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WERC Webinar – How to Establish Standard Operating Procedures in your Distribution Center

WERC Webinar – How to Establish Standard Operating Procedures in your Distribution Center

In this WERC Webinar, The Midwest WERCouncil and Alpine Solutions’ Brenda Stoltz and David Fredericks, experts in operations management conducted a webinar on How to Establish and Sustain SOPs in Your DC.  You can watch now on demand.

Brenda and David dive into:

  • Why standardization and consistent execution of procedures are important
  • How to assess and document your current state
  • Identifying and validating improvements
  • Implementing new standards
  • Managing ongoing oversight, compliance and continuous improvement

 

The Post Pandemic Distribution Center

The Post Pandemic Distribution Center

Modern Materials Handling article by Bob Trebilcock is good round up of the supply chain industry’s response to Covid-19 amid a lack of concrete guidelines.

As the economy begins to recover, distribution center operators will be challenged with not just operating efficiently, but safely. Emerging technologies may aid in the effort.

“Our industry has always looked for solutions to operate in an efficient and cost-effective way; now, it will also struggle with new issues related to preventing the spread of a virus—either Covid-19, or whatever is around the bend. They will largely be on their own: As of this writing, the CDC guidelines for re-opening businesses were polite suggestions, not prescriptions. What’s more, while we know lawsuits will be filed by employees who test positive for the virus after we all return to work, we don’t yet know whether those claims will be governed by OSHA and worker compensation or the courts. The message is essentially:

Get back to work, and good luck.

If there is light at the end of the tunnel, it’s that some potential solutions are coming to market from materials handling technology providers. Make no mistake: This is an emerging area, and there’s no guarantee any of these solutions will create the bullet-proof, safe operating environment we will all strive for. Nor is this a comprehensive list: New emails are showing up in our inbox daily. But, the following companies are developing solutions for plants and DCs around screening, workplace social distancing and finally, contact tracing should an associate test positive. They, or their competitors, may be worth investigating as you look to create your own safe working environment.”

Create a checklist

A first step to a safer workplace is to create basic processes around cleaning, disinfecting, scheduling and, perhaps most importantly, what to do if an associate tests positive. Michael Wohlwend, managing principal with Alpine Supply Chain Solutions, relates the story of a client who had to shut down a warehouse for two weeks following a positive Covid case. “While they were cleaning and sanitizing the facility, every team leader was on the phone with suggestions for new procedures that would give the team the confidence to come back to work,” Wohlwend recalls. “It was a real wake up call.”

Just as important as the new procedures, which might vary from one facility to the next, is the ability to enforce them and demonstrate that they were followed if needed. To that end, Alpine worked with Procurant, a California-based technology company, to develop a phone app for auditing workplace procedures. It is created on a Cloud-based food safety tool that Procurant developed for tracking and tracing in the agricultural supply chain.

“You can set up as many checklists as you need, and then create a time stamp when tasks are completed,” Wohlwend says. “At the end of the day, you can create reports of what was done, who did it, when they did it and any corrective actions that were taken.” Training videos can be accessed using the tool for easy access, and alerts can be e-mailed or texted to individuals who need to be contacted. “If a person tests positive, you now have a checklist of what you need to do, and you can produce an audit trail of what was done,” Wohlwend says.

bob trebilcock

Bob Trebilcock

About Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling.

Learn to Put Safety First in Your Warehouses with a Free Webinar

Learn to Put Safety First in Your Warehouses with a Free Webinar

Do you have questions about keeping your employees safe and your warehouse productive in this uncertain time? Join Alpine’s Brenda Stoltz, an expert in strategic leadership, operations management and HR programs, for a WERC webinar, “Grow Your Safety Culture: How to Engage Warehouse Employees & Leaders” on Tuesday, March 31 at 2pm EST.

When it comes to safety in the warehouse, compliance is simply not enough. Rather, employees — and leadership — must be committed to not only keeping themselves safe, but also to ensuring the safety of those around them. Topics include best practices in structuring a team and techniques to gain support for, and increase interest in, safety.

Webinar participants also discover the benefits (both expected and unexpected) of a team dedicated to safety; techniques to get hourly employees to buy-in; and how to instill recommended routines that keep everyone informed and invested. Stoltz will also overview ways to establish peer-to-peer accountability — the single-most effective way to generate a safety-conscious culture.

