Nov. 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

WERCouncil events

  • Dec. 5, Utah WERCouncil Usana Facility Tour, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Dec. 5, Chicagoland WERCouncil Confidently Committing to a DC Design When Demand is Unpredictable, 5:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Dec. 6, North Carolina WERCouncil Lunch and Learn at Angus Barn, noon to 2:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 7, Tennessee WERCouncil Ingersoll Rand/Trane Facility Tour, 10 a.m. 1 p.m.
  • More

    Fight warehouse fires before they start
    Material Handling & Logistics
    All it takes is the combination of all three elements of the "Fire Triangle" to destroy a business in a few minutes. It often starts in the warehouse. Just mix oxygen, a fuel source and a heat source. Case in point: a 35,000-square-foot Texas warehouse was crippled in August 2012 after stacks of plastic pallets burned for six hours. By the time more than 120 firefighters extinguished the blaze, $9 million in damage was done. A report from the local fire department noted the pallets reached 18 feet high, a fire code violation, and that sprinkler valves were turned off.More

    Walmart will test potentially breakthrough new Supercube truck in Canada with 30 percent more capacity
    The Green Supply Chain
    Well there is no doubt that some combination of a desire to save money and a desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (in whatever proportion it happens to be for any given company) is leading to significant innovation in the trucking industry. Recently, Supply Chain Digest published an article on a series of new truck designs on the way to market that are said to significantly reduce wind resistance and thus improve fuel efficiency. Now, news that Walmart is testing in Canada a new concept truck it calls Supercube, with several major changes in design that lead to as much as a 30 percent increase in total cube available.More

    Materials purchasing: Proven tactics for driving sustainability
    Environmental Leader
    When building a more sustainable business, one of the most fruitful areas for potential improvement is to engage in Environmentally Preferable Purchasing to reduce the environmental impacts associated with your materials and chemical components. However, making changes to your materials also carries a certain degree of risk. Making decisions without thoroughly forecasting potential emissions can put your facility's permit compliance in jeopardy and your reputation as a sustainability leader at risk.More

    Escalating order fulfillment costs driven by higher frequency of small orders
    Distribution Digest
    According to recent surveys, most consumer wholesale and retail operations are seeing a trend toward smaller customer order size while at the same time experiencing a significant increase in order frequency. This trend is forecast to continue and with it businesses can expect to see a higher order fulfillment labor component. Relative to B2C orders this trend is for the most part being driven by Internet and catalog purchasing. For chain store operations it appears that store managers, who no longer have sufficient space to accommodate the proliferation of products, are placing smaller orders more frequently.More

    Conveyor orders down 15 percent from year ago but shipments up
    Material Handling & Logistics
    The Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association reported that its September 2012 Booked Orders decreased 15.1 percent when compared to September 2011 orders. September 2012 booked orders when compared to August 2012 booked orders were down 20.4 percent. September Booked Orders were down 9.2 percent for Bulk Handling Equipment and down 27.5 percent for Unit Handling Equipment when compared to August.More

    When your manager is afraid of you
    Harvard Business Review
    Kate, a 33-year-old marketing associate, sounded exhausted and confused. "It's the weirdest thing," she said. "I started my job 10 months ago and got off to a great start. I launched our company's first HTML newsletter. I started a client service training program that got great reviews. My six-month performance review was stellar. Then two months ago, the whole thing started to go sour. ... My boss has started picking at me over tiny, stupid things."More

    RFID helps Stowers Institute researchers shop for supplies
    RFID Journal
    Scientific institutes typically have a complex system for providing materials to researchers whose work is funded by grants. Because researchers need a variety of goods — ranging from an $8 box of latex gloves to chemical compounds valued at thousands of dollars — and must bill the grant supporting their research, most institutes and universities must staff a storage area with someone who can record and authorize every transaction. An alternative to this method is an automated system consisting of locked cabinets that can utilize biometrics, radio frequency identification or both, in order to provide goods to authorized individuals and create an invoice for the appropriate party.More