The Material Handling Blog

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Help Me, Help You -- A Project Engineer's Take on RFPs

January 19, 2012
End users... can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. We love our customers. They keep us in business. More importantly, they make the world go round. BUT, we do need to talk. In this day and age, it's absolutely crucial to develop a sound request for proposal, or RFP. There are several key advantages to taking the time and effort to do so, but this isn't a how-to on on RFPs. Instead, it is key information that you should think about as it relates to your projects. Read More >>

The Power of Hopes and Dreams

December 09, 2011
As a child, I was very fortunate to have a great family that encouraged me to work hard, do my best, and go after my dreams. I was also blessed throughout school with great friends, coaches, and teachers that helped build my character, knowledge, and imagination. Unfortunately, many young people have not been given this same level of encouragement, but as adults, it is our responsibility to encourage our youth and teach them to go after their dreams... Read More >>

5 Ways to Support Your Conveyor System, While Conserving Floor Space

October 27, 2011
In years gone by, facility roofs were designed in such a manner that you could just about hang the Queen Mary from them with little regard given to worrying about the roof collapsing or caving in. Nowadays, this is not always the case. With rising costs in steel and labor, roof structures are for the most part designed with the minimum loading allowed by law. This can cause concern when trying to layout a material handling system within a distribution center. Clear floor space is very important to customers, so here are five ways conveyor can be supported without hanging it from your roof or facility structure. Read More >>

Safety First: A Review of OSHA Violations and Penalties

October 21, 2011
In my last blog article, What's the True Cost of Your Corporate Safety Program , I discussed the importance of corporate safety training and some of the most popular OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) citations in 2010. Now I'd like to review some of the costs that occur when workplace safety standards are not followed, which often results in violations with costly penalties that can reach upwards of $500,000, and in some cases, even jail time. Read More >>

Evaluating the Economics Behind Your Project Investment

September 14, 2011
As consultants and material handling system integrators, we are often asked to evaluate the economics of capital projects. There are several metrics that can be used to evaluate a project, each with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. However, we are almost always pressed to say what the "payback period" is of a given project. Every time it happens, my stomach hurts just a little. Read More >>

How the Material Handling Industry Sparked a Marketing Craze

August 18, 2011
As surprising as it might seem, the material handling industry was the founder of today's current marketing craze--the quick response (QR) code. That little black and white square now seen everywhere from your Starbucks cup to movie posters was originally used by vehicle manufacturers to track parts. In recent years, however, the QR code has transitioned into a handy little marketing tool, great for increasing customer engagement and providing additional information. Read More >>

The #1 Way to Increase the ROI of Your Automation System

July 20, 2011
So you're planning to invest, or have already invested, thousands or millions of dollars in your industrial automation system to ensure the long-term growth and success of your company. That's great!  Now it's time to make a relatively small investment that will help you maximize the return on investment (ROI) from your new system, and here's how... Read More >>

The Lipstick and Rouge behind the Material Handling Industry

July 13, 2011
I have the privilege of being surrounded by very bright, brilliant, and talented individuals on a daily basis. They take complicated problems associated with the material handling industry, and come up with amazing engineered solutions to those problems. Those engineered solutions are then most commonly expressed in some sort of technical document along with an engineering drawing. Within that drawing, exists brilliance and beauty; however, not everyone has the ability to see that, which is where the lipstick and rouge come in. Read More >>

4 Project Management Lessons I Learned From Kids

July 01, 2011
I spent the last year helping some middle school students start a robotics club . We had a ton of fun, some challenges, very little money and in the end ... a very big success. There were quite a few lessons I learned as a professional project manager that, as it turns out, it takes a child to teach (or at least reinforce)... Read More >>

Creating Effective Safety Training for Your Employees

May 03, 2011
In 2009, 4,340 fatal work injuries were reported in the U.S. Although that number is lower than in previous years, the importance of providing a safe work environment is still a very big issue for many employers. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) mandates that business owners must provide safety training to all employees. However, owners are given the option of deciding what kind of training will be done and what topics will be covered as it relates to their business. Read More >>

Thinking Outside the Box is Key to Innovative Solutions

April 28, 2011
In today's business world, many employees--including myself from time to time--wear multiple hats on a day-to-day basis. These additional responsibilities, combined with a decreasing amount of time in which to do them, create an atmosphere in which out-of-the-box thinking is often lost. Read More >>

Is Social Media Just a Fad for B2B Companies?

April 21, 2011
Regardless of popular belief, social media isn't a new concept. It's been around in the form of word-of-mouth since the beginning of time. It's in our nature to want to share information and our experiences, whether good or bad. In fact, and I'm sure this is true with many companies, word-of mouth is Bastian's number one form of new business, and with the onset of social media, customers now have even more ways to connect with and talk about their favorite brands and companies. Read More >>
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