The two words ‘technology’ and ‘change’ have always been fully synonymous with each other. Often when you think of one, you will think of the other. All throughout society, technology is changing the way we think and behave, and effects each and every one of us in one way or the other.
But how does this change affect businesses, and how much do businesses have to adapt to make full use and develop themselves as a business? Do businesses have no choice but to embrace the digital and technological age that we find ourselves in, and is the perception different from industry to industry?
Often is the case that the business world can be hit hard by any technological changes; as processes change and may even become redundant. A large percentage of the time, if a business fails to keep up with the pace of change, then they could be left behind in the competitive arena. The term, ‘standing still is moving backwards’ certainly springs to mind here.
Here we have conjured a list of five examples and ways in which technology has started to and is currently affecting the business world.
Revenue opportunities. Businesses have now been able to monetize new areas which they weren’t able to do before. For example, in times gone by businesses could only reach a more limited number of potential customers which in turn would equate to smaller revenue opportunities. But with new technologies to find, and more importantly ways to connect with potential customers, the horizons for businesses have been broadened.
Analytics and data. As technology improves and advances, businesses will have more and more access to analytics and be able to use the data more effectively. Businesses need to keep up with customer trends and back up assumptions with collated data. There are many platforms available which store and then sort data into customer sets, which can then be utilized effectively.
Emergence of the cloud. Instead of a time where the floppy desk was the main currency for storing and handling information and data; now users can access any information they require if they have access to the internet. From a cost perspective, businesses have the ability now to ‘lease’ software from the cloud platform, instead of purchasing the software as a service (SaaS).
Security concerns. With so much accessibility of data and information, inevitably cyber crime and cyber defense have become fully imperative to virtually all businesses. Cyber defense has become a huge element and industry, from being virtually a non-entity a few decades ago. Entities with malicious intent will target the weaker systems, so to ensure good security and protection levels; substantial investment by companies should be made.
Connectivity. The world has now become connected 24/7 365 days a year. As it is so quick and easy to connect with people across the world, this again brings more opportunities for businesses. Messages and information can be broadcast and reach a lot of people quickly, so which in turn offers endless potential for a brand to reach new markets.
As technology shows no sign of slowing down in developing, the same will undoubtably happen with the business world too. But how this will exactly evolve is relatively unknown, but one thing is certain; such organizations will have to keep up with the pace.
The New Year is finally here and it is time that you start thinking about the ways you can refresh your warehouse for a new fresh start in 2019!
There are numerous ways of things that you can be doing to improve the efficiency and productivity within your warehouse ready for the year to come! One of the main things that you should start to think about is the configuration of your warehouse to ensure that you are using it to its full potential.
We have some questions you should ask yourself …
- Is there any wasted space in your warehouse?
- Is your current arrangement in your warehouse working?
- Do you have enough space?
Did you answer yes to any of the questions above? Then, it’s time to get your warehouse organised properly and to its full potential!
Our experts here at QTS can offer advice and come up with the best solution for you and your warehouse needs. All our products are manufactured in the UK and are available as a standard design or can be designed bespoke to suit your environment needs.
Whatever your problem is, we will find a way to solve it! Try us, we love a good challenge, come on put us to the test.
Get in Touch with Us About Your Warehouse Today!
Are you wanting to maximise your warehouse space through the use of pallet racking, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our sale team members on 01455633567 or, send an email to Enquiries@qts-ltd.co.uk
Merry Christmas A thank you to all our customers past present and future. Qube Total Solutions Ltd would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your valued custom and choosing Qube Total Solutions Ltd to complete your orders during 2018.
Christmas Opening Hours
We would also like to advise you of our Christmas opening hours. We will close over the festive period starting from the 21st of December and resume normal business opening hours on the 2nd January 2019. However, during this time staff will have access to messages. So, should you require any immediate assistance during this period of closure please do not hesitate to send an email or leave a message on our phone system where someone will respond to you as soon as they are able.
