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Logistics are at the heart of business. In 2017, an estimated $1.5 trillion was spent on transportation and warehousing in the U.S., with a forecasted growth of $3.3 billion by 2020 in Nevada alone. That’s good news for Nevada. But what about your business—in particular, your production? Even more specifically, how your material is being handled?

Production is frequently thought of only in terms of supply and demand. Rarely does cargo handling factor into any question of growth. But almost 6,500 hours are lost by the average American business as a result of improper material handling each year, equalling close to $200,000 in revenue. A loss which could be entirely avoidable if proper protocol was implemented.

In any warehouse operation, increasing productivity and efficiency aren’t just processes you need to consider when charting your yearly strategy. They should be part of any thorough operations analysis. And they need to be evaluated at all levels. From procurement to shipping—and especially to material handling. Production affects all aspects of your business; and similarly, all aspects of your business affect production. If you still think material handling won’t impact your production capacity, think again. Here’s what you need to know.

Processes and Audits

There’s no question that every business needs a process implemented to measure both production output, costs and returns. And there’s a strong chance you already have one in place. It may even be an effective one. But is your process as effective as it should be? What systems have your competitors implemented allowing them to increase productivity as well as visibility?

Periodically auditing any process (not just production) may seem like one more headache in your already stressful day. But it’s a necessary one. Whether you’re monitoring man hours, storage or tracking orders, don’t merely be content with your current system. Find ways in which you can maximize efficiency without cutting corners. For some of you that may mean implementing an automated process. For others, it could mean evaluating new vendor offerings. It could even mean outsourcing storage to a third party facility. But periodically reviewing your production and material handling processes will ultimately streamline your operational costs, allowing your business to grow stronger, leaner and more effective as a result.

Material Handling and Transparency

One of the biggest dilemmas facing productivity is both the lack of transparency and subsequent connectivity from an operational standpoint. Not only has this hampered accurate process checking protocol, but it can be detrimental to order fulfilment. 

With the rise of IoT (Internet of Things) as a dominant force in operations, your business can’t afford to be without connectivity. Real time monitoring of all business aspects, from production to financial operations, not only ensures an optimal work flow but allows you functional security. Production bottlenecks have historically been one of the biggest problems facing the industrial segment. Without an adequate monitoring system, identifying production lags is merely second guessing both the symptom and the cause.

Optimizing the Flow Of Material Handling

The quickest way from point A to point B is a straight line. And this also holds true for production. The process of going from material handling to production needs to be as seamless and quick as possible. More time entered manually means less time in production. 

Automatization is rapidly becoming the standard in material handling for the industrial sector, and it’s one process you need to consider implementing if you haven’t done so yet. And while implementation of automated processes may seem expensive at first, it’s a much more cost-effective and labor-friendly method than relying on manual fulfillment. There’s no need to backtrack your steps through automatization. Not only is manpower reduced, but both strategic planning as well as your earnings will increase as a result of the time saved.

Storage, Equipment And Your Investment

You may very well find yourself with intervals on productivity which don’t always justify the return on investment of storage space and equipment. Allocating storage to a third party warehouse facility can drastically reduce wasteful spending as well as labor costs—particularly if you find your production output is subject to seasonal ebb and flow.

Consider the absolute bare bones structure of your production line. How much equipment is necessary year round? Can you reduce material handling costs by outsourcing to a third party vendor? What is positively integral to your day to day operations; and what can be rented according to demand?

It may be that you have to reduce labor. And that’s something no one likes to consider. Or it may simply be a question of reducing processes to a more efficient work flow. Working “smarter not harder” may seem like an empty buzz phrase. But when it comes to productivity, it can be the difference between surpassing your competitors and lagging behind.

And no one wants to lag behind.

