Learning from the World’s Top 10 Businesses

For any small business out there looking to make some changes and sharpen things up, the following companies are all worth learning from.

1) ExxonMobil

This global giant was reported to be worth almost $486 billion in 2011, and has dominated the oil and gas industry for decades. Even amidst widespread international condemnation, ExxonMobil was able to survive the infamous Exxon Valdez environmental catastrophe, showing resilience and power that few thought existed in a corporation. In many ways, ExxonMobil is the ultimate corporation.

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Health and Safety Tips for Warehouse Operators

If you are a warehouse operator, you are single-handedly responsible for the safety of everyone and everything in your warehouse. Health and safety can be quite simple if you know what you are doing, so make sure you are covering all your bases so that you aren’t losing people or products to accidents on your watch. The following tips will help you make sure that you are on the right track.


There are three main types of hazards that commonly pose health and safety risks in warehouses, so make sure your workers know the following rules regarding hazards.

Spills: If anything is spilled it must be cleaned up immediately, and if you have to leave to get cleaning supplies, have someone else watch the mess area and warn co-workers. Slipping on an unattended spill can lead to very serious injuries.

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5 Features of a Space Efficient Warehouse

Balancing cost with quality and efficiency is a constant concern of warehouse managers and all businesses. One of the ways for businesses to keep overhead costs under control is to find extra space in the warehouse. As we shall see in this article, improving the space efficiency of your warehouse won’t only allow you to store more stock in a smaller space, it can boost pick order effectiveness and overall warehouse efficiency.

1. Multi-Level Pick Towers

Multi-level pick towers are one of the most common ways to safe space in warehouses. For the space efficient warehouse, multi-level pick towers that have low floor area usage are the only choice. These shelving systems massively enhance usage of vertical space by multiplying the amount of stock that can be store in the warehouse.

With good layout, design, a good warehouse management system, and product profile, pick order times won’t be compromised. Multi-level pick towers require appropriate equipment such as forklifts.

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Top 5 Online Retail Strategies for 2012

According to a recent study by PayPal and Forrester Research, online retail is expected to grow by 12.2 per cent in the coming year to reach $37.7 billion in 2013. Along with adjusting marketing strategies to suit the online environment and faster delivery times by using effective shelving systems, businesses can make it easier for customers to buy their products or services by providing simpler online payment options and facilitating smartphone usage. In this article, we look at some of the top online retail strategies for 2012 and beyond.

Simpler Payments

As more and more buyers grow accustomed to the online retail environment, they’re looking to simplify the process. The October 2011 report from Forrester Research (‘Secure Insight: Changing the Way We Pay’) mentioned above suggests that as many as 40 per cent of consumers are looking for simpler payment options when they shop online.

Many consumers are finding that they have to change payment methods depending on what and where they buy. This suggests that businesses could improve the customer experience by going beyond just providing an e-commerce site to looking at including payment options that simplify the entire process.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Just-in-Time Inventory Management

Just in time (‘JIT’) is a lean business strategy first developed by Toyota. While JIT encompasses a variety of strategies that have been applied to anything from manufacturing to logistics, this article focuses on the ‘lean’ aspect of the philosophy and how it applies to inventory management.

What Does Just-in-Time Inventory Management Involve?

In contrast to drop shipping, JIT inventory management does involve the receipt, storage, and dispatch of goods. Goods are delivered to the warehouse, whether from another business or from the manufacturing site or a factory in the same business. However, only the minimum stock amount that is required for manufacturing or fulfilling customer orders in any given period is kept on the premises’ warehouse shelving systems.

Under the JIT philosophy, storing extra ‘back up’ inventory is discouraged. JIT considers high volumes of stock to be a form of waste that contributes to overhead costs and results in unnecessary outlays to purchase the stock. Back up stock also has the effect of requiring extra staff attention to receive and store the stock, which is another form of waste.


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How to Build Customer Trust Online

Studies show that growing numbers are relying on the internet alone to find out about prospective products and businesses. In many industries, your business website will be the number one or first port of call to potential customers. Trust and credibility are also essential for a high conversion rate. It’s therefore vital to know how to build customer trust online. These are some useful guidelines to get started.

Shorten Response Times

Whether it’s an online order or query, a customer is much more likely to trust your business if you respond quickly. Quick turnaround times also encourage repeat business. The logistics of shortening response times will depend on your business and organisation, but having good shelving systems in your warehouse, a solid IT system, and sufficient staff numbers can all contribute positively to ensuring that customers get what they want as quickly as possible.

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What Consumers are Buying Online

Since the first e-Commerce stores were launched in the 90s, online retail has grown by leaps and bounds. Online retail is set to continue expanding for the foreseeable future. Many bricks and mortar stores have made the leap into online retail, purchasing warehouses and shelving systems for their products. In this article, we look at what consumers are buying online, and how this is expected to change in the coming years.

What We’re Buying Online

A new report by Forrester Research and PayPal (‘The Secure Insight: Changing the Way We Pay’) has projected that the online commerce will reach $37.7 billion by 2013, up from $30.2 billion this year. It found that nearly nine million Australians already buy goods and services on the internet, and around 97 per cent of internet users had already purchased something online.

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5 Warehouse Design Errors to Avoid

The warehouse is one of the most important places in the supply chain. Great warehouse design that incorporates features such as high-density shelving systems and zones can make all the difference between a functional space and a highly efficient warehouse. Read about these five warehouse design mistakes to avoid.

Error 1: Low-Density and Inefficient Storage Solutions

Many businesses neglect their storage solutions and underestimate the importance of incorporating well-designed storage solutions into their warehouse. High density storage solutions not only allow businesses to make better use of existing space, they enhance efficiency. A good pallet racking system, for example, can allow faster picking by eliminating the need to cover long routes to access stock.

Integrate product profiles or stock keeping units (‘SKUs’) into your warehouse management system can help you create great zones (more on zones below) and make better decisions about storage design.

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Practical Guide to Shipping Perishables

For companies that shift temperature- and environment-sensitive stock, need to take extra care in selecting a carrier and provide good storage and shelving systems for their inventory. In selecting a carrier, knowing the shipping requirements of your product and communicating these needs to your transport provider can minimise product spoilage and boost your bottom line.

Knowing Your Product

Goods that expire during transit is lost revenue. However, with the range of technologies and packaging options available, businesses can eliminate unnecessary spoilage. To match the product to the right solution, it’s important to start by understand your product.

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Top 6 Warehouse Security Tips

Security is a major priority in any warehouse, along with productivity, efficiency, and safety. Good design and equipment can boost security, protect inventory and shelving systems and eliminate theft and other serious security breaches. These are six practical warehouse security tips that can be used for any warehouse or industrial storage space.

1. Data Security

All electronic data points in your warehouse management system should be password protected with unique passwords or I.D. entry requirements for every staff member. These points can include receiving points, when shipments are delivered and clocked; put-away points; picking; packing; and shipping or load points. In addition to passwords, warehouse managers may want to implement physical locks and chains to secure hardware.

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