Oct 10 2018

Megan Ray Nichols

Quick Ways You Can Optimize Your Warehouse Layout

Your productivity is directly related to your warehouse layout. With just a few changes, you’ll get more organized storage, faster order processing and safer working grounds. The best way to boost your productivity is through rethinking your warehouse.

Evaluate Storage

There are always products in every warehouse that seem to sit on the shelves gathering layers of dust. These dust-bunny magnets don’t need to take up prime real estate in your warehouse. Arrange your storage so lesser-picked products are in far corners or higher up on shelving. Use the easy-to-reach spaces for storing products you frequently pull.

One way to quickly evaluate your storage is to walk through the warehouse at the end of a shift daily for a week. As you do, look for which products are typically pulled, and which remain on the shelves. This will help you reorganize the products in your warehouse. Once you’ve reorganized your warehouse, produce a guide for the locations of the items inside. This will make it easier for your employees to find the products they need to retrieve or store.

If you’re interested in higher-tech solutions for streamlining and overhauling your storage for efficiency, look into pick-to-light and put-to-light bin labeling systems and corresponding software. A setup like this guides warehouse employees to the right bin the first time, reducing or eliminating mis-picks and mis-stows. You’ll also have a more accurate impression of which products are moving the fastest and where they might be better located in your warehouse.

Plan a Staging Area

The CEO of ShipHero, Aaron Rubin, says the biggest mistake warehouses make is not having enough staging area. A staging area allows you to accommodate the unexpected. Use this area for large loads that are either incoming or outgoing. This designated spot will keep products from accumulating between the aisles until they can be sent to their destinations.

Another means of using a staging area is for frequently pulled products. This zone could hold smaller quantities of the products you use the most. Doing so cuts down on the travel time to pull these items from the shelves. This strategy is especially useful when you anticipate large orders.

Make Safety Paramount

The safety of your employees should be the most important thing in your warehouse. In most warehouses, foot traffic and vehicles use the same aisles. When optimizing warehouse space, you might be tempted to shrink the size of the aisles to allow for more shelves. This could be dangerous for your employees, though.

Keep your aisles wide enough to allow for pedestrians and vehicles to travel abreast down them. To keep your workers safe, paint 1- to 4-inch-wide lines in high-traffic areas to designate areas for workers. These lines are also useful if you intend to automate your warehouse vehicles. Many of these vehicles require painted lines on the floor, which they follow in their duties. Lanes for your workers and vehicles will help reduce accidents and make it safer for everyone.

Warehouses of the very near future might come standard with wearable technologies for employees that keep an eye on things like working height, temperature, blood pressure, blood oxygen and more.

By applying consumer-level technologies like these — which employees already know intuitively how to use — warehouse managers can gain better insight into environmental and working conditions, as well as how they affect employees. It could be a great way to raise the bar for safety for everybody involved.

Cut Walking Time

Foot traffic in inevitable in warehouses. The facility design directly relates to how much time employees waste walking around the facility to do their jobs. It’s possible, depending on your warehouse size, for your workers to spend more than 50 percent of their time walking from place to place.

If possible, employ conveyors or automation to decrease the walking time. Proper organization of the warehouse will also help workers walk less. Post maps of the locations of products clearly so all employees know where everything is stored. This will reduce workers getting lost finding products.

One more thing that often goes overlooked is the placement of badge scanners and time clocks. In a warehouse setting — during breaks, lunches and shift changes — it’s common for high-traffic areas to become crowded and difficult to navigate.

Look into switching to or adding connected time clock terminals — which nowadays install using wireless rather than wired connections — and reevaluate your layout overall to avoid backtracking and traffic jams and ease your employees’ movements.

Make Paths One-Way

Whether paths are for vehicular or pedestrian traffic, they should be for one direction only. This keeps traffic flowing properly. It also makes it safer for all workers, both those on foot and forklift operators. When turning a forklift, the vehicle may cut into pedestrian lanes. This puts those on foot nearby in danger. Additionally, workers who turn to go backward in a lane may run into another worker or forklift.