On behalf of our team at Qube Total Solutions Ltd, I would like to wish you a very merry Christmas and a prosperous 2019! Should you require any further assistance from us then please do not hesitate to contact us a member of our team will always be happy to help.
Do you know how accurate your warehouse’s picking operation is? In an ideal warehouse world, every order that gets picked is correct and sent out to the customer with happy results. But, in the real world, we know it is completely different. Picking errors can occur for many reasons but, it is important you fully understand some of the more common picking errors to help you prevent them from happening in your warehouse.
Did you know the average returned purchase in the UK will pass through seven pairs of hands before it is listed for resale again? Every day, there are thousands of packages that begin their very costly journey between warehouses and processing centers. This is where the products are cleaned, repackaged and readied for their new owner.
Let’s just have a think about the cost of a picking mistake. It isn’t just the cost of the item being picked wrong, but it is also the other expenses which are associated such as the shipping the item back, processing the item when you receive it and then putting it back into the inventory. While at the same time picking, packing, and shipping the correct item to the customer as quickly as possible. Oh, and lets not forget the customer. Now the customer is annoyed too about the picking error and how much does that cost?
It is an estimated that 35% of fulfillment operations suffering from ongoing picking error rates of 1% or more, the cost can add up very quickly!
Wrong Item in the Wrong Location
Errors can occur when items are placed in the wrong location leading to pickers picking up the wrong order to send out. As an online shopper myself, I have experienced being sent the incorrect item which then means I have to spend my time sending the item back and also being left annoyed as I haven’t received the item I wanted. If this is a problem that occurs regularly you will start to see an effect on your financial margin due to the total cost of returns. The estimated cost of returns to retailers in the UK works out as £60bn a year!
A source on Financial times said: “It can cost double the amount for a product to be returned into the supply chain as it does to deliver it,” says Iain Prince, supply chain director at KPMG, the consultancy firm. He points to the online purchase of a coat, for instance: “To pick and deliver an order costs between £3 and £10 — it could cost double or treble that to be processed on the way back.”
To help solve this problem it is important you have a labeling barcode scanner, and warehouse management software as it can make this problem less likely to happen. Having the wrong item in the wrong location can also be down to your racking system. It is important you keep the correct item, in the correct location. Having a mesh divider system in place will help ensure each item is kept in the correct place.
Items are Multiple Locations Throughout The Warehouse
In a warehouse, it is possible to have the same items placed in multiple locations throughout the warehouse. This is done in case one of the locations doesn’t have the correct quantity to fill an order, this means the picker will need to pick the remaining amount from another location. To help prevent picking errors, your picking system needs to ensure each section is next to each other and separated by mesh dividers. As then the picker won’t have to lose time walking around the warehouse searching for the other location.
Picking Areas To Close Together
In many warehouses, items are kept in orders by SKU. But, only because they have a system in place doesn’t mean it works! It can cause all kind of trouble when picking items. For example, part 12280 can be mistaken for part 12281, which sits next to each other. Part numbers should be separated with a mesh divider to allow each part number and items will have their own section to make picking a lot easier.
The Cost of Picking Errors
Now you know some of the types of picking errors but have you considered the costs of picking errors in your warehouse management strategy?
- Returns – Returns can be very expensive as there are lots of parts to a return. Such as the cost of documenting the problem, return shipping, and retagging the product.
- Lost Sales- A picking error means a shipping error and that shipping errors results in your customer’s havings low customer satisfaction. Making one picking error can affect the customer’s perception of an entire order! That’s why it is so important to improve the picking process before it has an impact on your customer’s views towards your company.
- Customer Service- Making a picking error can have an impact on your customers. Leading to more time spent in customer service to deal with the complaint and to solve the problem your customer has.
- Repackaging- To ensure the picking error can be reused you have to add extra expenses for the product to be repackaged.
- Additional Shipping- You’ll have the cost of the return but there will be even more extra cost as you need to consider the cost of expediting the correct order.
- Sales Cost- Making errors mean your sales force will be spending more time placating customers rather than bringing new sales into the business.
- Labor Cost- The picking error could be due to stocking errors, meaning now you’ll to spend time-solving the problem.
