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Tag: tips and tools

We're "On The Move" with an informative new video series

In late 2015, Intelligrated launched its On The Move webinar series, an educational platform designed to provide material handling industry insights about emerging trends, new technologies and best practices impacting distribution and fulfillment operations. We are thrilled with the level of engagement our webinars have achieved and sincerely hope they have helped you navigate today's challenging omnichannel landscape. Based on the success of this program, we are excited to announce its expansion into a comprehensive video series.

The On The Move video series builds off the subject matter presented in the webinars by featuring targeted discussions with Intelligrated's industry experts and experienced practitioners. As a complement to the webinars, this new video series will expand on our commitment to industry education by exploring the key topics you can use to develop winning fulfillment strategies. Whether you're interested in seeing the next generation of distribution operations, curious about emerging fulfillment system technologies or seeking to maximize your current investments in material handling equipment, the On The Move video series has something for you.

To kick off this new series, we've developed the first five video installments and posted them to our YouTube channel. There you'll find informative discussions on these topics:

  • Utilizing labor management software to accelerate ROI
  • The importance of establishing DC-like operations in retail store outlets to meet rising customer service levels
  • How Voice picking solutions can accelerate training and facilitate live coaching

As new videos are developed, we will continue to release them here on our blog, complete with a bio of the presenter and a brief synopsis of the content. We also encourage you to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can be notified when new videos are posted. Currently, we are in the process of producing videos on the following topics:

  • Warehouse execution systems (WES)
  • Lifecycle management
  • Omnichannel distribution
  • Conveyor and sortation systems
  • Consulting and design services
  • Shuttles

Together, the On The Move webinars and video series provide a wealth of information that our customers, partners and industry constituents can use to succeed in an increasingly competitive omnichannel world. We hope you make the most of these resources and look forward to your contribution on these important topics. As always, be sure to register for our upcoming webinars and feel free to check out our growing archives. We're officially On The Move with our new video series, so stay tuned for a new installment coming soon! 

Don't miss Intelligrated ProMat seminars

Intelligrated representatives look forward to participating in several educational seminars at this year’s ProMat show in Chicago, March 23-26. These seminars offer valuable insight and tips for material handling systems in distribution operations.

Be sure to stop by and learn how to get the most out of your warehouse operations.

E-commerce is entering a new dimension. Are your conveyors and sorters ready for the challenge?
Monday, March 23 at 12:45 p.m. in ProMat theater D

With several national shipping companies embracing dimensional weight pricing, material handling systems must optimize performance standards to accommodate different packaging types. Learn how to ensure your system can handle the challenge.

WMS + WCS = warehouse execution system
Monday, March 23 at 3:45 p.m. in ProMat theater J

Warehouse execution systems combine software systems with material handling automation for real-time responsiveness, and increased fulfillment accuracy and efficiency. Learn what defines a WMS and WCS versus a warehouse execution system and the top KPIs measured by fulfillment operations.

Using software to maximize your order fulfillment performance
Tuesday, March 24 at 3:45 p.m. in ProMat theater H

Software is becoming an increasingly critical component of order fulfillment success. Learn the various execution software systems and how to combine them to create the best operational solution and increase labor efficiency, productivity and overall throughput.

10 steps to improve operational efficiency
Wednesday, March 25 at 11:15 a.m. in ProMat theater J

Distribution and fulfillment operations experience ongoing business changes that impact customers and the financial bottom line. The challenge lies in identifying and addressing change indicators before operations reach a critical mass of inefficiency. Learn ten important steps to identify change indicators and ensure operational efficiency.

In-booth presentations
Intelligrated Customer Service and Support representatives will host in-booth presentations throughout the day.  These presentations will address best-practices to optimize maintenance and parts programs.

Five building blocks to a successful maintenance program
Monday, March 23 – Wednesday, March 25 at 11 a.m. in booth #2903

All successful maintenance programs are built on solid practices that lead to maximum uptime.  Join Corey Calla, material handling expert, as he shares the five critical building blocks for a successful maintenance program.

The right part at the right time – how to avoid downtime due to part shortage
Monday, March 23 – Wednesday, March 25 at 1 p.m. in booth #2903

Best practices in maintenance can minimize risk and prevent unnecessary downtime.  Join Matt McDermott as he discusses the tools and techniques used in a successful parts program.

Assessing your system – Five signs that your system needs maintenance
Monday, March 23 – Wednesday, March 25 at 2 p.m. in booth #2903

Join Bryan Arnold as he walks through the five leading indicators that a material handling system needs maintenance.

To attend a Customer Service and Support presentation, click here to reserve your seat.

