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LABOR SHORTAGE SOLUTIONS

By: Eastern Lift Truck Co., Inc. June 30, 2021

Businesses around the globe are struggling to meet demand with major labor shortages. It is nothing new for companies to focus on efficiency and productivity goals. But succeeding in these areas is perhaps more critical than ever. With the labor market getting more competitive, and overall labor costs on the rise, maintaining, and sustaining appropriate employment levels is a daunting challenge. 

Enter ELT Systems Group. Our team is prepared to assist you with a variety of solutions in three main areas 1) automation, 2) warehouse design, and 3) fleet and energy management to help maximize efficiencies. Each of these areas has a different tactic and product. We will review them next. 

Automation

When ELT Systems Group talks about automation, we mean people working smarter and not harder and there are a variety of solutions from storage to material conveyance that can help. 

Working smarter: Don't Walk as Far 

Help keep your associates working by minimizing unproductive time spent walking and transporting materials, so they can spend more time fulfilling orders. ELT Systems Group partners with 6 River Systems to offer an excellent solution called “Chuck.” Chuck is a fully autonomous robot that creates more efficient picking environments and keeps your associates working in the aisles and spending less time pushing carts to a shipping area. 

Chuck is a smart, agile workhorse. It uses artificial intelligence, doesn’t need wires, cables or stickers to move around, and it runs 24/7 with the latest battery and rapid charging technology. Chuck can handle up to 200 pounds and is the most mobile robot in the industry. 

6 River Systems states: “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 everchanging marketplace especially when transitioning from business to business and more direct to consumer. 

Warehouse Design

The way your warehouse is designed contributes greatly to your ability to move materials through your facility. Aisle widths and lengths, tunnel design and layouts that allow more traffic are components 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 

If you are a regular reader of our blog posts, you will know that we reviewed different warehouse solutions last month. In this post, we would like to emphasize that if you are considering new technology and automation, a 4D pallet system can greatly improve your throughput and efficiency ratings. No longer do you need to consider a large and expensive AS/RS system. You can implement a less expensive shuttle system that is also easily scalable. 

These solutions allow your forklift operators to spend more time moving products and less time getting in and out of aisles and racks. New hires will need less training and “ramp-up” time to reach peak efficiency. 

Fleet and Energy Management

All warehouse and manufacturing facilities have one thing in common: people in material handling environments are accustomed to using and relying on pallet trucks and forklifts. Of course, it is important to maintain your material handling equipment, so it is fully functional and dependable. 

Work smarter: Keep your facility running at optimal levels 

Eastern Lift Truck Co’s Service Dept. is available to help keep your forklifts and motive power systems in working order. Our Sales Dept offers “newer” battery technologies such as lithium-ion which provide a truly maintenance-free solution, drastically reduced charge times and increased run-times. Our Fleet Management team helps larger fleets users track and rotate vehicles across different locations based on run-time demands to keep maintenance needs at a minimum. 

Both fleet and energy management can free up your facility crews, making sure their time is not consumed by a multitude of smaller issues.

Contact me today for further information on how we can help maximize your time.

Jason Dodge Automation Manager | Systems Division Eastern Lift Truck Co., Inc. Cell: (609) 605-1043 Email: jdodge@easternlifttruck.com

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