Previously Featured Sites.
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.
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.
Transport-Informations -Service for
additional container info. I believe both these sites are provided by the German
I was made aware of these great sites from a post in a forum
on ForkliftAction.com (a previously
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
. 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
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:
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
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:
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
Anyone interested in RFID should be sure to download the
Other RFID sites.
RFID Update article on this
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).
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.
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,
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
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
This may fall a little outside the scope of "inventory
operations" but the content here is so impressive that I thought it
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.
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.
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
in Open Source software (a.k.a. Free)? SourceForge.net is "the world's
largest Open Source development website".
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.
Manufacturing Information Technology
Progress Group is a Logistics and Supply Chain consulting firm. Their site
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.
I found particularly interesting:
RF Picking isn't always better.
Picking and Sortation.
Material Handling Systems - Folly or Disaster?
Or, Developing Scenarios that Test the Right Systems Functionality
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
- The Educational Society for Resource Management.
The organization formerly known as the American Production and Inventory
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.
areas of interest on the APICS site include:
Book Store Great selection of materials related to
production and inventory control.
Performance Advantage Magazine. Includes online viewing of
Links to related sites.
Conference and Exposition
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
Warehousing Education and Research Council
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
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.
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:
Troubleshooting, Operation, Repairs, and Service.
This 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.