Order Picking Productivity

5 Ways to Improve Order Picking Productivity

Beyond running diagnostics or shifting your warehouse design around, sometimes it can be helpful to have an open and honest discussion with everyone on your staff. Everyone from your temp workers, full time operators, managers, directors, all the way up to VPs, need the ability to communicate where they see ways to improve your bottom line. Your employees will not only tell you about problems that you may not know exist, but may solve them just as quick and often in the same meeting.

Here are five ways to consider improving your picking productivity once you’ve identified the problems with your staff. You can review the potential ROI to understand which system will work best for your operation, discuss them with your team, and since they will be the ones ensuring the speed and accuracy of the systems you choose, decide which ones will benefit you the most.

1. Parts images and photos on the PC monitor when directing the picker. Many of today’s WMS, WCS and inventory management and picking software solutions allow organizations to include images of items in their database.

2. The use of pick-to-light and put-to-light indicators can be implemented in many processes to minimize errors. To make this cost effective, the integration of goods-to-person technologies (such as carousels, VLMs, shuttle technologies, ASRS, etc.) can be used. Items are delivered to the operator at an ergonomic height, and the lights tell the operator where and how many items to pick and put into the correct container.

3. Slotting your inventory will provide great benefits by increasing throughput and providing increased accuracy levels. The benefits of an effective slotting strategy include; increased throughput, improved labor utilization, reduced injuries, better cube utilization, and reduced product damage.

4. Kitting could be another option, though in some cases, while knitting does increase inventory levels, the variables may create too many kit options. If you often ship in kits, your team can help design the most cost effective kits to create and offer your customers. This can be either virtually on your marketplaces – a listed bundle comprised of disparate parts –– or physically in your warehouse – products bound together and stored in one location. The beauty of product kitting is that it allows you to sell kitted items and individual component items simultaneously.

5. Voice picking comes into play when you have a large number of SKUs in shelving or rack not using goods to person technologies. The audio directs the picker to the correct location and quantity. The picker then verbally verifies the SKU and quantity. The throughput levels often increase slightly with this technology, but your accuracy will often increase much more.

For example, Canadian retailer London Drug tossed its paper-based pick systems and turned to voice to help process SKUs of varying shapes and sizes—the result has improved productivity and 99.97% order accuracy using voice technology in its operations.

Industrial Cleaning Equipment

Keep It Clean & Safe: Floor Cleaners

A good way to keep your facility spotless at regular intervals is to use commercial floor cleaning machines. At KMH we offer Kärcher Industrial’s automatic scrubbers in both the walk-behind and riding range are built to exceed your expectations. Kärcher Industrial’s sweepers are utilized all over the world in the toughest applications.

Things to consider for your facility:

Evaluate Your Company’s Space

When it comes to floor sweepers or scrubbers for commercial spaces, the size of the space is a primary consideration. In most cases, a push sweeper should suffice for spaces that are less than 50,000 square feet. In areas that are larger than 50,000 square feet, a ride-on sweeper would be more suitable as it allows the operator to cover more ground in an efficient manner.

Consider Your Company’s Needs

When choosing a commercial floor scrubber, it is also necessary to evaluate the needs of your company. For instance, consider the types of debris the machine may be cleaning. If the area being cleaned is a high-traffic section, it will need a more powerful sweeper than one that is intended for use in an area visited or used by only a few people once or twice a week. Surface type, maneuverability, and power source are other important considerations.

Savings & Cleaning Efficiency

A floor scrubber not only uses less water, thereby allowing the floor to dry more quickly, but also leads to a more efficient clean than what a traditional mop and bucket can offer. This cleaning equipment has the power to remove grime, grease, and dirt that are traditionally very difficult to remove. A floor scrubber does its magic by spraying water and chemicals on the floor, scrubbing the dirt and grime away, and leaving a perfect shine in its wake.

Ease Of Cleaning Process

You will find a floor scrubber rather easy to operate as you only have to select the settings that you want. You can either push it from behind or ride it across the area to be cleaned, depending upon whether you have a push floor scrubber or a ride-on one. Either variety reduces the amount of effort that the operator has to exert and enables a larger surface area to be cleaned in a smaller amount of time.