If you still need to register for ProMat and Automate, click here to sign up for your free attendee badge. To arrange a meeting at ProMat or Automate, email info@intelligrated.com.

We hope to see you in Chicago at ProMat booth #2903 and Automate booth #414!

Follow Intelligrated on Twitter and Facebook to stay up-to-date on booth and seminar information during the show.

Join Intelligrated at ProMat and Automate 2015

Only two weeks remain before the 2015 ProMat and Automate shows March 23-26 in the south hall of Chicago’s McCormick Place. Intelligrated looks forward to the nation’s largest materials handling show, where organizers welcome several impressive keynotes to create the best, most productive show yet.

Keynote speakers including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Google for Work director Renee Niemi, will address the future of technology and business operations, while comedian Frank Caliendo is set to entertain for MHI’s 70th anniversary.

Intelligrated’s ProMat booth #2903 will focus on innovative, flexible solutions that provide the accuracy, efficiency and speed required in today’s e-commerce and omnichannel fulfillment operations. Designed as a conceptual distribution center, the booth gives visitors a detailed look at how Intelligrated software, shuttle and conveyor solutions enable efficient operations.

Software solutions

Intelligrated’s warehouse execution systems (WES) and labor management software (LMS) increase accuracy in e-commerce and multichannel operations by managing labor, processes and inventory through real-time reporting and analytics. Picking and voice technologies are on display through mobile cart demonstrations, an integrated put wall and voice kiosks.

Shuttle solutions

The Intelligrated OLS (one-level shuttle) system is a highly efficient AS/RS solution that handles a wide variety of product types and carton sizes for goods-to-operator order fulfillment, just-in-time inventory management, and product sequencing and buffering applications. Capable of storing and retrieving items from single and double-deep storage, the OLS is ideal for operations with a limited available footprint. An in-booth demonstration features several item retrieval sequences. 

Conveyor and sortation systems

Intelligrated’s high-throughput conveyor and fast, accurate sortation systems handle a wide variety of product types including totes and polybags, enabling optimum efficiency in distribution and fulfillment operations. In addition to IntelliSort® cross-belt and sliding shoe sorters, visitors can view demonstrations featuring IntelliQ® accumulation conveyor powered by the innovative Zoneflex Advanced control solution.

Lifecycle services

Intelligrated’s Customer Service and Support (CSS) provides the services, parts and support needed to keep systems running at peak efficiency. 24X7 technical support connects customers to Intelligrated’s expert field service engineers for proven support, while OnTimeParts, the industry’s most comprehensive material handling parts website, makes ordering spare parts easy and efficient.  At the show, representatives from CSS will be on hand to discuss modifications and upgrades to existing systems, maintenance programs and the newly-redesigned OnTimeParts.com.

With their show badge, ProMat attendees can also enter the neighboring Automate show in McCormick Place North. Intelligrated will exhibit at Automate in booth #414 – be sure to visit Intelligrated in both locations. 

If you haven’t already registered for ProMat and Automate, click here to sign up for your free attendee badge.

To arrange a meeting at either show, email info@intelligrated.com.

Stay tuned for a later blog about Intelligrated educational seminars at ProMat. We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!

Five ways labor management software benefits fulfillment operations during peak season

Take a step back to December 2013. During the last shopping weekend before Christmas, e-commerce sales jumped 37 percent from the year before, challenging retailers and carriers to meet delivery expectations. Fifteen percent of online shoppers who ordered items by retailers’ specified cutoff dates did not receive their packages by Christmas Eve.

To increase capacity during peaks, fulfillment operations commonly employ seasonal labor to cope with increased order volumes. However, determining the right amount of additional labor and getting the most out of staff is challenging. Labor management software (LMS) can forecast workforce requirements, track performance and control labor costs while fostering a culture that incentivizes productivity, self-management and continuous improvement.

See below for five ways LMS benefits operations during peak season:

1. Increase overall productivity and performance

Automated labor tracking frees supervisors to invest time in the workforce and manage for a higher level of productivity. LMS tracking enables operations to evaluate employees and temps in relation to their peers, experience in their current position and other performance benchmarks. Furthermore, labor management systems integrate with mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones to provide actionable tracking information on the floor. This enables supervisors to reconcile on-floor observations with current and historical performance data to address issues in real time.

2. Bolster retention

Driven by LMS, a robust performance management program increases employee retention and job satisfaction. By implementing a structure of accountability that rewards high-performing employees through financial and non-monetary incentives, operations can get more out of their existing skilled workforce and reduce the need for temporary labor.

