Category Archives: Materials Handling

A Tax Deduction To Give Thanks For – The Sec. 179 Rule

It happens every year around this time – the season for end-of-year tax deductions. The Section 179 tax rule gives businesses an opportunity to write off as much as $500,000 in new and used equipment costs. Equipment or software purchased and put into service by December 31st is deducted from your business’s gross income –

Is Your New Warehouse Illegal?

From Southern California to Washington, D.C., new warehouses are springing up overnight to meet market demands. There’s one time-consuming phase of warehouse build-out, however, that shouldn’t be bypassed regardless of how much of a hurry you’re in. As reported by Site Selection Group, the demand for new warehousing is spurred by e-commerce’s continued exponential growth,

Logistics Management – Legal Air Space for Drones

Concerns about safety and legalities are restricting the use of drones everywhere, except in one rather surprising place: the great indoors of mega-warehouses. It’s completely legal to fly drones inside a private space, and logistics experts are putting drones to use inside large warehouses to automate certain tasks. Warehouses are finite spaces, and they can

The “Always-On” Supply Chain – Are You Ready?

Economists and logistics pundits are hailing the advent of the “always-on” supply chain – one in which information is as valuable as goods. From drones to the Internet of Things, smart technology is changing the supply chain landscape. A recent report from MHI, the materials handling and logistics trade organization, listed eight technologies that are

The Remarkable Future of the Supply Chain

Drones, 3D printing – the past few years have seen innovations that could prove highly disruptive to the traditional supply chain. Lora Cecere, CEO of Supply Chain Insights, serves up her predictions for the 2030 supply chain in this post. The highlights include: Autonomous Supply Chain. Sensors, robotics, and GPS combined into an adaptive, cognitive

Military Boots Get Marching Orders From RFID

When you’re shipping thousands of pairs of military boots each month, as combat footwear supplier Wellco does, shipping errors can get expensive; to quote a famous senator, “Pretty soon you’re talking about real money!” So when Wellco made the commitment to RFID, they jumped in with both feet. Each and every pair of boots Wellco

5 Steps to Lean Warehouse Management

Warehouses aren’t in the business of manufacturing, so it might seem irrelevant to apply the precepts of Lean Manufacturing to the logistics industry. However, says author Jeff Maree, there are surprising bottom-line advantages to managing a “lean warehouse.” Lean manufacturing seeks to reduce errors, improve efficiency, and add value – the famous Japanese principle of

Less Storefront, More Storage As E-Commerce Keeps Growing

The e-commerce juggernaut shows no signs of slowing, as Target demonstrated when it threw down the free-shipping gauntlet to Walmart and Amazon. Many retailers are finding that their online sales outpace their in-store sales to such an extent that they are reducing their expensive retail space and increasing their storage space – a smart move

Storing Spare Parts for Facilities Infrastructure

Facilities managers know time is of the essence. Whether it’s a burned-out light bulb or a burst pipe, repairs have to happen fast. Supplies of spare parts, strategically distributed around the facility, allow for quick response. But where and how are these spare parts stored? Writing in FacilitiesNet, Frank Murphy, CPMM, recommends analyzing the unique

Santa’s Little Helpers: Amazon’s Robots

It’s no secret that Amazon’s warehouse management is state-of-the-art. In its pursuit of ever-faster fulfillment, Amazon has started using a robot-assisted picking system named Kiva. Dave Clark, Amazon’s V.P. of worldwide operations, says, “Kiva’s doing the part that’s not that complicated. It’s just moving inventory around.” People do the part that requires judgement, confirming that