When creating lines to split aisles into lanes for vehicles and people, also add directional arrows. You will need to educate your employees and their supervisors to follow and enforce these guidelines, respectively.

Plan for Growth

Your warehouse should be optimized not only for today but also for tomorrow. Anticipate your growth and plan additional space in your warehouse accordingly. Having enough space for expansion will allow your business to painlessly grow over time. Lisa Chu, founder of online company Black N Bianco, suggests planning for the next three to five years. She says this planning will decrease your overhead as your warehouse grows.

Improvements Optimize Warehouse Design

Making your warehouse more efficient will improve your workers’ productivity and safety. The key to your operations lies in the layout of your facility. A well-designed warehouse contributes to the functioning of the people working inside. Optimize your warehouse through better designs.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.apriso.com/blog/2018/10/warehouse_layout/

Oct 09 2018

Register Now for Dassault Systemes Online Manufacturing Summit – Live or On Demand – Learn from Leaders on The Future of Manufacturing

In today’s global marketplace, the pressures on manufacturers are greater than ever to be responsive to customers, deliver better products at lower costs, increase revenues and profits, while facing competition from new types of businesses and consumer channels. To meet these challenges, manufacturers are digitalizing their business in order to break down silos, create new collaborations, and squeeze greater efficiencies out of their organizations.

Join Dassault Systèmes for a unique, online experience dedicated to manufacturing industry leaders – across the spectrum of today’s manufacturing journey. The Online Manufacturing Summit launches on Thursday, October 18th from Noon to 3:30 PM EST and will be available live or on demand.  Register Now to join the event or to secure on-demand access to nine special interest tracks including more than 40 sessions covering today’s hot topics.

Attendees will hear from manufacturing leaders, analysts and industry influencers including AccentureCapgeminiHCLHP,  Infosys and Renishaw, and a strong line-up of manufacturing customers who will share critical insights and case studies focused on driving manufacturing innovation and results for their businesses.

Featured tracks include the following.  Attendees can stick with one track or follow sessions from any track.

  • Generative Design: Learn how to increase productivity through an integrated set of flexible process-driven capabilities.
  • Digital Manufacturing: Drive manufacturing innovation and efficiency by planning, simulating, and modeling global production processes; learn how virtual modeling, robotics, and fabrication all contribute to driving successful manufacturing efforts.
  • Manufacturing Operations Management: Learn how complex operational challenges can be met with a scalable Manufacturing Operations Management platform that can provide real-time visibility into manufacturing, synchronize execution processes, and control execution while providing localization and real-time feedback to executives and planners.
  • Supply Chain Planning and Operations:  Boost efficiency and profitability with reality-based supply chain planning, scheduling and optimization for complex business processes across all planning horizons.
  • Digital Continuity:  Learn how to capitalize on manufacturing ‘Big Data’ and the Internet of Things for global traceability and beyond.  Watch how digital data and information can be relied on as unique, authoritative and consistent as it is used across the product lifecycle.
  • The Future of Manufacturing track explores topics at the forefront of the industry including Women in Manufacturing, and the Workforce of the Future
  • And more!

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.apriso.com/blog/2018/10/register-now-for-dassault-systemes-online-manufacturing-summit-live-or-on-demand-learn-from-leaders-on-the-future-of-manufacturing/

Oct 03 2018

ASK THE EXPERT: Dassault Systèmes’ Fred Thomas on Manufacturing Transformation

Many manufacturers have continued to invest in technology and systems using a disjointed, piecemeal approach. In this interview, Fred Thomas, DELMIA Global Industry Director for Automotive and Industrial Equipment Industries at Dassault Systèmes tells The Record why the time for real change is now.

How would you define the concept of digital transformation within the manufacturing space?

Fred Thomas, DELMIA Global Industry Director

Digital transformation is enabling a reinvention of manufacturing. It’s a core component of a new ‘industry renaissance’ – the merger of automation, the internet of things (IoT), the industrial internet of things (IIoT), artificial intelligence, business processes, big data and cloud computing. Digital transformation enhances agility and flexibility across the enterprise by enabling digital continuity, from ideation to production through post-sales service.