For nearly fifty years, Reno Forklift has been the name to turn to when it comes to material handling solutions for Nevada and California. Find out what we can do for you. Visit us today at www.renoforklift.com or call (775) 329-1384

 

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The transport of packages is one of the most important processes that take place in a warehouse. While there are several ways to do this, automating this process can help increase the productivity of a warehouse operation. This is where a conveyor system comes in handy. 

A conveyor system enables the safe and efficient transfer of items from point A to point B within the warehouse facility. It may take up more space inside the facility but it ensures an organized and safe transportation method to avoid potential trouble. With the help of a conveyor system, forklifts will no longer have to do all the heavy lifting around your warehouse. Keep reading and learn how to maximize your productivity with a conveyor system. 

Know your load

Knowing your load is one of the most important things to remember when selecting a conveyor system. Consider the items that the machine will be transporting. Also take note of their dimensions, such as the height, length, and weight. These things are important because they will impact your conveyor’s performance. Also, pay attention to the load orientation to avoid incorrect placement of the item on the conveyor.

Be familiar with its application

Another important thing to consider is how the conveyor system will work in your operation. Think about whether it has to be permanently situated in one location or if you need it to be portable. Again, don’t forget to take the characteristics of the goods you’ll be loading into account – as to whether they are light, heavy, flexible or rigid. Taking into consideration all of these factors will help you decide the conveyor system that will work best for you. 

Select the right incline conveyors

Incline conveyors come in handy when goods require transport from one elevation to another. They are usually used in warehouse facilities that incorporate loading bays or mezzanine floors. Because incline conveyors impact the performance and productivity of your operations, be sure to carefully pick the right type.

Besides the load characteristics, it’s also important to consider the travel distance, proximity to employees, in-feed or discharge points, as well as safety devices. Also, be careful with conveyors that exceed 30-degree angles as the load may stumble or slip.

Take time to test your conveyor system

Conveyors are machines that involve many different moving parts. Like any other system used in a warehouse, it needs extensive testing. When testing your conveyors, pay close attention to safety guards. Do a visual inspection to make sure that stickers are in place. Also, make sure that emergency stops can be accessed easily.

Then, take the time to test out each and every control and consider potential operator errors. See what happens when the wrong buttons are pushed or when more buttons are pushed than necessary. Also, find out how long it’s going to take for the system to recover should there be any downtime as it can potentially cost you time and money.

Implement regular maintenance schedules

Make sure your conveyor system is always in perfect working condition by performing regular maintenance. Not only does regular servicing ensure the proper functioning of conveyors, but it also reduces the risk of breakdowns. Pay attention to the components that are prone to wear and tear and replace them at regular intervals. Also, don’t neglect regular housekeeping to maintain your machine. Keep it clean and always do inspections of the controls. 

Be familiar with basic troubleshooting

Minor issues with machines are inevitable. More often than not, they look worse than they actually are. So, before reaching out to a service guy, take the time to assess the problem yourself. See if there’s something you can do on your end to tackle the situation. Be familiar with basic troubleshooting as it can save you a lot of time and money.

Follow safety precautions

Any moving machine, no matter how slow it is, can still pose a threat to your employees. Be sure to follow safety precautions and have employees trained in all aspects of safety. 

Conveyor systems are extremely useful tools in a warehouse facility, but you can make the most of these powerful machines if implemented properly. 

If you need help and information on anything related to forklifts, industrial material handling systems and other storage systems, please feel free to visit Reno Forklift.

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Working in a warehouse can be an incredibly risky and dangerous job. It poses a number of health and safety risks. Workers and warehouse managers deal with the use of heavy equipment, moving parts, as well as harmful chemicals and substances.

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With the use of heavy machinery, hazardous materials and large storage facilities, warehouses are no doubt one of the most dangerous places to work. It is in warehouses that a majority of workplace injuries and accidents take place. Therefore, following warehouse safety precautions is paramount.

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When you look around warehouse facilities, it would be hard to find one without industrial shelves. Industrial shelving is one of the most important storage solutions used in most warehouses. It is the strongest, sturdiest and most space efficient type of storage system used to store small goods.