One easy maintenance task is to clean the cleaning machine at the end of every shift. It is also important to empty all tanks and hoses, as any water left over in the machine can become stagnant. Finally, allow batteries to run out on their own instead of keeping these machines plugged in all the time; this should help extend the battery life.

Contact us today to let us help you choose the right floor cleaning equipment that best fits your needs!

Automated Warehouse Systems

Why You Should Automate Your Warehouse

Automated warehousing applied to part or all of a distribution center can provide a wide range of benefits including space savings, lower building costs, improved productivity, more efficient material flow, less people, safer operations, reductions in inventory, increased reliability, reduced running costs, better ROI and lowest lifecycle cost.

Automated warehousing systems provide the maximum possible usage of available floor space and building height. In some cases, this enables companies to increase storage capacity by up to 400% compared to conventional forklift operations. Where space is limited, switching to an automated warehousing solution can free up additional space for other activities, such as manufacturing.

Improved Productivity

Automated warehousing systems offer tremendous performance in terms of productivity. Not only do they work faster than forklifts and narrow aisle trucks, they can also operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, keeping product on the move.

Automated warehousing systems can also enhance the efficient flow of materials through a manufacturing facility or distribution center. By integrating the system with production materials handling systems, raw materials, tools, parts, work-in-process, and finished goods can all be efficiently delivered to where they are required.

The systems can be set up to provide a buffer storage function on assembly lines, and can service multi-floor applications. By using automated storage and retrieval machines the need for drivers/operators is eliminated. Compared with conventional methods, and calculated over the life of the machine, savings can be substantial and the ROI can be highly attractive.

Reduced Inventory

With integrated location and inventory control software combined with faster throughput, it is possible to reduce stock levels. Inventory can be accurately tracked at all stages, maximizing stock availability. Stock control can also be improved, with the software enabling goods to be automatically picked on a First In First Out basis , or by ‘use-by’ date etc.

Once the automated warehouse has been set up, ongoing operating costs are minimized. Typical warehousing costs involving refueling or recharging of batteries, regular mechanical and electrical maintenance, and staffing, lighting are also minimized.

KMH offers a free Operational Audit which can give you the most efficient and cost effective evaluation of your operation. We provide you with all the available ways to automate your facility and get the most out of your current budget while still optimizing your ROI.

Loading Dock Safety

Dock Safety – Get Yours Checked Out

The loading dock is the heart of your warehouse.  A warehouse loading dock can be as busy as a beehive as it’s the hub of traffic with products going in and out. With loading and unloading of large trucks, forklift trucks running, and many other operations taking place, it can often be hazardous for people working there.

Make your dock a safer place to work.   KMH can visit your dock and go over all aspects of your operation to give you ideas for keeping everyone safe.  Injuries on loading docks account for 25 percent of all reported injuries within supply chain facilities, according to Material Handling and Logistics.

You can reduce injuries by making a few improvements to you work environment:

Keep the warehouse and dock organized. OSHA suggests that the aisle ways stay clear, clean, orderly and uncongested. Start by separating pedestrian and forklift traffic, which decreases the risk for accidents.

Install spotlights on forklifts so visibility is high to people on the floor.
Install loading dock safety nets to prevent people from falling off the dock.
Perform preventative maintenance on equipment, including forklifts and stretch wrappers.

Eliminate the bottlenecks. You’ve been caught in a bottleneck before. Bottlenecks occur when input comes in faster than the next step can create output. These situations cause unnecessary employee stress, wasted costs, delayed shipments, a less-than-quality product, revenue loss and customer unhappiness.

Use technology to make work easier:

New technology in and around the loading dock can make both your job and your employees’ jobs easier. Try out these ideas to improve efficiency. Upgrade or buy management software to improve loading dock visibility, coordinate live and staged trailers and manage turn times. For example, sensors on dock doors can notify you when a truck has pulled up to or left the dock.

Create work stations. Use mobile computer carts with a power pack to eliminate unnecessary foot traffic. Instead of walking back and forth to a computer or printer in another room for label printing, weighing, scanning, etc., collect the data in one place.

