Category: Uk Manufacturing

How To Improve Forklift Safety In Warehouses

Fatal accidents involving forklift trucks have been reduced significantly thanks to better safety procedures, training and advances in technology. Unfortunately, there are still just over a handful of fatalities each year so what can be done to improve safety to reduce accidents in today’s warehouses?

Driving a forklift truck brings its own set of responsibilities that can soon be overlooked if a driver is in a hurry and cuts corners. This is why proper training to drive forklifts is a must and compulsory in organisations.

Another factor, which is often overlooked is the general condition of the vehicle. Is it inspected regularly for signs of wear and tear? Tires are of particular importance if the vehicle is driven outside on rough terrain. Just like a car poor tyre condition can be a cause of many accidents.

It is also important to select the right forklift truck for the job. If there warehouse within which the forklift is operating has narrow aisles, then a vehicle with a good turning radius is a must not only from a safety point of view but in terms of productivity as well.

It is also important to plan the layout of your storage facility to ensure that forklifts can be operated safely.

An Office With No Walls Or Doors?

How would you like to be sitting in an office where you can see everything the boss is doing? This is the case with US banking giant Citigroup which is not just opening the doors to a new HQ but removing them altogether!

The bank is about to take the open office a stage further with its no-door design according to the Wall Street Journal. While open offices are more in line with what you might expect from the likes of Google and other trendy creative firms, this marks a significant departure for the more sober world of banking (though some might argue that creativity is alive and well in banking for better or for worse).

CEO of Citigroup, Michael Corbat, will swap his current 600-square-foot office for a 360-square-foot office which doesn’t have walls or a door. How is this possible? Well the walls are replaced with 7ft glass panels.

Desks in the office won’t be assigned either which might freak out anyone who likes to make desk space their own.

With the current trend now moving towards a mix of spaces which people can make their own and also areas to collaborate, this extreme open-plan idea is pushing things in the wrong direction but maybe bankers will be happier keeping an eye on each other through the working day.

Supermarket Warehouses Worth More Than Their Stores

The big supermarkets may well be axing many of their high street convenience stores due to a combination of high costs and low profits, but the supermarket warehouse boom is continuing and attracting the attention of commercial property investors in the process.

According to the Financial Times recently, customers are increasingly shopping online and this is what is driving demand for large warehouse spaces from supermarkets such as Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Aldi.

Online sales are currently growing at 12% a year and although they still account for only 12% of spending, the convenience of online shopping is likely to see online sales rival those of supermarkets in the years to come. It may also bring an end to the traditional weekly shop. People may be more likely to gather round a tablet or desktop computer to shop rather than venture out in the car.

The expansion of warehousing may be halted temporarily by the lack of space to build and a shortage of available units. This may well act to push up the prices of warehouses across the UK and land that is suitable for the purpose.

Investors are likely to find the prospect of high demand now and in the future a good reason to put more money into what was previously seen as an unglamorous and low yield investment.

UK Manufacturing Picks Up But It’s Still A Drag

The UK manufacturing sector is struggling under the weight of a strong pound as the leaner service sector continues to paint a rosy picture of the economy.

Either way for companies involved in warehousing the prospects are good if consumer spending continues to rise with more space needed to store all those purchases.

For manufacturing however the prospects don’t look as good while the EU struggles nd its currency continues to fall in value against others including the pound. Despite this manufacturing growth did manage to pick up in July even if orders actually grew at their slowest pace in 12 months and the pace of new orders slowed to levels last seen in September 2014.

The government will of course be keen to point to another strong year for the UK economy even if its promises to get Britain making and exporting things again has conveniently been put on the back burner for now.

There is also now a problem for the Bank of England. Do they raise interest rates or keep them s they are to avoid a further strengthening of GBP? Exporters to European markets will be watching this with interest in the coming months.

How eCommerce Growth Will Revolutionise Warehousing And Logistics

The growth in ecommerce has the look and feel of a revolution more awe inspiring and life changing than anything seen since the industrial revolution.

Warehousing and logistics have always been important to retailers of course. This is nothing new but what has changed due to the growth of eCommerce is the speed and ease at which anyone can just go online and order pretty much whatever they want.

From the moment a button is clicked to purchase online, a chain of events is set in motion which can to the delivery of goods in less than 24 hours in some cases. Back in the early days of the Internet, this sort of speed would have been virtually unheard of.

Another step change we are already seeing in eCommerce is the growth in sales made on mobile phones. Google has already responded this new phenomenon by encouraging all website owners to make their websites mobile friendly.

The very idea of ordering something on a mobile phone a few years ago would have been scoffed at. People wanted to look and feel the product they were buying, but there is the feeling that this is slowly going out of fashion.

Photographs are far more crisp and realistic than they used to be and it’s now not such a big deal to order something on the strength of a picture we can zoom into and rotate in 3d if we so choose.

UK Manufacturing Exceeding Expectations

The UK manufacturing industry grew faster than was expected in February 2014, according to the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). Employment in the sector expanded at its fastest rate for almost three years and the PMI ticked up to 56.9 from 56.6 in January – higher than the 56.5 economists predicted and the eleventh consecutive month that UK manufacturing has shown expansion.

Manufacturing accounts for around a tenth of the UK’s economy, and the latest figures suggest that another quarter of solid economic growth should be on the cards. The sharp rise in job creation – a 33 month record – should also help the wider economic recovery.

The upturn has been seen across all manufacturing sectors – consumer, intermediate and investment goods producers have all reported robust increases in output, new orders and employment during February. New export business has also flourished with orders from clients in the US, the Middle East, China, Africa and Europe flooding in. This strong demand has certainly aided the pricing power of UK manufacturers, with average selling prices rising for the eighth consecutive month.

As industry leaders in logistics and warehouse racking and shelving systems, here at Millennium SI we can create ideal solutions that utilise your space to maximum effect. From simple shelving systems to efficient pallet racking to state-of-the-art computer-controlled live location narrow and very narrow warehouse racking, we can help your business to meet demand by making the most of the existing space available or by designing a warehouse shelving and pallet racking system from scratch. Whatever your industry, for the most creative yet practical solutions to your warehouse issues, just get in touch with our expert team.