Taking action to prevent these common picking errors will make your warehouse much more efficient. Our EasyDIVIDERS act to prevent these type of common picking errors. One critical step to take is to upgrade your racking system and ensure you have an organized warehouse with mesh dividers to help prevent stock being mixed within other stocked goods.
Mesh Dividers are used to separate products to identify goods quickly and efficiently. They are used to transform a mesh deck into a form of picking areas in warehouses to stock rooms.
So, what is stopping you from taking action? Contact us today about our mesh dividers.
In celebration of National Clean Up Day on the 15th of September 2018, we thought it would be a great time to give you some tips on how to keep your warehouse clean and safe. The most important aspect of maintaining your warehouse is ensuring it is kept clean on a daily basis. We all know warehouses are open spaces so it can easily become dirty again, that is why it is super important everyone keeps on top of it.
The best way to ensure this quality is maintained is with checklists and keeping your warehouse in-stock with the correct cleaning equipment. Areas such as shelves should be dusted at least once a month to avoid packages becoming marked or damaged.
Updated Scheduled Clean-up Days
Even if you have a dedicated cleaning crew to clean your warehouse, it is still important that your employees do their part to help keep the warehouse tidy. So how do you get your employees to pull their own weight? Be sure to set a schedule for cleaners or your workers to clean the warehouse, maintaining a standard which reflects on your company’s values, keep stock clean and ensure your employees are working in a safe environment that they feel comfortable in.
Having schedule clean-up days are great to keep make your warehouse feel tidy! It isn’t something that has to be done every week maybe have one or two times a year, schedule a dedicated day for deep cleans. Also, use this time to clean common areas and storage closets. “rubbish bins are provided for all areas. Any items that a staff member wishes to keep must be noted with their name and date.”
Keep Cleaning Supplies Handy
You can’t ask your staff to keep facilities clean without giving them the correct equipment as they go on shift. If you stock the supply room with cleaning supplies, they’ll be available when people need them. Seeing the supplies can also remind people to tidy up but making them search the whole warehouse for cleaning equipment will put them off cleaning the warehouse in general as no one wants to spend time walking around looking. Provide sweeping brushes, visible cleansing wipes, paper towels and large rubbish bin and bins for recycling too.
Clear Your Bins Regularly
Having rubbish bins scatted around your warehouse is great as it allows any rubbish to go straight into the bin without walking a long distance to a bin as this is a waste of their time and down to the point they won’t be bothered to walk around. With more than one bin your warehouse means extra work to keep on top of them. Your bins should never get to the point of overflowing as this is a massive hazard! With bins overflowing it then means your staff or visitors have nowhere to put their litter which might lead to them dumping litter where they shouldn’t which can cause additional hazardous for yourself and your workers.
Cleaning As You Go!
If you are in a warehouse or factory that always have machinery on the go then it doesn’t matter how clean you keep the area the machinery will always going to cause a mess everytime is it used. That’s why we recommend cleaning as you go. It is important for whoever who is on the machine cleans up any mess they produce such as metal shavings as they are working to maintain a tidy working area and to create a hazard-free zone. If you have a project on that means
Separate Areas Up In Your Warehouse
The best way to make sure your warehouse is kept clean is to separate your warehouse into sections and assign them to individuals on-site. This allows individuals who are assigned to that area to keep their section tidy. Workers cannot leave a mess for whoever is on shift after them as this would then require further cleaning for the next person on shift. Keeping up with this daily means it will maintain the workload, making every shift more efficient. These responsibilities can be easy as sweeping the floors, cleaning debris, giving the equipment a wipe over, sorting materials and addressing incidents such as coffee cups left at stations, which is easy to resolve.
Label Your Floor Plan
Labels are a great way to keep things organized. Working in a large warehouse can be difficult at times so having floor labeling which is designed to keep sectors organized as well as making stock easy to identify. Having a kept records of which isle certain stock is kept to make accessing your stock much easier and much less time-consuming to collect. This will also help to make assigning individual members to clean much easier as it will be labeled for them.