Here are few ideas to post on you dock area as a starter check list:

• Train all personnel at the loading dock about safety
• Powered doors at the loading dock should be periodically checked and maintained
• Mark overhead hazards, such as electric wires, doors and pipes, so that they can clearly be identified
• Inspect palletized materials regularly to weed out defective pallets
• Clean out the loading dock regularly to prevent a pile up of debris and dirt
• Ensure emergency exits are not blocked and doors are functioning properly
• Make sure roll up doors at the loading dock are properly maintained

Call today to schedule a dock safety check with KMH systems! 888-KMH-SYSTEMS

Heavy Equipment Rentals

Heavy Equipment Rental Benefits

Renting construction equipment has increased in popularity for a variety of reasons. A few key contributors to the growth of equipment rentals include the rising cost of purchasing equipment Here are some benefits that your company will see if you decide to begin renting construction equipment.

Avoid the Initial Purchase Cost

Purchasing brand new construction equipment is extremely expensive and can make a huge impact on how your company’s budget. Renting or leasing equipment avoids the upfront costs associated with purchasing, and allows businesses to better manage your financial resources.

Less Maintenance and Repair Costs

When you own equipment, you must consider the cost of maintenance and repair. Although maintenance and repair is still important for rental equipment, costs will be lowered compared to purchased equipment. With rentals, the time and labor costs associated with maintenance and repairs are lower and more manageable.

No More Market Fluctuation

The construction world is dynamic and many things influence the market. Renting equipment cushions your company from unpredictable downturns that may arise. Rather than committing to a piece of equipment, leasing allows for options that make it easier to ride the rise and fall of market forces.

No Depreciation Costs

When you own machinery, you incur considerable depreciation costs. Reselling equipment, and maintaining it requires quite a large investment on top of your upfront purchase. Although all companies operate differently, renting construction equipment avoids loses associated with depreciation.

Project-Specific Rentals

Typically, construction companies are balancing many projects at once. Renting specific pieces of equipment for particular projects eliminates any logistical delays.

Solve Storage Issues

Equipment that is not stored properly, or exposed to harsh weather condition may depreciate faster. You can negotiate with vendors or suppliers regarding how long you need a rental, and your company may not worry about long-term storage. This saves you time needed to plan out the logistics, as well as the cost of storage.

Transportation Logistics

Transportation can take a long time, affecting the productivity and efficiency of a project. Renting allows you to avoid this burden and provides a more reliable equipment option by keeping pieces onsite.

Let us give you all the information you need to run on any budget and still get the equipment you need!

KMH Systems Online Store

Shop With Us Online

Nowadays, shopping online has become more like a daily activity for virtually everyone looking to buy something with access to the internet irrespective of location. But, despite its almost unnoticeable flaws, buying online has many advantages we should know.  You should take advantage of online shopping for a variety of reasons such as, saving time – you do not have to drive anywhere, you can often purchase an item(s) with just a simple click of a button. You can stay within the comfort of your home or office and find that perfect item no matter if it is rare or readily available.

At KMH we offer you the ease of getting everything you need shipped right to your door.  Our Allied catalog not only offers everything from your front door to the back dock, we have a variety of each item so you can tailor your order to fit each one of your needs.

Why Shop Online With Us?

Convenience:

You don’t have to wait in a line or wait till the shop assistant helps you with your purchases. You can do your shopping in minutes even if you are busy, apart from saving time and avoiding crowds. Online shops give you the opportunity to shop 24 x 7 and also reward you with deals.

Better Prices:

You can save by buying online and not have to pay for the marketing and other promotions most retail stores have to build into their pricing.

Fewer Expenses:

Many times when you opt for conventional shopping you tend to spend a lot more than the required shopping expenses, on things like eating out, traveling, impulsive shopping etc.

Comparison of Prices:

Online shopping make comparison and research of products and prices possible. Online shopping our allied catalog gives you the ability to review what we offer with other vendors.

Fast Shipping:

You can see what you want and know it is on the way to you in record time by shopping online with us. We make it easy to browse our catalog and order everything you need so it can arrive quickly to you.

Convenience:

It is very convenient to be able to do all your shopping from one spot – your couch or office!

Cost Savings:

With ever-increasing gas prices, shopping online saves you the cost of driving to and between stores as well parking fees. You will also save time by avoiding standing in line, particularly around the holidays, when stores are very busy.

