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Previously Featured Sites.

 

SupplyChainDaily.com   Beta

 

More stuff for your inbox?

I just encountered a reference to this site in an article in Modern Materials Handling Magazine and felt I needed to check it out. I'll admit I'm already signed up for quite a few e-newsletters and most of them get deleted without me even opening them because most of them have gotten bloated with uninteresting and useless press releases that basically equate to a bunch of ads in an email. What SupplyChainDaily does is allow you to specify topics of interest and they will gather links to articles from various sources (I'm not sure they provide any original content themselves) and send them to you in a daily email (or you can log into their site). But wait, there's more. They also allow you to give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to the individual articles and will supposedly use this to tweak the content sent to you in the future. You can also save articles (though I'm thinking not indefinitely since they are just links to external sites that may change their content), share articles with other users you have set up as contacts, and review and organized history of articles you have read and rated.

 

Does it work? I'm not really sure yet, I've only been signed up for 2 days as of this posting (March 07) so time will tell. But I have to say I'm really enjoying clicking the little thumb-up and thumbs-down icons. So far, I am seeing less of the blatant ads than I usually see in the other e-newsletters I get. I don't see this eliminating all the other e-newsletters I get, but I think it will allow me to cancel some of them, and at least for now I expect I will be actually reading supplychaindaily on a regular basis.

 

Forklift Safety resources from Worksafe Victoria  

This site offers some outstanding lift truck safety guides available for download. I recommended downloading all of them. For convenience I have included some direct links to the key PDFs but I suggest you go to their site to download them and see all of their offerings.

 

A Guidebook of Industrial Traffic Management and Forklift Safety

Forklift Safety Reducing the Risk

Forklift Stability and other technical Safety issues.

 

Container Handbook 

Excellent online guide for everything related to ocean containers. The containers, the ships, the history, how to secure loads, etc. It does take a little time navigating the site, but the time is well spent. There is an incredible amount of information here.

 

Also see Transport-Informations -Service for additional container info. I believe both these sites are provided by the German Insurance Association.

 

I was made aware of these great sites from a post in a forum on ForkliftAction.com (a previously featured site)

 

ForkliftAction.com

 

If you're in the lift truck industry or just have an interest in lift trucks, this is a great site. The site has an extensive marketplace for used equipment plus a business directory, but what really sets this site apart from other online directories are the community resources such as the discussion forums and photo galleries. The discussion forums seem to be heavily used by industry insiders (lift truck dealers, repair shops, equipment manufacturers) which results in a higher level of input than I usually see at other forums. The photo galleries do not have a whole lot of photos yet, but there are definitely some interesting ones in the "Incidents and Accidents" and "Creative Handling" categories.

 

Most parts of the site can be accessed without registering, but I suggest registering anyway to get the email newsletter and allow you to submit questions/comments to the forums.

 

 

FreeQuality.org

This site is packed full of useful information and tools, and, as the name implies, everything is free. The content is created by Penn State University and Boise State University students. Content includes numerous PowerPoint Presentations, Documents, and Spreadsheet-based tools. The site is extremely easy to navigate.

Key links:

Training Materials

Downloadable Tools

Knowledge Bank

Gross & Associates 

I'm always pleased to see other consulting companies that believe sharing information is not akin to "giving away the store". Gross & Associates is a Material Handling and Logistics consulting firm.  Their site contains various resources including white papers and  online CAD drawings. Their most impressive offering is the Online Rules Of Thumb Equipment Cost Calculator, which they provide at no charge (registration is required). The calculator allows you to input your storage and material handling equipment needs and calculate cost estimates (given in ranges). You can also request a hard copy of their Rules of Thumb cost guide.

I also recommend purchasing a copy of their book The Time, Space & Cost Guide To Better Warehouse Design which includes their equipment cost information plus much more. 

Klaus Update: A site visitor informed me that you can now download a high quality subtitled version of this film from  http://www.worldcinemaonline.com/films/115/0/Forklift-Driver-Klaus.html . It downloads as a .wmv file that can be played with windows media player (no region code locks). It only cost $2.99 US. I think it's funnier without the subtitles, but this download option is a hell of a lot easier than ordering a dvd from Germany and setting up a region-free dvd player (though the license restrictions are annoying).

 

Forklift Safety Gore Fest!!!

Forklift Drive Klaus-The First Day On The Job.

This is a short (10 minutes) German film about a forklift driver's first day on the job. As far as I know it is not available in an English version or with English subtitles. That really doesn't matter because you don't need to understand the dialog to know what is going on. Lets face it, a painful scream is a painful scream regardless of the language. 

Though anyone that thinks gratuitous over-the-top violence is funny will enjoy this, I think it is of particular interest to those of us that have worked around forklifts. Being an industry professional (or at least claiming to be) I noticed some obvious technical inaccuracies, but who cares, this film is funny. 

