The Material Handling Blog

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Automation: Not Always About the Dollars, But Always About the Sense!

June 21, 2012
When considering why some manufacturing and distribution companies have implemented automated material handling systems , you often hear of financial statements including a solid Return of Investment (ROI), prompt Payback Period, or Strong Internal Rate of Return (IRR) . While it cannot be debated that the financial justification for an automation project is very important, financial evaluation alone should not be the only criteria when considering whether to automate . Here are 10 additional benefits to justify automation... Read More >>

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 >>

Don't Let the Customer Go Down with the Ship

February 23, 2012
Last fall, I purchased some jeans through HSN (Home Shopping Network). About three months later, I thought...umm...I was billed but never received them. The gal at HSN told me they had shipped to Peoria, Arizona. My reaction was "WHAT! I LIVE IN MICHIGAN!" Apparently, HSN's shipments are based on phone numbers, and my phone number was in their database under another established customer in Arizona. I said, "How can that be? I've had this same phone number for over twenty-five years." Well, that is another mystery in itself. At that point I didn’t care. I just wanted my money back. Continue Reading >>

Change Management: 8 Tips to Successfully Implement a New Technology

June 21, 2011
The world is full of companies that have excelled in their market for decades with antiquated operational methods. In fact, I continually encounter companies that have prospered for 40+ years with unchanged processes, and it's hard to argue their past success. More often than not, the leadership within these companies knows there is a more effective way to operationally function through interaction with their peer groups and other educational resources. However, there is also a culture within these companies that often chooses to leave the boat "un-rocked." Read More >>

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...
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