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Oct. 15, 2009
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WERC Has the Book on Piece Picking

Piece-pick operations are the most complex and labor intensive activities within the warehouse. There are literally hundreds of combinations of processes, systems, infrastructure and labor deployment strategies to consider when designing a piece-pick operation. Because of the increasing importance of this topic, warehousing professionals have been looking for a complete guide to this important topic. Now WERC has that publication to offer.

Pick This! A Compendium of Piece-Pick Process Alternatives outlines the elements of a piece-pick system, explains equipment choices and possible picking methods and provides a step-by-step approach to determine the best option for your application. The Guide is rich with photos, illustrations, explanations and detailed pros and cons and pricing ranges and written by a team of experienced operations design consultants and engineers from OPSdesign Consulting®.

Ordering information: Pick This: A Compendium of Piece Pick Process Alternatives,
91 pages, $98.00 USD. Order online at or call WERC at 630.990.0001. WERC members may receive the first copy of this book at NO CHARGE. Email to request your copy.

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In the News

Supply Chain "Game Changers"
from Supply Chain Digest
As many have noted, this brutal recession has caused many companies to really rethink their supply chain strategies. But what are the key trends that companies should consider when developing post-recession supply chain strategies? The linked article identifies 10 "game changers," some of which they acknowledge may at times seem conflicting, but not surprising given the complex and dynamic world in which supply chain operates. More

Ocean Container Carriers Push "Significant" Rate Hikes
With the battle for dwindling ocean container volumes consuming most ocean carriers this year, container rates have plummeted, most notably in the Pacific lanes, where carriers claim to be losing money on some business just to keep ships moving. But heading into 2010, most ocean freight buyers can expect that to change. The Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, a group that represents ocean container carriers shipping from Asia to the U.S., said it is pushing another round of "significant" rate hikes in a frantic effort to restore rates to their 2008 levels. More

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Upgrading Older DC Operations Begins on the Receiving Dock
from Supply Chain Digest
With so much focus on Picking and Shipping, it’s easy to forget that Receiving and Putaway operations are starting line activities. It's here that businesses begin the race to beat competitors. It's the first few miles of a marathon to save time, to cut costs, to trim inventory, and to speed up service to customers. However, along with these goals, there also are somewhat conflicting, yet concurrent demands to meet in receiving, i.e., not to damage incoming raw materials or finished goods and not to sacrifice accuracy or performance. Read on to explore methods of improving your receiving dock operations. More

U.S. Retail Sales Rise for First Time in 13 Months
from Bloomberg
U.S. retail sales rose for the first time in 13 months as September results at American Eagle Outfitters Inc. and Kohl’s Corp. topped analysts’ estimates and discounts drew shoppers back to stores. Sales at U.S. chains open at least a year climbed 1.1 percent last month, according to Swampscott, Massachusetts-based Retail Metrics Inc. Seventy percent of retailers reported sales results that exceeded the average of estimates compiled by Retail Metrics, said Ken Perkins, president of the researcher. More

Tests Find Wood Pallets Harbor Deadly Food Poisoning Bacteria
from Food Logistics Magazine
Wood pallets used to ship food in the Washington Metropolitan Area tested positive for three types of deadly food poisoning bacteria, raising new concerns about the risks wood pallets pose to the nation’s food supply. A new test commissioned by Intelligent Global Pooling Systems iGPS gathered samples from wood pallets located at markets and food retailers in the Washington and Baltimore areas, and submitted them to an outside scientific laboratory for testing. In a limited and random sample, over one-third of the pallets tested positive for one or more of Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria and extremely high bacteria counts -- as much as 6.8 million spores per gram -- indicating unsanitary conditions that also could pose a food-safety risk. More

How to Think, Lead, and Operate in a Volatile Market
from Logistics Quarterly
In these times of global financial downturn and uncertainty, it is useful to review the history of past recessions and depressions to determine whether there are any lessons that can be found. The linked article briefly reviews the history of recessions and depressions since 1890 from a macro-economic perspective, identify reported corporate responses, and summarize the lessons learned. More

Broken Supply Chains Need Fixing
"Every recession yields broken supply chains, ranging from missing suppliers to missing customers, and they will have to fixed for the manufacturing economy to stabilize and grow in 2010," says George Brown, CEO of business-to-business marketing strategy consultancy Blue Canyon Partners. The manufacturing sector's recovery in a five to six percent growth range could materialize in 2010, he tells Purchasing's Smart Sourcing Summit this week in Chicago, but only after industrial companies and their suppliers ditch the "muddle through" attitude of 2008-2009 and prepare supply management programs that will address new economic realities. More

Social Marketing & Supply Chain Management: The Next Consumer Data Challenge and Opportunity
from Manufacturing & Logistics IT
Social marketing tools and Web 2.0 technologies now permeate our everyday lives. A recent Forrester Research report states that three of four adults who go online in the United States are leveraging social content on a regular basis. Corporations are also embracing these tools to accomplish a variety of goals. As they increasingly integrate social networking tools into their own internal initiatives as well as external marketing campaigns, the question arises: “Can retailers and consumer product companies leverage these tools and the demand signals they render to better run their supply chains?” The answer is a resounding “yes.”When these tools will become fully integrated in both retailer and consumer product companies’ supply chain strategy, however, is not as clear. More

The Case for "Revergonomics"
from DC Velocity
Although it's the violations that make headlines, there are plenty of businesses out there that take ergonomics seriously. In recent years, companies from coast to coast have made great headway in establishing ergonomics programs to protect their working associates from costly and devastating injuries. But maybe it's time to consider the problem from another perspective -- an approach that might be described as traditional ergonomics in reverse. Instead of trying to shape jobs to the workers, why not try better matching workers to the demands of specific jobs? This strategy, which called "revergonomics," may represent an untapped gold mine in win-win-win job performance. More

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