Stay on top of routine maintenance to avoid unexpected costs

Do you have your maintenance tools ready?

Do you have your maintenance tools ready?

How often do you have the maintenance crews going through the building with their utility carts filled with equipment? While some building managers believe that just fixing problems as they occur is enough, preventative maintenance can help the building stay in good shape for much longer, decreasing maintenance costs in the long run.

If you wait until something needs to be fixed, you could be paying for an even bigger problem than if you had just checked up on it on a routine basis. According to Business.com, companies can no longer just wait for a problem to arise. Building managers should instead try to anticipate exactly when something will break or notice when a part of the building looks slightly worse for wear and work to address the problem quickly.

The news provider reports that by doing routine maintenance to make sure a problem doesn’t get out of hand, building managers won’t be caught off-guard with an unexpected expense.

According to Buildings.com, the things the maintenance crew should be on the lookout for the most is plumbing, roofing, lighting and the HVAC system. Should a large problem occur with any of these, it could be very costly for building management.

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Keep storage bins to organize your warehouse in time for the holiday rush

Keep your warehouse organized.

Keep your warehouse organized.

The holiday shopping season is underway, and businesses across the country are ramping up their efforts to prepare for the rush in customer demand. This means warehouse managers need to be at the top of their game in tracking inventory. Organization is key, and storage bins can help keep different sized inventory in order and easily stackable. If you properly label each bin, you’ll be able to find the item quickly and fulfill the order efficiently.

According to Business 2 Community, without the proper organization in place, it doesn’t matter how much a manager has prepared the sales forecast, they won’t be able to meet demand as efficiently, which could cut down on sales. Additionally, if you’re unable to find items and properly fulfill orders, you’ll lose out on potential purchases.

Analysts are predicting a lot of sales will come from online. With e-commerce more popular than ever, companies have to organize their warehouse in a way that fulfills both brick-and-mortar and online sales. According to ABC News, about 17 percent of all online shopping is done online, and people are choosing to spend a lot. The news provider reports Cyber Monday sales are expected to hit $3.5 billion this year, up from $3.12 billion last year.

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Companies turn to technology to improve inventory delivery

Are you moving inventory as quickly as you could?

Are you moving inventory as quickly as you could?

If you’re working in a warehouse and using material handling equipment to move inventory around for maximum efficiency, you understand the importance of trying to move goods as quickly as possible. With the holidays coming up, speedy delivery is the ultimate goal. Customers expect the fastest delivery possible, and warehouses need to be able to provide it for them.

While equipment can help speed up the process, technology helps managers determine the best routes. According to Modern Materials Handling, using technology that helps you determine the best routes for fastest delivery can not only make the service more effective, but also reduce overall costs. The news provider reports it’s possible to show vehicles the most efficient routes, which means companies may be able to make more deliveries each day because of the saved time from driving.

Supply & Demand Chain Executive reports that with the holidays fast approaching, companies are trying to think about ways they can fulfill deliveries in the most efficient amount of time. More businesses are turning to advanced technology to determine the best means of delivery fulfillment. As a result, the news provider reports this can increase customer loyalty, which can be difficult to achieve during a busy e-commerce season.

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Warehouses grow in popularity in order to meet consumer demand

Moving deliveries around the warehouse is ramping up.

Moving deliveries around the warehouse is ramping up.

People working in the material handling industry know that efficiency is the name of the game. Managers need to ensure that all goods are moving quickly, since consumers are demanding quicker order fulfillment and providers are struggling to keep up. This means moving inventory on material handling equipment around quicker than ever, with the logistics of coordinating both in-store and online shopping.

The need for speed has led to a growth in warehouse construction. According to Golden State Newspapers, as more companies are putting a premium on fulfilling deliveries quickly, warehouse space is becoming even more valuable. As a result, companies such as Amazon and FedEx are not only buying up warehouse space, but also building their own in order to improve their overall logistics.

The news provider reports that people are becoming increasingly intolerant of waiting for their orders. With so many on-demand services and companies promising quick deliveries, it’s fallen on warehouse workers to make sure everything is delivered on time.

With the holidays coming up, it could lead to more issues with delivery time. According to Go by Truck News, the holiday demand increases normal delivery times, and shippers are frequently overwhelmed, which causes more of a chance of missed deliveries.

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Be proactive in your approach to safety in the warehouse

Do your employees know the ins and outs of the warehouse?

Do your employees know the ins and outs of the warehouse?

Do you have safety guidelines in your warehouse? This environment can at times be dangerous to work in without the proper training, and people using material handling equipment need to know exactly what they’re working with to ensure that they’re safe while on the job.

According to Logistics Magazine, managers need to be proactive in their safety measures to ensure workers are kept safe on the job. Managers should have quality standards in place in order to go around the warehouse and check and make sure all equipment is in order and the facility is free of any hazards.

Additionally, holding trainings on a quarterly basis, even for seasoned employees, can go a long way in helping everyone on staff get on the same page regarding safety. All new employees should go through extensive training as well before they’re able to use material handling equipment.

There is a prevalence of injuries in the warehouse, and making changes now can help reduce the number of accidents on the job. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the fatal injury rate for warehouse workers is higher than the average of all other industries across the U.S. With more than 145,000 employees working in the sector, safety should be taken seriously in order to reduce the injury rate.

