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Adaptaciones y reconfiguración: lo que debe saber antes de modernizar su sistema de automatización

October 14, 2021
Si ha formado parte de una empresa que haya acometido planes de adaptación o transición, conocerá los retos que se afrontan al desarrollar un proyecto con las operaciones en marcha. En Bastian Solutions vemos cada año muchos proyectos con operaciones en marcha, como los de mejora o modernización de las operaciones existentes. Esos proyectos son mucho más complicados que los que se ejecutan en instalaciones flamantes o existentes que aún no se encuentran operativas. Cuando se emprenden proyectos de adaptación en operaciones existentes, los directivos de la empresa deben esforzarse para mantener las operaciones cotidianas en marcha con poca o ninguna interrupción para no debilitar el servicio al cliente. Las reconfiguraciones, cuando un nuevo sistema se instala online en una operación directa, también debe manejarse con cuidado para reducir los tiempos de inactividad y las interrupciones en general.

Employee Development: Path to a Lean Supply Chain

April 14, 2021
As a fundamental element, supply chain and logistics requires delivering a quality product to the consumer. The details behind quality product and on time delivery are complex and filled with complexities such as distribution center locations, advanced automation technologies, product specifications, throughput goals, and software support. And, while selecting the right automation equipment is important for a company’s competitive advantage, sustainable growth is most centered around the people. Lean supply chain management and the operational success is a product of the strength of your human resources. How do you create and foster sustainable human resource growth? While COVID-19 has forced companies to shift priorities and adjust manufacturing processes to deal with changing consumer demand and new safety precautions, the fundamentals continue to hold true for employee development: clarify goals and direction, identify the challenges, promote learning, and put that learning into practice.

Modernizing DC Operations: Automation Requires Management

March 24, 2021
More companies are starting to prioritize automation while those that had already put a lot of focus on automation are not looking to slow down. In fact, there is greater emphasis on it. Companies are realizing the competitive advantages that automation provides and are starting to challenge why adding a goods to person or ASRS system may or may not work in their business. The increased focus on automation, does not remove or decrease the need for strong operational management, if anything, it still requires communication and organization from leadership to succeed. Automation helps efficiency but a facility must rely on good processes and timely communication of information to manage a dynamic environment.

3 Lessons on Navigating Complex Multi-Site Automation Projects

March 03, 2021
The word “complexity” usually garners feelings of fear or hesitation. At Bastian Solutions however, when customers inquire about complex multi-site projects, we view these as exciting and engaging opportunities. Amidst the pandemic, there has been a sudden rise in ecommerce. It is estimated that U.S. ecommerce sales in the third quarter of 2020 was $209 billion, which was an increase of 37% from sales over the same time period in 2019. With this rise in consumer demand, there has been an increased demand for quick, complex supply chain solutions.
Posted in General Blogs

System Integration Success Through Effective Communication

February 17, 2021
Synchronizing complex automation systems and technologies is no easy feat. You’re not only coordinating controls and software but also ensuring that components, technologies, and processes work well together to achieve project goals. To make processes better. As unique as each system is, so too is design, installation and project management. The last thing you want is to have complications or hamper creativity that may give you the competitive edge you seek for your company.
Posted in General Blogs

Retrofits and Cutovers: What to Know Before Modernizing Your Automation System

February 10, 2021
For any companies who has been a part of a retrofit or cutover project, you may be familiar with the challenges of taking on a project during a live operation. At Bastian Solutions, we see a lot of live operation projects every year – enhancements or modernizations of existing operations. These kinds of projects are considerably more difficult than projects that are performed in a greenfield (brand new building) or brownfield (existing building) site that aren’t operational today.
Posted in General Blogs

30 Years of Industry Experience: Creating a Strong Foundation for Improved Kaizen Processes

January 27, 2021
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has penetrated every industry and forced changes throughout. Business processes have required accelerated reviews for the safety of the workforce and to adjust to changes in consumer demand. Supply chain and logistics has been in the spotlight with concerns about how shipments will get from one location to another, replenishment changes due to ecommerce trend acceleration, and demands for same day deliveries. This leads to process and management decisions. 2020 was a year of uncomfortable but necessary process change. Paralleled with new year’s resolutions and facing the “new normal” discussions, business around the world are working to have a more planned outlook with a better understanding of how to react and adjust. What aspects of your business processes should you protect and what do you change?

