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Top 10 Ways to Accomplish Your 2011 Strategic Goals

February 08, 2011
Most successful businesses devote considerable time and energy to establishing annual strategic goals. So now that the goals have been set, what's the secret to getting them accomplished? No doubt this is tough because the day-to-day, urgent tasks tend to push annual goals to the back burner. Read More >>

Lean Six Sigma Part II: Do You Know What Your Customers Want?

January 20, 2011
As an officer in the U.S. Air Force, I was responsible for the phase inspection of our bomber aircraft. The team took the aircraft down for inspection, repairs, and preventative maintenance of safety-of-flight and mission-critical items. Our maintenance group commander, a colonel, constantly challenged our quality assurance (QA) pass rates on phase inspections. The goal was 96 percent, and on average, the unit hit that mark. "Not good enough," the colonel kept saying month after month. Read More >>

The Importance of Optimizing Your Packing Process

January 13, 2011
For most companies, warehouse efficiency has become a matter of survival versus the profitability goals of a few years ago. Thus, most companies are looking for even more ways to make their day-to-day processes more efficient. Depending on the SKU's mix, efficiencies in the picking process are as unique as the stars; but regardless of how efficiently items are picked, each individual order still needs to be packaged and marked for transit before shipment, making efficient packaging methods very important. Read More >>

What's the True Cost of Your Corporate Safety Program

December 21, 2010
Few of us have been able to escape the unwanted, but necessary, cost-cutting initiatives of our employers during the past three years of the recession. In the interest of self preservation, we have combed through each line item of the corporate budget looking for hidden treasures to help sustain us until consumer demand returns. In addition to reducing the true costs of our goods and services, we have also turned to cost avoidance initiatives to help shore up the bottom line by delaying a multitude of expenditures, such as upgrading machinery, hiring new employees, and training efforts. This short-sited approach is great in the near term, but in the rush to save one dollar today, we often times fail to fully consider the long-term implications.
Posted in Education

The Top 10 Characteristics of a Perfect Project Manager

July 26, 2010
Having been in the trenches executing complex automated material handling systems for the last 23 years certain “lessons learned” become etched into my mind. The difference between a great project manager and a mediocre project manager directly impacts: the ability to complete the project on time, overall profitability, and most important customer goodwill... which translates to the future revenue stream with that customer. I would offer the following 10 characteristics of a perfect project manager for your consideration...
Posted in Education

AGVs for the common man.

July 13, 2010
Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) have historically been extremely hard to justify for everyday distribution applications. They are burdened by the high cost of a custom engineered vehicle and the fear of supporting a one of a kind piece of equipment. Kollmorgen has recently come up with an impressive solution to this problem...

Lean Optimization for Pack Out and Manifest Operations

June 28, 2010
Lean manufacturing is a common production practice. It considers the spending of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be a wasteful practice, and thus a target for elimination. Wasteful practices are those practices that do not add value to our customers. When considering each process within your facility it becomes necessary to consider those goods and services that you, as a customer, are willing to pay for and those goods and services that you do not see value in...

Inventory Accuracy is Key to Operational Performance

April 08, 2010
I was recently at a client location and I asked them what their number one operational problem was. The director of distribution didn’t miss a beat. “Inventory Accuracy,” was his reply.
Tags: Indianapolis
Posted in Education

Options Available with ASRS Technology

March 05, 2010
In my first article, I discussed a method of quickly testing the applicability of a particular solution without investing a great deal of time or energy in investigating the concept. This “first blush” approach has saved me countless consulting hours by avoiding alternatives that will not pass the test of selection. This, in turn, has allowed me to spend more time on the eligible candidates that hold more promise.
Tags: AS/RS

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About AS/RS, But Were Afraid to Ask...

August 05, 2009
Since the introduction of AS/R systems in the United States, the technology has evolved in a number of directions that has resulted in greater capability, and a large diversity in the rules for its application. Needless to say, in the last 40 years or so, these systems have become both Hero and Villain to the enterprises they have served. Success and horror stories are constantly referenced, and depending on which end of the spectrum your counsel is from, you may be influenced to make a decision focused on the wrong issues or for the wrong reasons...
Tags: AS/RS, Mason, Ohio
Posted in Education

"Rules of the Road" for Conveyor

May 28, 2009
There are basic rules of the road for designing a conveyor system. Here are a few. · Determine the size curve required for your conveyables before picking the width of the conveyor for your system · Be sure to select straight tangents before or after curves depending if you are entering or exiting a belt conveyor or a live roller conveyor · Never skimp on horsepower. It doesn’t cost much more before the system is installed but it’s always more expensive to upgrade later · Unless you have first hand knowledge of how a product conveys, test it. Inclines and declines can surprise you since boxes or totes may be slippery or unevenly loaded. Airborne particulates can be a gotcha... Click on "Rules of the Road" above to read more...
Posted in Education

Continuous Employee Development: Setting and Managing Expectations for Successful Growth

May 28, 2009
All living things grow if they're healthy. You don't have to make them grow -- it's just natural for living organisms. As a parent, I didn't have to force my six children to grow. They grew up naturally. As long as I removed the obstructions, such as poor nutrition or an unsafe environment, their growth was automatic. The same principle is true for a healthy organization of people. An organization is a living organism - an interrelationship of people and processes, and it is natural for it to grow if it's healthy, and if the obstructions are removed. I refer not to a growth size (although that may a natural consequence), but in the process of relentless maturing. Every growing organization is always re-evaluating itself and looking for that next step in its growth pattern. These are the companies, departments, functions, etc. that are always reaching to be better. Along the way they try things and take risks that, if lead by good leaders, pay off - more often than not...
Tags: Indianapolis
Posted in Education
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