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Start working now to save your landscaping in the winter

Be smart about landscaping in the fall.

Be smart about landscaping in the fall.

Fall is in full swing, and businesses need to be thinking about their grounds as the temperatures begin to drop. While it’s important to fill landscaping carts with seasonal shrubbery, building managers should think about choosing plants that last all year long.

The landscaping crew may have their work cut out for them when it comes time to prepare for fall. According to the Newark Advocate, once the leaves on plants begin turning brown, it’s time to chop down the perennials before winter hits. This can ensure that the plant will grow back healthy the second spring begins to hit.

Additionally, the news provider reports that depending on the plant, it may be a good idea to trim any brush. But you’ll want to be careful when doing this to flowering plants, as you may accidentally trim a bud that would be set to bloom in the spring. Trained landscapers are usually strategic about pruning.

HGTV suggests there are some season-specific plants that can look great for the next few months. Choosing vibrant fall flowers can add a little bit of color to the landscape, which can be highlighted by the changing colors of leaves as well. This could add some definite curb appeal.

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Be prepared for material handling orders

Do you know what material handling equipment you need to replace?

Do you know what material handling equipment you need to replace?

Warehouse managers may find themselves ramping up their material handling equipment orders in the coming years, as demand for the machinery is expected to climb on a steady basis.

According to Logistics Management, the demand for material handling equipment will grow by 5.3 percent each year through 2020, accumulating to a $176 billion industry. Although the U.S. is expected to see slow growth in comparison to emerging markets such as China, there is still a lot of room for sales. The more advanced the industry becomes, the more warehouse managers will want to readjust.

It’s important for warehouse managers to stay on top of their material handling equipment needs so they can better plan for when they’ll need to make a purchase. If demand for that particular item happens to lead to a shortage, it could affect production until a replacement piece is found. Forecasting will be critical.

According to Industry Week, warehouse managers should think about how each piece of material handling equipment is used and the frequency. This can help determine the overall longevity of the piece, and can help with estimates of when it might be time for a replacement. Being sure to conduct routine maintenance on the equipment can also help it lengthen its usability.

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Survey shows what could improve morale in the warehouse

Make sure workers are satisfied on the job.

Make sure workers are satisfied on the job.

People who work in the material handling industry know the importance of employee morale. When moving items back and forth in utility carts throughout the warehouse, employees need to stay motivated to make sure they’re staying on task. However, if they are feeling burnt out, there could be consequences to productivity.

According to Material Handling & Logistics, warehouse workers were recently surveyed on overall satisfaction with their jobs and the issues that they really care about. The news provider found that workers felt that it was acceptable to take two unscheduled days off per year. This could be attributed to sick or personal time. Time off was really important overall, as more than 87 percent of respondents valued having more time off to the equivalent in pay raise. Warehouse managers may want to keep this in mind when they are negotiating with employees on new terms.

There are other ways managers can make sure the warehouse is a happy environment. According to Inc, making sure to let go of employees who have a negative attitude and are rude to their peers can help improve overall worker satisfaction. Additionally, continually asking for worker feedback can paint a clearer picture of what employees really care about.

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Bins can benefit retail stockrooms

Bins provide a uniform storage solution.

Bins provide a uniform storage solution.

When dealing with a small retail space, there’s an important balance managers must strike to ensure that their storefront does not look too cluttered. Having Rubbermaid storage totes can make it easier to have control of the stock room, as these totes are easily stackable and sturdy.

According to Entrepreneur, one of the biggest challenges of a small storefront is appearing too cluttered. Consider only having a couple of similar items on display and keeping the rest in storage. Whenever you sell an item, you can simply replace it. Just be sure to properly label the storage bins so you know where to find the items. The news provider reports neutral tones can help give a polished, cleaner look as well.

Retail Minded reports that using proper labels on bins can help your stock room stay organized, so you can easily find the items you’re looking for. Additionally, because bins are sturdy and much more stackable, they provide a better storage benefit than boxes. Because inventory boxes can vary in size, it can create wasted space when stacking. Instead, investing in bins that unified in size ensures that every inch of space is being used to its full potential. Consider this as you’re making your stockroom purchases for the year.

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Companies are boosting the amount of robots on the job

Could robots soon take over inventory?

Could robots soon take over inventory?

While there will always be the need for professionals to move around material handling carts, there is a growing need for technology in the industry. It seems as though more business managers are catching on to the benefits of having automated systems.

According to Modern Materials Handling, the food and consumer goods industries ordered 41 percent more robots during the first half of this year than they did during the first six months of 2015. This indicates that more companies are looking to technological solutions to improve their efficiency. While technology can still be challenging for some companies, it’s important to strike a balance between automation and human talent.

It’s no surprise that companies are pushing for more robots. According to the Robot Report, Amazon had more than 30,000 robots in its operations during 2015 in order to improve the productivity of its distribution centers.

The news provider reports that the rise in e-commerce and on-demand systems has lead to the push to adopt more automation. This means technology such as robots can help streamline the process and make for a more efficient process. Still, there is need for humans in the warehouse to ensure that everything is running smoothly and to keep track of inventory.

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