New Year DC Resolutions: 4 Operational Considerations for a Smoother Year Ahead

January 06, 2021
As we close the door on a year of tremendous challenge and change, it’s a good time for distribution center (DC) leaders to pause and reflect on how to apply the hard-won learnings of 2020 in order to make course corrections for 2021 and beyond. Despite how early it may seem, now is the time to prepare for the second half of 2021, by which time the COVID-19 pandemic may be substantially behind us. As you chart your distribution operation’s path forward consider a few key questions that take into account your business needs, workforce, trends and technologies. Not only will this help prepare your operations for a smoother process but will help you assess your capabilities as external factors continue to change.

7 Ways to Help Your Warehouse Employees Work at Peak Performance

December 29, 2020
For years, logistics consultants, material handling engineers , and supply chain execution providers have been slicing-and-dicing warehouse statistics in a quest to enhance employee performance for the ultimate purpose of bringing profitable dollars to the bottom line. While having tangible statistics and historical records of warehouse operation is important, I suggest that these benchmarks alone will not drive peak employee or warehouse performance.

Multi-Site Project Implementations: Consistency Drives Efficiency

November 18, 2020
As the global effects of COVID-19 continue to play out, demand for contactless shopping via eCommerce is increasing putting pressure on fulfillment. Businesses are scrambling to identify opportunities to increase supply across their distribution networks. Many are seeking support from automation systems integrators (conveyor, robotics, software, controls) across several fulfillment sites at once. While multi-site implementations can be challenging, when executed successfully they can achieve greater results than single-site implementations.

5 Ways to Keep Your Project on Schedule

September 10, 2020
The two weeks at the beginning of a project take just as long as at the end of a project. The difference between the beginning and end, is that the beginning is usually less stressful than when a project is getting close to a deadline or a hard Go Live date. It can be easy to let precious time slip! By being efficient during the negotiation stage and clearly communicating the project timeline and milestones at the beginning of the process, you can help your projects run smoother.

Creating Project Teams with the Right Mix of Engineering and Operational Expertise

January 21, 2020
Successful warehouse projects require collaboration between the individuals possessing engineering and analytical knowledge and those with a deep understanding and expertise of the operation itself.
Posted in Project Management

6 Reasons Why You Need a Site Manager on your Project

September 24, 2019
All projects, large and small, have many moving parts that need to come together in time to meet your deadline. For projects to run smoothly, it's important to have one person who knows your system inside and out, making sure it all goes smoothly - a site manager.
Posted in Project Management

Think Globally, Shop Locally: Choosing Your Material Handling System Integrator

July 24, 2018
Whether you’re in Atlanta or Madrid, there are benefits to selecting a material handling system integrator with a local presence. Read: Think Globally, Shop Locally: Choosing Your Material Handling System Integrator

5 Key Steps to Your Next Material Handling System Modification

June 20, 2018
In today's fast-paced, demand-driven world, material handling system modifications are almost guaranteed and required to keep up with competition. To ensure a smooth project and successful go-live, whether a brand new system or modification, follow these five steps. Read: 5 Key Steps to Your Next Material Handling System Modification

How to Increase Meeting Effectiveness

May 09, 2017
Communication is key in any business! We're often managing meetings with people in various locations and time zones, both internal and external resources. Each employee's communication manner directly impacts the image of both the employee and the company. Read: Increase Meeting Effectiveness

Project Management: A Tool for a Successful Automation Implementation

February 09, 2017
Project management is a critical piece to any successful automation system implementation. From the development stage to go live, the project manager must ensure all is going as planned and as the customer needs it. Here is an overview of what a good project manager should cover. Read: Project Management for Successful Automation Implementation

5 Tips on Project Requirements Definition

August 04, 2016
It would be nice if you could download the ideas for your next project to someone else, but today you have to define project requirements. That term is used often and everyone has a different idea of what constitutes a “requirement”. Read: 5 Tips on Project Requirements Definition

3 Steps to a Great Turnkey Material Handling System

August 20, 2015
A turn-key material handling solution is the complete design, build, and installation of material handling equipment. This type of solution allows you to work with one company to ensure your project exceeds expectations from start to finish. Here's what you should expect during the three phases of your turnkey project... Read: 3 Steps to a Great Turnkey Material Handling System

Making Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification a Standard

January 09, 2015
One of the most important considerations when selecting an integrator to supply a material handling system should be the quality and engagement of the integrator’s project management. This is why in 2015, all robotics project managers will need to be PMP certified... Read: Making PMP Certification a Standard
Posted in Project Management

Project Management: Who is to Blame?

