supply chain

Keep Calm And Use Pallet Covers

Pallet Covers available in clear and black.

Pallet Covers available in clear and black.

Product inventory whether stored indoors, outdoors, cooled or non-cooled environments should be protected. We sell a large variety of materials to assist in protecting products for storage, load transportation, retail sales, and industrial sales. Most our of shrink wrap materials are to protect merchandise for retail and industrial sales. The shrink wrap helps to protect products from exterior elements while still allowing a clear product display. Our stretch film is used to protect products for transportation. Companies have used stretch film for years to unitize pallet loads. This helps to protect from product loss and worker injury during transportation. Stretch wrap can also perform as a barrier from external elements. Often when protection from exterior elements is essential to important products we recommend using more than stretch film, we recommend pallet covers.

Pallet covers are generally made of polyethene plastic and come in thicknesses ranging from 1 mil all the way up to 6 mils. Many companies find pallet covers important because of the protection they offer from external elements such as sunlight, moisture, and dust. There are several customers we have that will use a pallet cover after the pallet load has been stretch wrapped. The stretch wrap does provide a great barrier of protection, but the pallet covers offer added protection specifically from moisture and sunlight. The majority of customers we sell our pallet covers to use a pallet cover on loads that are not stretch wrapped. Often times the loads are unitized with plastic strapping or not unitized at all.

We offer two colors of pallet covers to choose from, clear and black. The black is often sold to our customers that store in outdoor environments. The black pallet covers offer UV protection to help protect products from sunlight. Another great feature of the black pallet covers is the ability to conceal pallet loads. This helps to protect merchandise from theft. All of our pallet covers come with gusseted sides to easily slide over pallet loads. All pallet covers come on a roll. The number of pallet covers per roll varies depending on the thickness and the size of the cover. 

10 Easy Steps to Increase Warehouse Efficiency

What does your warehouse say about your dealership? Having grown up in a construction supply house, I spent countless hours observing the good, the bad and the ugly of warehouse management. I am probably the only person you’ve ever met who has vacuumed warehouse shelves.

The erratic demands of customers make maintaining a warehouse a never-ending battle, but here are a few tips I’ve found useful over the years:

Clean The Place

It is amazing what you’ll find in the warehouse when you just clean it on a weekly basis. Mystery inventory such as: returned goods, damaged goods and special buyouts won’t have any place to hide.

Beyond the ability to move more quickly in the facility, your team will begin to develop a greater sense of pride in their workplace. Remember, this is the place where all your cash is stored. You want a team that protects your cash from the outside threats of salespeople, truck drivers, and manufacturer reps.

Give Personnel An Identity

Your warehouse employees work with your cash all day long. Make shirts for tham that say "Vault Security Team" or "Vault Management Team" or something similar that signifies the importance of what they do.

This does a couple of things. First, it reminds them that inventory has value. Second, it helps identify those people who belong in the warehouse.

A key element in keeping a secure warehouse is to eliminate those folks who have no business being in there.

Increase The Receiving Area

When most people are designing a warehouse, they tend to cram as many racks of inventory into the space as possible. Usually as an afterthought, they carve out enough room for a little desk by the dock door, run a terminal to it and call it the receiving department.

Here’s the problem: Most inventory errors start in receiving. If you make a mistake here, 10 additional problems will occur in the company. Start by giving them adequate room to work. You’ll see your inventory adjustments decrease immediately.

Put Senior People In Receiving

Why do we always put rookies in receiving? As I mentioned earlier, mistakes in receiving cause multiple headaches down the line. Make sure you get it right coming in the door.

Pay your receiving clerks well, and encourage them to stay in the position. Remember, you’ll always have more product coming in than going out.

Receiving is your one place to get it right the first time so you don’t have to redo orders later because of receiving errors.

Create Signage

Don’t assume your newer employees can navigate the aisles. Help them out. Create colorful signs to direct them to aisles or bins. Warehouse maps are a great way to increase productivity immediately. Clearly label any and all landmarks.

Try this: Ask one of your friends to come into your warehouse and pick an order. If your warehouse is set up correctly, they should achieve a high success rate without asking questions on every item. It needs to be that easy.

Add Descriptions To Pick Tickets

Most item databases will allow you to add multiple lines of description to any SKU in the system. Use them and you’ll increase the order pickers chance of pulling the right product.

Put in physical descriptions like "the blue one" or "two wheel." This is especially critical when you’re talking about minimum quantities. Make it clear that the "each" actually refers to the pair that’s in the pack, not to one of the two.

This simple change will help you eliminate future dead stock. Don’t worry about killing a few extra trees. They grow back.

Double Check Orders

A really bad motto for a distribution company is "We fix our mistakes faster than anyone else in the business."

For the typical distributor, the cost to process an order is about $45. It costs an additional $100 to send it out the second time. None of us has enough margin to be able to absorb this cost on a regular basis.

In order to get it right the first time, install a method of double-checking using one of your seasoned veterans. This is especially important if you have new people picking orders.

Create Color Coded Labels

In order to make it easier for your delivery staff, develop a custom colored label for each of your most valuable customers. Make sure every package you deliver to that customer has that label.

Your drivers will be able to quickly identify those orders. You don't want to make mistakes on orders to your best customers.

Implement "Days Work In A Day"

Simply stated: "What is started today, must be completed today." If you receive it, it must be put away. If an order is put in the system and a pick ticket is printed, it must be picked and shipped or staged.

In order to make this happen, create cut-off times. Order processing must end at a defined time. We need to give the warehouse a chance to finish the day.

Implement Cycle Counting

Most of us know what it is. Some of us recognize the benefits. Few of us have made it part of our standard operating procedures. Cycle counting will increase the accuracy in your systems.

By examining inventory daily, you'll find those mystery items that have found their way to the shelves. You can correct items that have been put in the wrong place. You can rotate stock. The list can go on indefinitely.

Cycle counting is penicillin for distributors because it attacks so many little problems and solves them on a timely basis. Good customer service begins in the warehouse. Sloppy procedures and a disorganized warehouse show what you think about your customers, you employees and the work you do.

CED Magazine, August 2006

Article Date: 08-01-2006

Copyright (C) 2006 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.