What is the urgency regarding manufacturing transformation?

I believe it’s a competitive necessity, as customers are seeking personalized experiences versus commodity transactions, especially when buying a vehicle. I believe we’re moving from the age of mass customization to the age of mass personalization, where customers expect both the process and the product to be unique. From a process point of view, look at how Tesla has changed the car-buying process. From a product standpoint, I would point you to Ford’s ‘Personalize Your Pony’ program, where fans and customers can go online and design their own Mustang logo which can then be duplicated across any number of personal items, including clothes, coffee mugs and even ordered on your new Ford Mustang vehicle.

This level of personalization is going to rapidly expand across the industry and it is my belief
that a lot of manufacturers are unprepared to support this kind of mass personalization with
their current manufacturing systems.

What specifically have you seen that causes you the most concern?

I have three primary areas of concern in terms of traditional automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEM) being competitive in a mass personalization-driven world. The first is that they are not responding to the competitive threat presented by automotive OEM startups that don’t have a 100-year legacy to deal with. That means they don’t have the outdated legacy solutions to maintain and can start with model-based, platform-driven manufacturing systems that are infinitely more capable of supporting not only new vehicle technologies, such as electrification and autonomous vehicles but also the processes associated with vehicle personalization. My second concern is that there has been a lack of progress in digital or virtual manufacturing systems adoption, and my third concern is the ongoing tactical response of solving manufacturing execution problems on the shop floor with more homegrown and point solution purchases. This only extends the disparate, silo-based manufacturing environment to the detriment of building a future on a strategic model-based foundation that can drive uniform digitalization across the global manufacturing organization.

Continue reading the rest of the interview here. Excerpted from The Record, issue #8: Spring 2018

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.apriso.com/blog/2018/10/ask-the-expert-dassault-systemes-fred-thomas-on-manufacturing-transformation/

Sep 26 2018

B2B digital marketplaces bring agility and innovation to industrial markets

After transforming consumer retail, hospitality and travel markets, digital marketplace are now reshaping industrial markets and supply chains. Experts say the upheaval of traditional business models is inevitable, but the disruption offers companies across the B2B supply chain a unique opportunity to expand their reach and create innovative new customer experiences.

On October 24, 2017, the share prices of several Fortune 500 industrial supply companies dropped as much as 5%, even though the NYSE and NASDAQ indexes remained essentially flat.

What happened? According to investment analysts, the decrease occurred due to the launch of Amazon Business, which provides Prime’s unlimited fast delivery to Amazon’s business customers. As an online B2B marketplace, Amazon Business provides a software platform that enables buyers and sellers to connect and do business. The platform is the facilitator; the transactions are essentially peer-to-peer.

Amazon Business shifts inventory and logistical duties to participating suppliers, cutting its costs and increasing its agility. It’s a model the world’s largest B2B marketplace platform, Alibaba, adopted from inception, allowing it to carry zero inventory on its own balance sheet, much as Amazon pioneered with books.

The marketplace model allows these companies to grow at a pace and scale that companies with heavy inventory, facilities and logistics investments cannot. This enormous capacity to scale, plus a compelling user experience, have enabled these marketplaces to disrupt sector after sector.

Altered customer expectations

The disruptive nature of business-to-consumer (B2C) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) marketplaces is well-documented in hospitality (Airbnb, Wimdu), travel (Booking.com, Ctrip), financial services (M-Pesa, PayPal), transportation (Uber, Lyft), and retail (eBay, Tmall).

