can help you determine if your workforce is performing at the level necessary to deliver cost-effective service to customers.
For a fictional company looking to expand its franchise nationally, DC network optimization is a measure of real success.
Investing in automated storage and retrieval systems and WMS helps warehouses grow greener and reap financial benefits.
Warehousing risks can spring out at any moment. Some are meant to be shared, others avoided. Successful warehousing operations strike a balance.
Fuel-optimized forklifts? Check. Energy-efficient light bulbs? Check. Here's your cheat-sheet for warehouse sustainability efforts, courtesy of Rajiv Saxena of APL Logistics.
Online haberdasher Bonobos relies on its third-party fulfillment partner, Quiet Logistics, which operates warehousing facilities with Kiva's robotics materials handling solution.
Shared space environments, secondary packaging services, and reimagined cross-docking functions are helping manufacturers get more value from warehousing providers. Cliff Otto, president of Saddle Creek, outlines the benefits.
Managers should identify and focus on the most useful warehouse metrics to gather, report, and apply, writes Eric Allais of PathGuide Technologies.
Acquiring a warehouse and implementing a warehouse management system from Cambar Solutions helped The School Box earn top grades for its distribution operation.
Inbound Logistics Senior Writer Joseph O'Reilly visits Bellavance Beverage Company, a Nashua, N.H. beer distributor.