I haven't seen this available for purchase within the U.S. but you can order it online (I think it cost me about $25 USD including shipping) from Germany using the following link:

http://www.shortfilm.com/shop/product_info.php/products_id/6/language/en

Note: Be aware that your DVD player will probably not be setup to play this overseas version. I used DVD Region+CSS Free and UltraDVD software with my PC DVD player to view it. Both products can be purchased through http://www.dvdidle.com/

 

I also found a version of the film as a WMV file that can be viewed online. This is a very low quality version of the film, but it's worth a look. You can view it at the following link:

home.astrakan.hig.se/sax/rokka/files/staplerfahrer_klaus.wmv

 

The Auto-ID Center at EPCglobal.

With all the current interest in RFID , it only makes sense that I feature a site that is at the center of this technology. EPCglobal will administer and develop EPC standards. EPC (electronic product code) is the RFID version of the UPC barcode. EPC is intended to be used for specific product identification. However, EPC goes beyond UPC by not only identifying the product as an SKU, but also providing access to additional data about the origin and history of the specific units. The EPC standard is targeted to be at the core of Walmart's RFID initiative.

The site contains a wealth of information about RFID and EPC. Everything from an Idiot's Guide for beginners to detailed technical documents are provided here.

Anyone interested in RFID should be sure to download the Technology Guide.

 

Other RFID sites.

RFID Journal 

RFID Update article on this site.

RFID Update and  RFID Links from Accuracybook.com.

 

Modern Marvels: Loading Docks

This isn't really a featured site, but rather a featured product (Video). Modern Marvels is a series of documentaries from the History Channel. In the summer of 2002, I was contacted by a production company as they were starting to conduct research for this episode. Being a fan of the series (and a bit of a material handling history buff), I provided them with some informational resources (a historical timeline, interesting equipment and methods, and a list of other companies to contact). Do you think they mentioned me in the credits, sent me a free copy, thanked me, or even notified me that the episode was available? Nooooooo. Instead, I hear about it from a business announcement from an equipment manufacturer whose product is featured in the video (and who do you think gave them the name of this manufacturer?).

Enough of my whining. The episode turned out well and I think anyone involved in logistics/warehousing/transportation will find it very interesting. Featured in the video are a modern grocery distribution center, UPS's Louisville sorting facility, lift trucks, dock equipment, storage equipment, container ships, container handling equipment, cranes, air freight, and, of course, some cool historical stuff. You can try to catch the episode on The HIstory Channel, but, to my knowledge, it has only aired once so far. You can use the following link to order a copy of the video (VHS and DVD)    Modern Marvels: Loading Docks

Those with an interest in trucking and transportation may also want to check out Modern Marvels: Dangerous Cargo Trucks: Masters of the Open Road Modern Marvels: Trucks, and Dangerous Missions: Ice Road Truckers (this one is very cool and is aired frequently on the History Channel).

 

Material Handling Picture Bank

This is a new project sponsored by several organizations including The College-Industry Council on Material Handling Education and The Material Handling Industry of America. It consists of a database of images (photos, video, illustrations) that depict various material handling equipment and techniques. The database is both indexed and searchable. This is truly a community effort since anyone can submit images to the database and visitors are encouraged to rate the images. What is really great about this site is that many of the images are representations of material handling equipment conducting specific tasks (rather than the standard equipment promo photos).

Warning:  If you do not have  high-speed internet access, you should be prepared for some very slow download times as these image files are pretty large. I strongly suggest you start in "list" view (this is an option on the site) and then select images based on description. There is a "thumbnail" view available, however it still downloads the full sized graphic file and then just resizes the image on the screen.

 

Accuracybook.com

Yes, this is my other website, but I can occasionally do a little self-promotion, can't I? This is the companion website to my newly released book Inventory Accuracy: People, Processes, & Technology. This site contains links to other informational sites related to accuracy technologies as well as links to products related to inventory accuracy. The site also provides technology updates to the book, a complete and updated glossary, and, of course, ordering information.

If you're looking for information related to inventory accuracy, cycle counting, physical inventories, employee training, bar codes, RFID, voice technology, pick-to-light, and much more, check it out.

John Grout's Mistake-Proofing Center

 

Very good independent site focusing on mistake-proofing/Poka-Yoke. 

Site includes a tutorial, mistake-proofing examples, and glossary of terms.

 

MIT OpenCourseWare Pilot.

MIT has truly done something amazing by starting to add enormous amounts of courseware to their site FREE for anyone to use. Of particular interest are massive amounts of lectures available as streaming video.

This may fall a little outside the scope of "inventory operations" but the content here is so impressive that I thought it worthwhile.

 

 

Looking for Software?  These sites all contain searchable databases of business software.  Between these three sites you should be able to find everything from high-end ERP systems to Low-cost accounting packages to  Free open source business software.

 

KnowledgeStorm.  Directory of Information Technology solutions.  This site has the largest and most detailed online database of business software (ERP, MRP, WMS, TMS, Financials) that I've seen.  Requires registering to view detailed fact sheets.

