Businesses around the globe are struggling to meet demand with major labor shortages. While many companies have always worked to increase efficiencies and gain additional productivity, it has never been more urgent an effort as it is today. The labor market is getting more competitive which means increased levels of payroll. Labor costs are increasing and maintaining current levels of employment are more challenging than ever before.
ELT Systems Group can help you come up with a variety of solutions from automation, warehouse design and fleet and energy management that can help squeeze every ounce of efficiency. Each one of these areas have different tactics and products that can help you gain more productivity.
When ELT Systems Group talks about automation, we talk about people working smarter and not harder. There are a variety of solutions from storage to material conveyance that can help.
Working smarter: Don’t Walk as Far
If your associates are spending more time fulfilling orders than transporting materials in a straight line somewhere, the more work they can complete. Our of ELT Systems Group’s partners is 6 River Systems, and they have an excellent solution called Chuck. Chuck is a fully autonomous robot that creates more efficient picking environments that keeps associates working in the aisles and less pushing carts to a shipping area.
“Collaborative Mobile Robots (CMRs) work alongside and guide warehouse associates through value-added tasks, eliminating the long walk to receive and deliver work. Chuck provides more than double the workspace and capacity of any other CMR without sacrificing the agility required for two-way travel or navigating in narrow aisles. 6RS increases pick density through intelligent work assignment and dynamic zone picking. Associates avoid multiple trips to the same pick location and minimize long walks to retrieve slow-moving SKUs in a single order. The result is increased pick rates, decreased cycle time and reduced in-aisle travel.”
Other robotic solutions do the same thing: removing the need to travel far to complete a task. Robotic fork trucks provide the largest efficiency gains bringing full pallets from docks to reach trucks in the warehouse taking out hundreds of feet of travel distance.
With these solutions, you can get more done with less people. The technology allows you to become more flexible in the ever changing marketplace especially when transitioning from business to business and more direct to consumer.
The way your warehouse is designed contributes to greatly to your ability to move material through your facility. Aisle widths and lengths, tunnel design and simple layouts that allow more traffic are things that always need to be considered especially when deciding to bring in new technology to your operation.
Work smarter: Have your pallets waiting for you to pick up
We’ve already spoken at great length about different warehouse solutions last month but one thing that should be said, if you’re considering new technology and automation, a 4D pallet system can greatly improve the throughput and efficiency. No longer do you need to consider a large and expensive AS/RS systems. You can implement a less expensive and easily scalable solution with shuttles.
These solutions allow your fork truck operators to spend more time moving products and not getting them in and out of aisles and racks. It’ll require less training and ramp up time for new hires to interact to get up to peak efficiency, especially have to pick from height less often.
Fleet and Energy Management
All warehouse and manufacturing facilities have one thing in common, people in material handling equipment like pallet jacks and fork trucks. In this case, we’re not talking about how how to automate movement or make people work more efficiently. We’re talking about how to make sure things are staying functional allowing people to do the work!
Work smarter: Keep your facility running an optimal levels
There are always things for maintenance teams to be taking care of from material handling trucks and batteries to manufacturing equipment. Eastern Lift Truck Co. can help make truck and battery maintenance minimal. Newer battery technologies like Lithium-Ion allow for maintenance free batteries, reduced charge time and more run time. Fleet Management can help larger fleets rotate vehicles across different locations based on run time demands keeping maintenance needs at a minimum.
Both fleet and energy management can free up your facility crews to make sure their time is not consumed by a multitude of smaller issues.