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Why Retailers May Need to Prepare for an Early Holiday Shopping Season (And Some Ideas for How to Do It)

The 2019 peak retail season may begin earlier than usual — and that’s important news for retailers, logistics operators, and shippers across the United States. Two unusual market conditions are colliding to create this unique situation: retailers’ perceptions of overly high inventories (leading to less replenishment) and consumer reaction to news of increasing tariffs. If consumers rush to beat price increases, they could end up depleting inventories much faster than usual, and at an earlier date. That, in turn, could lead to low inventories right during the heart of the typical peak shopping season. Admittedly, this is a guess — but business owners in the consumer goods supply chain will be better off preparing for an earlier peak than being… Continue Reading

Managing Forklift Batteries in Food Production Facilities

If you use forklifts in a food production capacity, odds are those trucks are electric. Electric lift trucks run cleaner and don’t release emissions, making them ideal for the super-clean, hazard-sensitive nature of a food production facility. Of course, while electric forklifts won’t leak oil or leave a layer of soot on the machinery, forklift batteries do sometimes leak. Electrolyte… Continue Reading

BHS Case Study: BHS, Inc. Improves Manufacturing Efficiency with Assembly Work Stations

Over four decades, BHS, Inc. has built a reputation for industry-leading material handling equipment. But what really sets the St. Louis-based manufacturer apart is its ability to create custom material handling systems, from the design table through on-site integration. “It’s not just standardized products that we can make, and we don’t want to just be a standard manufacturer because there’s a million of them out there,” said Trent Boothe, the BHS Project Manager who oversaw the projects we discuss below. “We are the company that will manufacture equipment to fit your exact application.” Camp Jennings, Sales Manager at Carolina Handling in Birmingham, Alabama, is an early supporter of BHS’ role as material handling integrator. The forklift dealer maintains an account… Continue Reading

BHS Case Study: Following the Success of Custom Assembly Tables, BHS, Inc. Returns with Packing Solutions

As detailed in our Case Study titled “BHS, Inc. Improves Manufacturing Efficiency with Assembly Work Stations,” the partnership between BHS, forklift dealer Carolina Handling, and end-user Connector Manufacturing had already established the value of BHS material handling integration services. All three stakeholders were pleased with the results of their previous collaboration. That made it an easy decision to reassemble the team when Connector Manufacturing described a second material handling challenge, this one in the shipping room. This project would involve special challenges. Engineers at BHS would not be able to simply supply a product of their own design; the task would require integrating multiple machines from multiple manufacturers into a comprehensive, productivity-boosting system. That system would become a new system… Continue Reading

How BHS Products Comply with the FDA Standards for Food Production

The FDA Food Code provides recommendations to state, local, territorial, and tribal governments on food-safety standards. While it is up to individual governments whether to write the Food Code recommendations into local law, the Food Code does represent a unifying authority on safety in food production, handling, transportation, and service. So when you’re designing material handling equipment for the food… Continue Reading

Wire and Cable Inventory Management for Cut-to-Length Distributors

There was a time, early in the advent of cut-to-length wire distribution, when you couldn’t enter an electrical warehouse without hearing that familiar call: “How much wire is left on that reel?” Cut-to-length imparts tremendous value to electrical contractors, but it introduces logistical headaches to distributors. Rather than purchase a whole reel, contractors ask only for what they need to… Continue Reading

Optimizing Inventory Levels in Retail: The Role of Material Handling

Matching inventory to demand is always a challenge in retail. Too much, and you hemorrhage money in storage and handling costs. Too little, and you miss out on make-or-break opportunities. The trouble is, an optimal inventory level is always a moving target. As we write this, there seems to be some anxiety regarding retail inventory at the national level. The… Continue Reading