Falmouth, ME -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/05/2013 -- James Galante, Director of Business Development for Retail Handling Solutions, a division of Southworth Products, writes in article entitled, Doing More with Less, published in OCH Magazine, “Improving the bottom line or in many cases just maintaining it, has become increasingly difficult and the road ahead is not going to get any easier, at least not any time soon. Managers today face more challenges than ever before. In this very tight economy they are being told to cut costs to the bone and, unfortunately, that often means reducing the labor force. But, at the same time, managers are being challenged to maintain production rates or even increase them; maintain the quality and find ways for a reduced staff to get the job done. Do more with less are today’s marching orders.”
Similarly Jon Walder, Dr. Jennifer Karlin, and Dr. Carter Kerk advocate four applications in which lean thinking and ergonomic principles are related and essential to creating effective, sustainable programs. Those four components include removing waste.
1) Removing wasted, unnecessary motion can have a significant positive impact on systems and processes as well as decrease lead times and inventory, increase quality and substantially increase productivity.
2) Secondly, understanding the whole organizational system requires all business processes to be flexible. This will significantly aid a company’s ability to respond to changes which are occurring in the marketplace. This can be flexibility in setup/ change-over, the type of assist device, inventory controls or linkages (transporting or storing materials).
3) Ergonomic assist devices can dramatically reduce or even eliminate the forces required to perform a task as well as reduce the associated reaching, bending or stretching. They will reduce fatigue and stress that would be experienced by the worker. These symptoms are often a precursor to a lost time injury.
4) By focusing on strategic placement of parts, products, tools and equipment and reviewing the layout of the work area human stress and ergonomic related injuries can be reduced.
Good ergonomics eliminates excessive body motions and limits the number of repetitions in most work tasks. Good ergonomics will reduce mistakes and will improve quality - more lean values. Galante insists, “Ergonomics plays into lean as much as lean plays into ergonomics, an effective tool that links the two is material handling assist devices, more specifically; ergonomic assist devices.”
About Retail Handling Solutions
Retail Handling Solutions (http://www.retailhandlingsolutions.com) is at the core of revolutionizing retail products handling. When retailers stock shelves, the process is time-consuming, labor intensive, and fraught with productivity road blocks and the potential for injury, product breakage, and customer inconvenience.
Retail Handling Solutions was created to concentrate the practical application of ergonomics on the specific circumstances of the retail work environment. Limited space, high volumes, thin margins, packaging necessities, as well as consideration for in-store shoppers and merchandising frequently require a unique approach to optimizing the productivity and safety of these stock handling applications.
Retail Handling Solutions
Alison K. Shea
Market Development Manager