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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.

Top 3 Myths about Industrial Robotic Integration

April 07, 2021
In today’s environment, technology and automation are growing and advancing at a drastic speed. Recent investments by venture capital and private equity firms are further evidence of that rapid growth. Whether industries are looking to increase the amount of throughput in their facility, reduce or eliminate any ergonomic risks, or increase overall efficiency of the operation, the right combination of technology and automation in an industrial robot can provide the solution. So why are some individuals still hesitant about implementing industrial robots? Common misconceptions in our industry could be playing a part in that. The top three most common myths touch on ROI, applications, and complexity.

Adapting Manufacturing Strategies for Direct to Consumer Fulfillment

March 31, 2021
The internet, since its adoption in the 1990s, is an amazing place that consistently opens new doors and creates new opportunities. Business models continue to adapt to our new connected reality. Increasingly, consumers are working their way up the supply chain. Retailers first felt this push as customers are happy to cut brick and mortar stores out of their daily routine and make purchases directly from the warehouse through digital storefronts. This has led to the development and dominance of omnichannel distribution models, delivering a variety of goods and brands under one company. They are required to compete with online-only retailers like Amazon. This was a dramatic shift for the distribution center.

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.

Investments are Causing Massive Disruption in the Automation and Robotics Field

March 17, 2021
Technology and automation have had a place in distribution and supply chains for decades. Typically, high-end automation was reserved for the largest multi-national organizations with ample capital and a vision to improve efficiencies in their supply chain. While the technology adoption curve is much more mature in Europe than North America, N. American business investment in supply chain automation and distribution is increasing rapidly due to changing customer buying behavior, labor shortages, ecommerce adoption, and access to various technologies both mature and emerging. The amount of new technologies emerging to support distribution and supply chain automation is also rapidly increasing; and for good reason.

Smarter Robotic Each Picking, Now Powered by AI

March 10, 2021
Robots have been around for a while now and some may now consider them a commodity. They take inputs – product dimensions, pick and place locations – and produce outputs – finished pallets, unloaded or loaded machines. The inputs and outputs are controlled and consistent. What happens when the inputs and outputs can’t be controlled? Are you out of luck? Not anymore! Bastian Solutions has implemented robotic systems that allow robots to see, reason, and act to unknown inputs and produce desired outputs.

International Women’s Day: Choose to Challenge

March 08, 2021
International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8th every year around the world. It has been observed since the early 1900s and first recognized by the United Nations in 1975. This year’s theme is “Choose to Challenge.” What started as a protest for equal rights and voting rights is now a day to “celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.” In the supply chain and logistics industry, there is increased support to drive recruitment for women in engineering and tech related roles, influence of women in the industry, and the development of women’s careers.
Posted in General Blogs

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

Want to Make an Impact? Choose a Career in Supply Chain Automation

February 25, 2021
I was recently on a Sunday afternoon Zoom call (gotta love COVID-19) with some old friends from college – Boiler Up! We all graduated in the early 2000s, thus we’re 15 years or so into our careers. As the conversation progressed through a multitude of topics from the weather to kids to the trials and tribulations of U.S. politics, one of my buddies expressed how much he dreaded Monday mornings. Although he has a great job, he said he feels “uninspired”. My other buddies quickly jumped in acknowledging their agreement. I asked: “What would make you all feel ‘inspired’?” Almost in unison they all said they “want to feel as though their work is truly making an impact.”
Posted in General Blogs

National Engineers Week: Why Supply Chain & Logistics?

February 23, 2021
In celebration of National Engineers Week – annual recognition of the importance of math, science, and technical skills – Bastian Solutions talked to three of its engineers to understand how they came to be an engineer, their experiences in the field, and how the supply chain industry has changed in the last year. Jason Tenorio, Director of Consulting, has more than 30 years’ experience in engineering and 15 years in consulting. Marcus Peck is a Project Manager in Greenfield, Indiana with about 10 years’ experience as an engineer, four at Bastian Solutions. Amelia Grace is a Systems Project Engineer and recent University of Illinois mechanical engineering graduate. “We are at the epicenter of solving customer problems, automation, and material flow. Really addressing shortages as it relates to labor, space, and time,” says Jason Tenorio.
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
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