Variety:

The internet provides sellers with unlimited shelf space, so they are more likely to offer a wider variety of products than they would in brick-and-mortar stores.

No Pressure:

In our store, there is no salesperson hovering around and pressuring you to purchase an item.

Easy Comparison:

Shopping with us online eliminates the need to wander from store to store trying to compare prices.

Cantilever Rack

Choosing The Right Racking Solution

Before your company spends significant chunks of the budget for a system that isn’t a true solution, KMH can help you choose the best racking system for your company.

What we help you consider and factor into your decision:

– Your max spend for a racking solution
– The total floor space and ceiling height available for pallet storage
– Number of different products for which you need rack storage
– Frequency with which you need to access products in your racks
– Shelf life of your products
– What kind of truck access you’ll need including lift height

Below are a few racking options you can consider in deciding which one is right for your needs…

Cantilever Racks

Cantilever is defined as “a beam anchored at one end only”. The load is held by the arm which transfers the load to the supporting upright beam/base. Cantilever racking is primarily used for storage of bulky, over-sized, long loads such as timber, plasterboard, steel trusses & piping, PVC carpet.

Drive In Pallet Rack

Drive In Pallet Racking is installed in warehouses and distribution centers that need a cost effective, high density storage solution for their pallets and products. Because of its design, drive-in pallet rack is a first in, last out (FILO) storage system. Drive in racking is best used with a large quantity of like-products that are not time sensitive, to best utilize warehouse space. Warehouse access aisles are kept to a minimum with drive-in rack, often allowing users to achieve double or more storage capacity.

Push Back Rack

Push back racks allow for fork lifts to deposit loads more quickly. The newest loads push the previous items back up the incline to instantly create the space needed to keep items safely on the rack without the need to remove items or reorganize your racks to make room. It also cuts down on travel time for the forklift operator, meaning your operations will flow more efficiently and place less stress on your workers and equipment.

Pallet Flow Rack

Pallet flow rack systems act as a sort of pallet conveyor for your warehouse. Pallets are loaded from one side and picked from the other, while the rest of the work is done by heavy-duty rollers. This has the potential to save both time and labor. Pallet flow rack systems also save time by offering immediate access to every product stored on the system, meaning you won’t have to pull any pallets simply to gain access to other pallets.

Contact us for a FREE Operational Audit to make the best choice and investment for your company!

Lighting Surveys

Benefits of a Lighting Survey

KMH has helped hundreds of companies save thousands of dollars a year with lighting surveys and retrofitting projects that end up paying for themselves.  The development of LED technologies, manufacturer rebates and government incentives adds to your bottom line and new lighting fixtures have proven to have greater energy efficiency, while reducing maintenance costs due to their longer lifespan.  LED technologies have come down in price, accelerating payback expectancy and helping to make retrofit projects more cost efficient altogether.

5 Reasons For Your Lighting Survey

Energy Savings

With advancements in technologies, today’s lighting retrofits can create energy savings ranging anywhere from 40% to 90%, depending upon the type of project.

Maintenance Savings

Modern technologies are fostering significant maintenance savings due to the extended life or “burn hours” of the new lighting. Many LED technologies exhibit a rated life ranging from 50,000-100,000 hours, more than three times the life of the old T-12 and HID technologies of the past.

Improved Aesthetics

Today’s latest-generation lighting technology delivers a better color rendering mix, better uniformity and spread of light, and better lumen maintenance (i.e., light levels will hold at higher levels for longer periods of time).

Better Security

Employee safety improves when areas are optimally lit with better lighting technology.

Environmental Sensitivity

Unlike Metal Halide, High Pressure Sodium, and T-12 lighting, modern LED lighting technologies eliminate mercury from facilities, creating a safer environment and “go green” image for businesses.

How We Help You…

Our team will identify those facilities in your real estate portfolio where lighting retrofit projects are the most needed with a comprehensive survey of all facility lighting, interior and exterior.  We will ensure that you’re leveraging all available rebates.

Check warranties, and leverage them where and when you can. Upon completion of a lighting retrofit project, make sure that you’re taking advantages of the great warranties that come with so many of today’s lamps and ballasts.