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In warehouse management many professionals use a proper pallet racking system that helps them manage inventory more efficiently. The system improves how materials flow from the supplier to the customer as well as proper use of vertical space inside the warehouse. However, the use of this racking system is more complex as  it may cause damage.

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Warehouse storage helps companies arrange their products and sort them according to category, name, or kind. Some pile it side by side, others stack them on top of each other. However, one downside of stacking them together is the possibility of falling items from the shelves.

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Every company wants to achieve different goals. Goals help motivate employees to obtain great results. Getting great results comes from practices done before, during, and after transactions with clients.

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Stand Up vs. Sit Down Forklift: What You Need to KnowForklifts are types of equipment used to lift and move products safely into and out of their racks. This may be the end goal of all forklifts, but there are certain jobs that require a specific type of forklift. For you to be able to save time and money, you’ll need to determine the best type of forklift for your operation. This decision will also ensure the safety of your men and operations.

There are two main types of forklifts: stand up and sit down forklift models.

Sit Down Forklift Model

Sit-down forklifts are made for operator’s comfort and productivity. This truck may have 3 or 4 wheels. If the operator is moving products from docks to storage racks and not stepping out of the truck, then a sit-down forklift is ideal. This type of forklift is preferred for long-time use where forklift operators don’t usually get off the vehicle during their shift.

Sit-down forklifts have lower profiles, so they have optimal vertical clearance to avoid overhead obstructions. Compared to the stand-up models, sit-down forklifts can travel faster and navigate better.

Stand Up Forklift Model

The stand-up forklift model has a shorter head-length compared to the sit-down forklift. This will give the operator more room to move and maneuver the vehicle in crowded docks and tight spaces. This type of forklift is also a good choice for warehouses that need more storage. Stand-up forklifts are also ideal if you need to have visibility in all directions, have a multi-functional handle, and have a capacity of 2,000 to 6,000 pounds. Stand-up models are available in various heights as well.

The Main Difference Between Stand Up versus Sit Down Forklifts

The sit-down forklifts come in two models: 3-wheel and 4-wheel. You can choose what type you prefer depending on your needs. Three-wheel forklifts are suitable for navigating spaces that are smaller because they are easier to maneuver. Sit-down forklifts are also suitable for operators who don’t leave the vehicle often during their work shift. It provides comfort for drivers who are required to operate a forklift for long periods of time.

Not all operations need a sit-down forklift model. This is because some warehouses have limited space. Stand-up forklifts are great for small spaces, and they can operate more efficiently. The vehicle has a compact build, and this improves its turning radius significantly. This type of forklift also provides great visibility for the operator compared to sit-down forklifts.

How do you know which type of forklift is ideal for you?

Stand Up vs. Sit Down ForkliftThere are reliable forklift wholesalers that can help you choose the ideal type of vehicle for your needs. You will be asked questions by the dealer to help you make the best decision. Here are some common questions a dealer might ask:

  • How far will the forklift be traveling at a time? Will the operator be leaving the vehicle often?
  • How much space does your workplace have for the machine to operate? Will it be maneuvered through sharp corners and narrow aisles?
  • Is the machine going to be operated for long periods of time in a day?
  • What’s the floor type?
  • What kind of products will be moved?

The comfort of the operator should be considered

The safety and comfort of the forklift operator must be considered in making a decision on what type of forklift you should purchase. If your operator does not need to leave the vehicle frequently, a sit-down forklift is the best to minimize discomfort. A stand-up forklift is ideal if operators need great visibility and if the warehouse has limited space.

Training for both forklift models

Both stand-up and sit-down models require training. There are differences between these two. They vary in capability, speed, load handling, maneuverability, and general operation. Be sure to keep your business OSHA-approved by making sure that your forklift operators have proper training and certifications for any type of forklift they operate.