Brenda will also share tips that leading companies are doing today to maintain operations, as well as to protect and communicate with employees and customers. She will share best practices and methods for facilities management, cleaning procedures, crisis planning and employee and customer communications.

Register here for this free webinar.

Learn to Put Safety First in Your Warehouses with a Free Webinar

Learn to Put Safety First in Your Warehouses with a Free Webinar

Do you have questions about keeping your employees safe and your warehouse productive in this uncertain time? Join Alpine’s Brenda Stoltz, an expert in strategic leadership, operations management and HR programs, for a WERC webinar, “Grow Your Safety Culture: How to Engage Warehouse Employees & Leaders” on Tuesday, March 31 at 2pm EST.

When it comes to safety in the warehouse, compliance is simply not enough. Rather, employees — and leadership — must be committed to not only keeping themselves safe, but also to ensuring the safety of those around them. Topics include best practices in structuring a team and techniques to gain support for, and increase interest in, safety.

Webinar participants also discover the benefits (both expected and unexpected) of a team dedicated to safety; techniques to get hourly employees to buy-in; and how to instill recommended routines that keep everyone informed and invested. Stoltz will also overview ways to establish peer-to-peer accountability — the single-most effective way to generate a safety-conscious culture.

Brenda will also share tips that leading companies are doing today to maintain operations, as well as to protect and communicate with employees and customers. She will share best practices and methods for facilities management, cleaning procedures, crisis planning and employee and customer communications.

Register here for this free webinar.

Free Webinar! 3PL Effective Collaboration

Free Webinar! 3PL Effective Collaboration

Alpine Managing Principal, Michael Wohlwend, teamed up with Kevin Coleman of DSC Logistics, and Charlie Piper of Saddle Creek Logistics to discuss lessons that you can leverage for your successful third-party logistics partnerships during the October 10th Warehouse Education Research Council (WERC) webinar. Whether public warehouse or contract logistics, use these tactics for more effective 3PL collaboration!
Click below to watch the webinar now.

About DSC Logistics:

When Dry Storage Corporation was founded in 1960, we provided our customers space to store their products and a promise to meet their changing needs by, in the words of our founder, Jim McIlrath, “doing a better job tomorrow than we did today.” Ann McIlrath Drake, Jim’s daughter, joined in 1994 as CEO, and her vision unified our organization from a public warehousing company of 22 acquired affiliates to “one great company: DSC Logistics.” Under Ann’s leadership, we established our strong reputation for strategic collaboration, providing integrated supply chain solutions to many of the world’s leading companies.

 

About Saddle Creek Logistics:

Saddle Creek is an asset-based third-party logistics provider based in Lakeland, Florida. We specialize in designing and delivering omnichannel logistics solutions for manufacturers, retailers and ecommerce companies.Our approach is solution based and data driven, using the most advanced operational methods and sophisticated technologies.

Get Smart with Upgraded Conveyor Design!

Get Smart with Upgraded Conveyor Design!

Are you curious about upgrading your warehouse through new conveyor simulation systems to improve throughput? Read Alpine Supply Chain’s input on the shifting “digital twin” technology and get smart with your own dynamic conveyor design.

“As warehouses and distribution centers continue to go high-tech, the tools used to design them are following suit with advances that make it easier for companies to predict how their operation will evolve to meet changing business demands over time. Conveyor simulation technology offers a case in point, shifting from a tool that simply shows how a conveyor system will work into one that can help companies plan the best system to meet peak service demands, ever-later order-cutoff times, and the staffing requirements to handle such changes. The software programs used to simulate conveyor system design today use advanced algorithms and data analytics to produce those results, and experts say the added use of sensors and Internet of Things technology is evolving to help produce real-time replicas of physical systems (think “digital twin” technology) that can provide organizations with even more productivity-enhancing data.

‘Today, a customer can expect to see a lot more [from conveyor simulation] than just ‘does the system work?’ explains Luther Webb, vice president, data science at material handling solutions provider Trew LLC. “[We have] more advanced modeling written in advanced code form. Today, [in a simulated design] the customer is looking at various formulas built into a model, and those formulas are interacting with each other.’

The end result is a dynamic model of conveyor technology that is helping organizations maximize throughput and minimize labor costs.”