 

Accounting Software 411.  Definitely more than just accounting software here.  The site maintains a comprehensive database of software packages.  You can select several package and compare features.  Also maintains a message board for each software package (currently not a lot of messages on most packages but still a great idea).  

 

SourceForge.net  Interested in Open Source software (a.k.a. Free)?  SourceForge.net is "the world's largest Open Source development website".

 

 

Georgia Institute of Technology   

The Georgia Institute of Technology has a variety of sites related to logistics and manufacturing. Unfortunately the main sites organization does not make it very easy to find these related sites so I have listed them separately below.  The Georgia Tech sites contain a wealth of information including white papers, case studies, downloads, research, and of course, educational programs.

Center for Manufacturing Information Technology

The Logistics Institute

Industrial and Systems Engineering

Manufacturing Research Center

The Progress Group  

The Progress Group is a Logistics and Supply Chain consulting firm. Their site contains some  excellent white papers on logistics and warehouse operations.  I especially appreciate their insights into the application of technologies and methods, stating both the strengths and weaknesses. Although the white papers cover a variety of topics there seems to be a focus on distribution/fulfillment type operations.

Articles I found particularly interesting:

Why RF Picking isn't always better.

Batch Picking and Sortation.

Implementing Material Handling Systems - Folly or Disaster?

Or, Developing Scenarios that Test the Right Systems Functionality

CIO.com  

There's no dismissing the key role information technology has on inventory management, manufacturing, and distribution.  CIO's (as in Chief Information Officer) site is more than just an online version of CIO magazine.  In addition to an extensive collection of CIO original articles, there are also links to related articles, research papers, and online resources.  The site is very well organized making it easy to find related information.  Although targeted towards IT executives, you don't need to be an IT professional to appreciate this site.  I found many of the articles to be highly informative without being overly "techie".

Of particular interest:
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ERP Research Center  Including an excellent article The ABCs of ERP

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Supply Chain Management Research Center

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CIO Forums  A collection of discussion groups (requires registering)

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Ask the Expert

 

APICS - The Educational Society for Resource Management.   The organization formerly known as the American Production and Inventory Control Society

APICS has been providing education related to manufacturing, inventory, and supply chain management for over 40 years.  Most well known for its certification programs including CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management) and CIRM (Certified in Resource Management), APICS also develops and provides non-certification educational materials and programs on a variety of topics.  With more than 270 local chapters , APICS provides excellent opportunities to interact to others in your community through seminars, professional development meetings, plant tours, and local newsletters.

Additional areas of interest on the APICS site include:

Online Book Store   Great selection of materials related to production and inventory control.

APICS-The Performance Advantage Magazine.  Includes online viewing of recent articles.

Links  Links to related sites.

Annual Conference and Exposition

 

Inventory Control Forum.  

This was one of the first sites I linked to when I set up the InventoryOps.com site.  I had been looking for inventory management related sites and came across this one.  The site's creator does an excellent job of locating and maintaining links to Inventory Management related informational sites.  In fact, he does such a good job that I chose not to include a list of inventory management sites on my links page and simply included a link to the Inventory Control Forum site.  The wealth of information available through this site listing is enormous  I strongly recommend this site and suggest you forward any additional related links to this site. Make sure you visit his Inventory Control Related Sites page.

 

Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) 

To quote their site "The Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) is an international professional association dedicated to the advancement and education of people involved in the management of warehouses and distribution facilities". 

 

Essentially WERC is trying to do for warehousing professionals what APICS has done for inventory and production management professionals.  WERC publications include research materials, educational materials, and a monthly newsletter called the WERCsheet.  Although the WERCsheet is intended as a benefit to WERC members, WERC is to be commended for making past issues (more than 6 months old) available online as PDF files to anyone.  WERC also provides seminars and networking opportunities through their local chapters.

 

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) If you've never been to this site or haven't visited in a couple of years I strongly suggest spending some time here.  OSHA has greatly improved the information available here including adding training materials.  Anyone involved in lift truck training, plant safety, and fire safety should set some time aside to visit this site.  Specific Pages of interest are listed below:
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Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training Page.  You can download the standard and training materials from this page.

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e-Compliance Assistance Tool (eCAT) on  Warehousing  The training tool is actually titled Grocery Warehousing, however it applies very well to general warehousing, especially case pick and piece pick operations.

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Fire Safety Page.  

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Ergonomics Standard  Information on the new ergonomics final ruling.

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Consultation Page  Free OSHA consultations available through State agencies.

 

Forklift Troubleshooting, Operation, Repairs, and ServiceThis is an excellent independent site that includes detailed information and great graphics relating to lift truck operation, maintenance, safety, storage.  The site has a combination of original material and excerpts from other publications. I especially liked the extensive information on batteries, charging systems, and battery handling.  There are a lot of graphics on this site including some pretty cool animated stuff so be patient as some of the pages take a while to load.

 

 

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