From the consumer’s perspective, it’s easy to understand the appeal of digital marketplaces: greater choice, easier offer comparisons, lower prices, anywhere/any device access, fast fulfillment and community interactions. In short: a winning customer experience.These winning experiences have permanently altered consumer expectations regarding choice, price and convenience. It was only a matter of time, therefore, before businesses began to demand the same type of experience for purchasing business and industrial goods and services.“B2B buyers are consumers as well, after all, and they have high expectations for their digital experiences,“ said Brian Beck, senior vice president of E-Commerce and Omni-Channel Strategy at Guidance Solutions, a B2B and B2C e-commerce services company in Marina Del Rey, California.B2B marketplaces are not new, however. While Amazon Business has only recently expanded from the US to Germany, the UK, France, Japan and India, many regions of the world have been served by large, industrial marketplaces for the past two decades. This is especially true of Asia, where well-known B2B marketplaces including Alibaba, Global Sources, TradeIndia, IndiaMART, DHgate and HAIZOL, among others, have brought millions of industrial buyers and sellers together.So what is new about industry marketplaces? For one, sophisticated strategies for using cloud, mobile and social technologies, together with advanced big data analytics, to create the more compelling, Uber-style experiences business customers demand today. For another, technologies that include affordable versions of 3D modeling and 3D printing are opening opportunities for more small businesses to participate in global marketplaces. Lastly, marketplace operators are aggressively expanding into new geographies and extending the range of goods they offer, as global awareness of the market potential of B2B e-commerce grows.

Read the rest of this story here, on COMPASS, the 3DEXPERIENCE Magazine

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.apriso.com/blog/2018/09/b2b-digital-marketplaces-bring-agility-and-innovation-to-industrial-markets/

Sep 19 2018

Women in Supply Chain

Women are gravitating to supply chain. A report titled 2018 Women in Supply Chain—based on a survey conducted by AWESOME (Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain  Operations, Management & Education) and Gartner—queried logistics and transportation providers, supply chain consultants, and supply chain software and technology providers. It found that one in five vice presidents of these firms is a woman—versus one in ten in the overall industrial sector.

Their bench is deeper, too—pipelines of 50% or more women in the supply chain organizations, compared to a 31% sector average. And half of the supply chain businesses have specific goals—often reported on management scorecards—for increasing the totals. “These include targeted initiatives to recruit, develop, retain and/or advance women in supply chain,” the report said.

It’s part of the trend of more women taking up manufacturing. And just in time—the manufacturing sector in the United States is staring
at a shortfall of some two million workers over the next ten years. Yet according to Bureau of Labor Statistics figures for 2016, while women’s share of total employment is 47%, they are underrepresented (29%) in manufacturing.

Efforts are underway to right the balance. AWESOME provides opportunities for networking, collaboration and development—including an annual symposium, awards for outstanding women supply chain leaders, and scholarships to university students in supply chain.
The Manufacturing Institute, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), promotes women in manufacturing through its STEP Ahead initiative, which mentors and recognizes women and researches their role in the production workforce.

An educational focus on women in STEM and manufacturing is also helping. In a survey by Deloitte, the Manufacturing Institute, and  APICSWomen in Manufacturing: Stepping up to make an impact that matters—the percentage of survey participants who believed the school system encourages female students to pursue manufacturing careers has more than doubled, from 12% to 29%, in just two years. For business, it’s a matter of fairness and self-interest—84% of respondents felt that having women on leadership teams can help manufacturers deliver innovative and creative approaches and solutions.

E-commerce and globalization have brought supply chain out of the shadows—from the quiet, behind-the-scenes discipline that forecasts, sources, and delivers, to a front-and-center differentiator for businesses in the quest for faster, yet cost-effective and margin-preserving, customer-winning delivery. But a talent shortage is holding companies back. In its 2017 CSCO (Chief Supply Chain Officer) survey of global supply chain leaders, Gartner reported that “gaps in skills/talent were top internal and external obstacles to achieving supply chain goals and objectives.” CSCOs were “more concerned with talent and skill shortages than with technology disruptions, slowing growth, supply risk or regulatory policy.”

In this race to the swiftest supply chain, women are seizing the opening—because of their interest, and because it’s a path to the top. Just ask Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors—she previously headed the global product development role at GM that included supply chain.

This post originally appeared on Navigate the Future, the Dassault Systemes North America blog

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.apriso.com/blog/2018/09/women-in-supply-chain/

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