3. Identify low performing employees earlier

Operations can put new employees on a training curve within the LMS that provides a better understanding of work content and establishes appropriate performance expectations based on time in the facility and projected improvement. Rather than waiting months to determine an employee’s strengths and weaknesses, operations can gauge employee progress and provide coaching, or reassign personnel to alternative functions.

4. Identify training needs

Extensive performance data enables operations to identify high-performing employees and those who require extra attention, leading to process improvements and increased productivity. Supervisors can observe outstanding associates and glean key tactics to implement with the rest of the workforce.

5. Understand staff activity through accurate performance and on-standard percentage data

With fulfillment operations under intense pressure to meet shipping deadlines and satisfy customer expectations, having too little labor is far worse than overstaffing. However, the costs of overstaffing add up over time and discourage maximum productivity from each employee. LMS provides accurate performance and on-standard percentage information that illuminates how staff uses their time. This enables operations to avoid wasted staff with better labor forecasting at a more granular level.

In practice, a fulfillment operation may operate with a permanent staff of 10 employees supplemented by a contract with a temp agency for up to 25 temporary staff members. Using point of sale data, management knows it must complete 15,000 picks the following day. Given the quantity and product mix, LMS forecasting dictates the operation requires 12 pickers and one support employee. The historical tracking and forecasting functionality allows operations to flex workforce based on incoming work, ensuring sufficient staff to meet productivity goals while reducing wasted labor.

Rapid ROI: An LMS pays off

The productivity and efficiency gains from investment in Intelligrated’s GoalPost® LMS can yield positive ROI in the first year of ownership. Factoring in an achievable productivity improvement of six percent for an operation filling an average of 5 million orders per year, GoalPost can save more than 32,600 hours of labor each year. This translates into positive ROI of more than $358,000 in the first year and a cumulative impact of more than $1.2 million over three years.

For more information, read Intelligrated’s white paper, Introducing the Fulfillment Execution System. To learn more about order fulfillment metrics to keep operations up to speed during peaks, read our blog “The holidays are almost here…How is your pick-to-light system doing?

Related media coverage:

When a labor management system makes sense

LMS – No longer just a tool for warehousing

The hidden cost of non-OEM replacement parts

While it can be tempting to reduce short-term operational costs using non-original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, cutting corners can lead to crippling unplanned downtime and out-of-warranty equipment damage.

Read on for seven BIG reasons why every facility should be well-stocked with OEM-engineered replacement parts.

1. The true cost of ownership

While hidden costs are not obvious at the time of purchase, smart buying decisions account for the complete cost of ownership. OEM parts are designed to last and meet mean-time-between-failure expectations for preventive maintenance programs. They perform to specification, with no negative impact to ancillary parts.

2. Designed and tested not just to fit, but to function

All materials used in OEM parts satisfy requirements of high-friction applications in which parts interface with each other. Sure, there are some non-OEM parts that function without any apparent issues, but they may just be a ticking time bomb due to inferior build quality and hard-to-detect manufacturing imperfections.

3.  The generic part may not be the same as the current OEM replacement

Operations cannot rely on non-OEM suppliers for the latest version of a replacement part. Through the life of equipment, OEM engineers make continuous design enhancements and produce updated iterations of replacement parts. OEMs send updates of new part modifications and availability to ensure enhanced performance and true lifecycle support.

4. Generic parts may come with a “warranty,” but it stops there

Some generic parts come with a warranty, but those are replacement only and do not cover damage caused to other system components. Furthermore, original system warranty compliance requires the use of authentic OEM parts to prevent damage to ancillary parts and systems – the use of generic parts may void the system manufacturer’s warranty.

5. The right part at the right time

The only thing worse than inferior parts is having no parts. When operations require a tight deadline to source a replacement, the OEM is well-prepared with installation information and order histories to instantly know operational needs.

6. Don’t risk an accident due to a poor performing non-OEM part

Faulty generic parts can compromise machinery and expose operations to safety risks. Exclusively stocking reliable OEM-warranted parts increases the facility safety and helps shield operations from costly litigation stemming from workplace injuries.

7. Access to the experts

Most OEMs have 24X7 technical support available to find the best possible solution and ensure that operations never take on a problem on their own. OEMs can assist in lifecycle planning and provide key information on “critical spares” to drive smart budgeting to control maintenance and labor costs.

For more information on the advantages of using genuine OEM spare parts, download the Intelligrated white paper, “The value of OEM genuine parts vs. the cost of generic parts.” 

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The information you provide is solely used by Intelligrated. Intelligrated will not distribute email addresses to third party organizations. For more information, please read our Privacy Information.