Recycling Is Important!
It doesn’t matter if your a small or large firm, recycling is a vital part of the industry doing what it can to help the environment. Having recycling bins spread around your facility means your employees won’t just throw their lunch rubbish in the same bin they will be able to separate what is generally rubbish and also what needs recycling. This also ensures that supplied are re-used rather than replaced, giving back to the environment which is becoming an increasing signification aspect of how to judge a business quality in management and handling of a facility such as a warehouse.
Safety: Provide your staff with the correct safety equipment
The safety of your employees is your top concern. Proving the right safety equipment is important, whether it’s a high-vis vest or a safety helmet. It is important that you have regular checks on the equipment to ensure that is in good condition and functioning as it should, as this is the only protection your employees have.
In celebration of National Dog Day on the 26th August 2018, Seamus felt that it would be appropriate to inform us of what life is like working as head of security for QTS.
What are your main duties in the office?
Aside from supervising at lunchtimes ( my favorite duty), Head of Security is my main priority, and it’s my job to ensure I keep listen out on people coming in and out of the building to prevent any suspicious people from entering the premises and then greeting them with a happy wagging tail. But, sometimes you might get my bark if I’m unsure.
What do you do to keep yourself busy through the day?
Being the head of security, I am always on the listen out – but usually, I will wonder with my paws through bins to see if there is anything interesting in there ( even though I know I shouldn’t go into the bins but I just can’t control myself) I like to also give myself a break now and then and have a little play with some of my squeaky toys such as my monkey – who sadly isn’t around anymore … And of course, I deserve the odd treat now and then but because I’m on a diet I don’t always get the treats. Luckily I have a ‘meeting’ with Shaun – treats are involved but don’t tell anyone shhh….. QTS is a busy place and everyone is always working so I don’t always get games and fuss but that’s fine as that’s when I take the time to catch up on my sleep.
Would you say your job is important?
Well, of course, because all my employees are super busy all the time it is important I’m there as the office couldn’t function without me. I make sure that everyone has a helping paw when they need it to keep them going throughout the day and cheer them up.
7:00 am – Around this time I am ready to wake up as my belly knows its breakfast time, but first I expect my morning fuss! I will eat my breakfast then head outside to smell the morning fresh air.
9:00 am- Now, its time to say hello to all my employees by giving them a wag of my tail and a fuss. In this time I will have a play with my human friends and if I’m lucky I might get a treat if I am a good boy.
10:30 am- Monitor all loud noises, passing cars and doors opening as I must keep everyone safe!
11:00 am- Bathroom break! When a dog needs to go he needs to go.
11:30: As well as being the head of security I sometimes help out with digital marketing duties with photographing our products such as the pallet support bars.
12:30 am- Woof! It’s lunchtime! I can’t wait. Give me all the food now… Nom nom nom. This is when I’m carefully observing every bite of food being eaten by my employees to ensure not even a crumb is left on the ground, preventing any insect invasions of course.
Today I was allowed a big juicy bone!!!!!
1:00 pm- After all that hard work sniffing for crumbs to keep the office clean it is time for a mid-day nap as it is important I get my beauty sleep.
2:00 pm- I’m up, I’m awake! Time to check up on how my employees are going and maybe some back scratches and more belly rubs too?
2:30 pm- I know what time it is and I never forget. I get to go outside with my owner for a walk around the park. Running through the grass and best of all back rubs on the grass is the best – my life couldn’t get much better than this!
3:00 pm- Well that was exhausting. Around this time I am back in the office and settling down on my bed for another nap time… Zzzzz
4:00 pm- I now need attention, must find humans for cuddles.
5:00 pm- Woohoo, it’s home time. What a fun day at work I’ve had. I accomplished SO much today! I can’t wait to do it all over again tomorrow
5:30 pm – Finally home and that only means one thing… DINNER TIME!
8:00 pm – It is time I relax my paws and put my head down for the night and dream about my next day at work.
So, there you have it. A typical day in the life of our Head of Security Seamus at QTS!