Get help from professionals

Not all forklifts are the same. There are risks if you don’t take precautions when operating them. Ask professionals for help when you don’t know what to do. These professionals are experienced and are willing to help dealers decide what type of Material Handling Equipment (MHE) will be most useful for their customers.

Do you need help with your material handling equipment? Do you need any forklift products? Visit Reno Forklift today for more information.

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Warehouse operators work hard so that every day, products flow in and out of their facilities in an efficient manner. When the products roll out of the warehouse on time, it makes the customer happy and satisfied. If not, it will affect the facility.

A warehouse with good efficiency is not just about having everything in place and getting the products out on time. It’s also about knowing how to maximize productivity while saving time and money at the same time. Efficiency will equate to success and this is why a good warehouse design and layout is needed.

warehouse design

Storage warehouse

Whether your warehouse is large or small, making simple changes can improve your workplace’s efficiency. Below is a list of tips for improving warehouse design to achieve a better operation.

Let a professional assess your warehouse layout

Don’t be afraid to get an expert’s advice. Warehouse layout and design have been changing a lot in the recent years. Large Distribution Centers have long moved to multi-channel inventories from single channels. Even smaller warehouses have started to automate their operations. A professional can see how your warehouse layout and design can be improved. They can also spot problems and signs of trouble.

A warehouse layout is one of the determining factors that make the warehouse operation efficient. The problem is even a very well-organized warehouse can quickly become disorganized. It will be difficult to navigate. This will slow down the operations and can lead to many safety hazards. Check the layout of your warehouse regularly. Make sure the staff know proper procedures and will stick to the most efficient routes.

Review the effectiveness of the warehouse

Without analyzing the system, people cannot improve something from it. Take a good look at your warehouse operation, is the flow of the operation doing well? Are there any inefficiencies in the chain that affects the whole process? Are the pallet racking utilized and installed properly? If one wishes to improve a system, one has to review the whole system. It’s no use if one enforces a new system if there is even one area that isn’t working correctly.

Set realistic goals for improving a warehouse layout and design

Professional warehouse consultants use FAST (Flow, Accessibility, Space, Throughput).  These recommendations help warehouse owners achieve best practices for an efficient operation. FAST is useful for communicating with the upper management, too.

It’s also useful to find the best warehouse practices that can be applied to your personnel. Having a sense of the best industry practices can help you establish your own metrics. t

Be updated and forecast ahead

There are several times in a year that have an increase in demand for certain items. This includes seasonal items for Christmas or Halloween. A business software system has demand forecasting. It can predict the shifts in your items and adjust the reordering to go with the demand flow.

Track the products that go in an out of the warehouse

There’s already a location tracking technology. With this, you can trace the location of your products. From it being manufactured to it being dispatched. If you choose to track items one by one, handheld readers will allow you to identify products that went out. You can also use an automated tracking system and this will reduce search time. It will also reduce labor costs and any processing delays. Not only that, it will also ensure that the records you have are accurate.

Take control of the stock

One of the biggest mistake that wholesale distributors make is overstocking. This will create a big problem if large amounts of products remain unsold. They may expire while in the warehouse. This can be managed by having a system in place that will show a real-time count of the stock you have. It will give accurate reports to help with your inventory management.

warehouse design

Warehouse staff working on labeling boxes

Train the warehouse staff

Warehouse managers need the training to handle the operations properly. They need to have an understanding of trigger points for warehouse efficiency. Training should also be extended to other warehouse staff. It should be an ongoing process with updates on tech and regular checkups. Sharing of information will help reduce risks and will increase efficiency and inclusion. Training is a smart thing to do, it will help with warehouse management which will reduce costs.

Materials handling solutions will improve with the right warehouse design and layout. It will improve the efficiency of the warehouse. Follow the tips mentioned above and you will have a smooth running warehouse.  For more solutions, please visit Reno Forklift.

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