November 12, 2014
I came across an article about the GT Advanced Technologies bankruptcy and thought, who is actually at fault? GTAT’s position is that Apple put them out of business with burdensome demands whereas Apple’s position with GTAT remains unclear. Last year, Apple offered $578 million to assist them with setting up their facility. As a project manager, I suggest that both parties are to blame. Read: 9 Principles of Project Management

Solutions to 5 Common Microsoft Project Frustrations

April 09, 2014
If you’re like most project managers, you’ve had some frustrations getting your project schedule to look the way you want in Microsoft Project Professional, but don't give up. MS Project has so many amazing features that take the guess work out of creating a project schedule. Here are solutions to 5 of the most common frustrations I hear about in MS Project Professional. Read: 5 Common MS Project Frustrations

4 Defining Qualities of a Great Project Manager

March 11, 2014
The role of the project manager is of critical importance when running a large project. Their performance impacts the success of a project more than any other team member involved. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the individual appointed to the role possesses the necessary skills and abilities to run a project successfully. A talented project manager will possess the following defining qualities. Read: Qualities of a Great Project Manager
Posted in Project Management

How a Project Go-Live Compares to Having a New Baby

January 23, 2014
My wife and I were recently blessed with a newborn baby, and the during labor and week after, I couldn’t help but think how the process and activities of being a parent are very comparative to being a project manager... Read: Project Go-Live is Like Having a Baby

How to Stay Healthy While Traveling

December 30, 2013
With the New Year right around the corner, many people are likely thinking about a resolution or two: maybe staying organized, a better work-life balance or one of the most popular, getting healthy! Focusing on a healthier lifestyle can be challenging anytime, especially in the super-size-it world we live in. However, staying healthy is even more challenging when you travel a lot. Read: Stay Healthy While Traveling
Posted in Education

7 Reasons for Project Failure and How to Avoid Them

August 06, 2013
Project management is filled with daily challenges, from the planned to unplanned, and often it is the failures of a project that teach us the most. Any project manager worth their salt will acknowledge that the failures and misses during their careers taught them valuable lessons while making them better at their job. Read More >>

2 Ears, 1 Mouth

April 11, 2013
My father has a theory that the lord provided each of us with two ears and one mouth to remind us we should use them in proportion. It’s a simple and straightforward suggestion, but one that many of us struggle to apply. In my experience, many fail at project management and sales because we do too much talking and not enough listening. Continue Reading >>

Fundamentals of a Successful Material Handling Weekend Cutover

April 09, 2013
Weekend cutovers are becoming more popular as demand for system reliability, increasing throughput, and ever-changing products drive facility managers to find new system solutions, while avoiding the headaches of taking down their current system during business hours. I have helped in a few material-handling cutovers, so I would like to share my thoughts on how to complete one successfully. Here are a few of the fundamentals... Continue Reading >>

3 Essential Traits of Good Project Managers

February 20, 2013
All project managers are NOT created equal. Some are more schedule-focused, while others are more budget-driven. Some spend more time on procurement management, and yet others concentrate on ensuring scope creep doesn’t occur. Regardless of what a project manager emphasizes, I’ve found all good project managers have these 3 essential traits. Continue Reading >>

9 Tips for Tackling an International Project

April 06, 2012
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of working with an international team on a major material handling project in India. Being born and raised in Michigan, this project provided a great opportunity to expand my experience with international programs. Our project involved a broad spectrum of specialists from around the world. We worked with major suppliers in Sweden, Germany, Belgium, the United States, and India as we designed and implemented the project. The team discovered many challenges along the way, so I wanted to share a few tips to get you off to a great start on your next international project... Read More >>

5 Steps to Eliminate the “Madness” of Your Next Project

March 12, 2012
March Madness is finally here, and there's a reason it's called "madness." The unexpected often happens - which is very exciting in sports, but not so much with a mission critical project. To reduce the "madness" that can often overwhelm and impede project success, follow this simple outline. As a result, you will save time, effort and money over the lifespan of the project. Continue Reading >>

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 >>

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 >>

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
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