Whip the WIP in Manual Material Handling

posted on: Thursday March 14, 2013

According to the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission, “…Material handling often composes one of the largest cost components of a product, operation, or service, and unnecessary handling of materials costs time and money.” Unnecessary handling along with unnecessary wait time can increase work in progress (WIP). For optimal production management, one works to minimize WIP. It… Read more

Don’t overlook material handling for cost reduction opportunities

posted on: Monday March 11, 2013

Most manufacturing companies are in the process of on-going cost reduction.  In this competitive environment there is no other choice if any company wishes to survive.   One of the biggest opportunities for cost reduction could be your material handling system.  Yet many companies are ignoring material handling and focusing on direct manufacturing operations. Material handling… Read more

Are You Ending Your Career by Working Your Job?

posted on: Monday March 4, 2013

Those who work in Manual Material Handling (MMH) know that there are risks associated with the job. They know that forklift accidents or lifting with their backs may cause enough damage to end their careers. What people forget, however, is that aches and pains from repetitive work can also ultimately end a career. Repetitive tasks,… Read more

Increase Bottom-Line Performance: Productivity Linked to Employee Happiness

posted on: Monday February 25, 2013

In a previous article, we explored the link between employee turnover and a feeling of appreciation. As it turns out, appreciation is only a piece of the puzzle. There is a quantifiable link between employee happiness and productivity. Gallup estimates that the US loses $300 billion annually from lack of production due to employee disengagement. Three hundred billion… Read more

Can you implement lean manufacturing without a safety/ ergonomic program?

posted on: Monday February 18, 2013

There was a theory in process improvement called “loose ropes”.   It means that all the different entities of your systems are “connected”.  You can work on one element for some improvement, but eventually one of the other aspects of will drag on the progress and need to be addressed. For example, you may embark on… Read more

Training and Assistive Devices Not Enough to Prevent Back Pain

posted on: Monday February 11, 2013

Injury prevention is a top priority in Manual Material Handling (MMH). Whether an injury results in days away from work or a workman’s compensation claim, it is a costly ordeal. The most common (and expensive) injury reported is that to the back. The MMH industry invests a significant amount of time and resources to reduce… Read more

MMH Managers: Keeping Your Quality Staff

posted on: Tuesday February 5, 2013

Fifty-one (51) percent of people leave their jobs because they don’t feel appreciated. Sadly, most managers don’t even realize how important feeling appreciated is to employees. In The Cycle of Leadership, Noel M. Tichy compares what managers think employees want to what employees say matters most. Managers think morale is most affected by: 1. High… Read more

Safety liability may include actions by independent contractors

posted on: Friday February 1, 2013

Accident and safety programs are vital in minimizing legal liability.  A business that does not have adequate measures to address safety issues could be found negligent in any accident claim.   In addition to addressing safety issues for your own employees, you also may need to consider what your independent contractors are doing.   According to this… Read more

How Can an Average-Sized Company Benefit from Toyota’s Cost Reduction Initiative?

posted on: Tuesday January 29, 2013

Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Kentucky (TMMK) made a big splash in the world of Manual Material Handling last year. By converting manual tuggers and implementing Automated Guided Carts and Vehicles, the plant was able to yield some impressive results. Their initiative can act as a model for other plants that are looking to reduce costs… Read more

Power Tuggers Make the Difference in Meat Packing Plant

posted on: Monday January 21, 2013

The beauty of ergonomics is that some of the simplest solutions make such giant impacts in the workforce. Volumes of stories show that by increasing safety, injuries and days away from work decrease, productivity increases, profits go up, and morale is boosted. Plants and warehouses have implemented a variety of life-changing equipment and automated devices…. Read more