To schedule your lighting survey fill use the button below on this page or call: 888-564-7978

Operational Audit

Benefits of An Operational Audit

KMH helps companies in many industries review how the organization’s management and its operating procedures are functioning with respect to their effectiveness and efficiency in meeting stated objectives.  Going through the operational audit process provides a company with objective opinions. Those opinions often generate quicker production or sales turnaround, better allocation of costs, improved control systems, the location of areas of delay and an overall streamlined workflow.

Businesses can get a good idea of how they are doing in operations by examining company data on their own. However, sometimes those close to the company don’t review this data completely objectively or are so familiar with operations that it is difficult to come up with other approaches to finishing work.

Checklist items often include relationships with suppliers and staff, inventory management and control, alternate sources of raw materials, and all items involved in product creation, ongoing maintenance procedures, production-employee training programs, processing procedure documentation and the use of the best available technology.

KMH can assist managers to use the operational audit to evaluate and analyze the current effectiveness of the company’s operations while identifying areas of potential improvement. The identification of areas requiring improvement is a key aspect, as the fundamental purpose of the operational audit is to improve effectiveness for all operations.

The types of activities that might be audited vary between businesses, but some examples of processes that are common to many companies include purchasing, receiving and shipping stock, data processing and logistics.

Objectives

  • Appraise the effectiveness and efficiency of a division, activity, or operation of the entity in meeting organizational goals.
  • Understand the responsibilities and risks faced by an organization.
  • Identify, with management participation, opportunities for improving control.
  • Provide senior management of the organization with a detailed understanding of the result

Advantages

  • In addition to making the business more efficient and profitable in the long run.
  • An operational audit almost always provides a company with some new, fresh perspectives.
  • It makes executives aware of problems that might not have been found otherwise and lets them evaluate risks for the future.

Areas We Help You Evaluate

Preliminary preparation
Field Survey
Audit Program Development
Reporting and Follow-up

Warehouse Layout
Product/Inventory/Orders processing
Receiving & Storing

Material Handling Equipment
Safety
Inventory Control Systems Steps

If you’re in need of a KMH Operational Audit please use the link below…

KMH Forklift Rentals

Rental Benefits vs Buying

Material handling equipment is an absolute necessity for modern businesses to stay competitive and increase worker productivity.  Forklifts come in many varieties and have a range of capabilities and prices, but their fundamental purpose is to allow workers to move inventory quickly and efficiently.  The issue for some, especially most small businesses, is the issue of whether to buy or rent the equipment. There is no simple right or wrong to this question, since it comes down the individual company’s situation.

Save Money on Terms

Long or short term rentals can be arranged for a weekly or monthly price with a rental company. Short term rental prices can vary, however most forklift companies do have regular pricing, and you should always ask what deals are available to you. When a forklift is purchased, the owner is responsible for all maintenance costs and any associated issues such as downtime. Over the course of a year, this alone can add significant amounts to the cost of the forklift that may not be in your budget. Also, as the forklift ages, maintenance costs increase simultaneously. The added cost of service equipment and organizing temporary replacements, if necessary, must also be considered when budgeting for buying instead of simply renting, a forklift.

Legal Benefits

Forklift owners must make sure their vehicles are properly maintained and meet all relevant safety requirements. Many accidents involving forklifts are due to neglected maintenance schedules and poor working conditions. Companies renting forklifts are responsible for the training and working conditions of forklift legislation and can offer expert advice such as personal protective equipment, checklists and operating instructions and differing rental term plans to allow your company flexibility.

Upgrading Your Forklift Options

Renting a forklift enables an element of flexibility for a workplace. The customer can select the appropriate model to rent for a specific job which may be different to a model to that is required for another task. The same level of flexibility cannot be obtained when purchasing a forklift which can lead to higher costs for an organization and/or inefficient working practices.

Top Reasons to Rent

  • Forklift purchases require you to invest a significant amount of capital or have well established credit
  • As your purchased equipment ages you will not get benefits of newer tech
  • New equipment is not available immediately
  • It can be hard to estimate the length of some jobs & therefore the cost
  • Your cost is much lower for short to medium term rentals
  • Rentals are generally available for businesses with minimal credit
  • There is no need for in-house mechanics
  • You can use the latest equipment depending on rental company

If you’re in need of a forklift rental, lease, or purchase please use the link below…

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