3 Top Types of Safety Gear and Strategies for Cleaning Pros

Cleaning doesn’t sound like a dangerous profession to most people. But as an experienced cleaning professional or team manager, you know that’s not the truth. Many severe injuries, and even deaths, happen annually because of cleaning accidents.

And many of those happen because of mistakes in how employees wear (or don’t wear) their safety gear. Here’s some tips for your cleaning team to stay safe in 2017:

  1. Your Team Members Must Know Their Body

This one gets overlooked often. Awkward position, using force to do a task, staying in the same position for long periods of time, and continuous pressure on any part of your team member’s body can lead to injury. “Continuous pressure” could mean things like kneeling for a long time on a bathroom floor.

You and your team members must be aware of these situations, and you should develop strategies to minimize the harm they cause. Knee pads, for example, could be used to nearly eliminate pain, discomfort, and potential injury from kneeling.

  1. Using PPE For Safe Handling of Cleaning Chemicals

You should have a policy in place, regular training, and incentive for using PPE. It’s so easy for your cleaning team to get out of the habit of using it when necessary. If they have to handle cleaning chemicals, safety glasses (with side shields), splash goggles, a face shield, nonslip shoes, gloves, and a rubber apron should be worn.

Not only does this keep your cleaning team safe, but it nearly eliminates the threat of your company getting involved in a lawsuit.

  1. Remember to Use Ergonomics To Minimize Your Risk of Injury

There’s a safest way to do nearly everything. In fact, there’s so much to go through we can’t cover it all here.

However, here’s some things your team can do to use ergonomics to their advantage so they don’t get injured:

  • Distribute cleaning materials evenly around waste barrels as you push them to minimize the chances of it tipping over
  • Never assume office or workplace trash cans all weigh the same. Always lift them with your back straight and knees bent
  • Whenever you need to move furniture, use harnesses, rolling carts, and other equipment whenever available
  • Wrap padding around bucket handles to minimize pressure on your hand
  • Use mop heads that aren’t known to shed threads so you minimize your risk of slipping and falling (or causing the same for your customers)s

Again, there’s dozens more we could go through. But, this gives you an idea of what to look for.

Safety First Always Wins the Day

When you put safety first, you build the respect of your cleaning team. They avoid injuries. Your company avoids civil lawsuits and worker’s compensation claims.

It’s a big win for everyone involved. So make safety a priority at your organization today.

How to Maintain Strong Relationships with Your Vendors

Running a successful retail enterprise takes strong relationship building skills. You’ll have numerous vendors you must work with.

How do you stay on good working terms with them? It’s not easy, even if you have good vendors. Conflict and mistakes are simply a normal part of human relationships.

Here’s some ideas for building and maintaining strong relationships with your vendors:

  1. Reward Desirable Behaviors Rather Than Punishing Ones You Don’t Want

You’ll have to decide how this actually looks in your relationship. But, the general idea is that in your vendor compliance program, you aim to offer rewards for goals met while avoiding punishing undesirable behaviors.

Why?

Because punishment leads to anxiety and stress, and vendors simply trying to avoid your punishment. They don’t necessarily aim to provide you with better service.

When you incent the behavior you want, that causes vendors to look at what they can do, rather than avoiding what they shouldn’t do at all costs. They’ll feel more relaxed. They’ll like you better. And you’ll have a stronger relationship.

  1. Treat Your Vendor with Respect, Even If They Don’t Deserve It

Sometimes vendors behave poorly. It happens. Even when they do, treat them with respect. It’s going to get you the best response from your vendor.

Pay them on or ahead of time. Always be polite in your communications. Only discuss your concerns when legitimate, instead of nit-picking.

The old saying “what goes around comes around” holds very true in vendor relationships.

  1. Share Your Vision and Goals for Your Relationship

Your vendor may not fully understand what you really want to get out of the relationship. Make sure you share that with them from the start. If they have a change in management, make sure to articulate this to the new manager. Suggest things your vendor can do to help them improve their service to you even more.

  1. Be Willing To Let Go of Some Vendors

Finally, not all relationships are meant to be. Sometimes you can’t get on the same page. Others, you have vendors more interested in profit than your relationship. This happens.

When it does, it’s time to end the relationship. If your current vendor isn’t doing their part to make your happy, you’re better off finding another one who will.

By implementing these four tips, you’ll have strong relationships with vendors that bear dividends for both you and them. It’s a natural win-win-win for you, your vendor, and your customers. And that’s something every business appreciates.

5 Best Practices to Cut Costs in Your Warehouse or Distribution Center

In retail, every little edge counts. The biggest companies all have their warehouses and distribution centers (and their supply chains too) monitored and optimized for greatest efficiency. That’s how they keep their market-leading positions.

What are some things you can do to optimize the efficiency and reduce the costs, at your warehouse or distribution center? Here are a few:

  1. Make Sure You Have a Vendor Compliance Program in Place

How should your vendors work with you to give you the best service and most efficient shipping? Create a compliance program that sets standards every vendor should follow.

Labeling, standard quantities, product identification, how trucks are stocked, and tracking should all be a part of these. The most effective vendor compliance programs avoid punishing vendors for non-compliance where possible. Instead, to get the greatest cooperation from your vendor, incent vendors with rewards for remaining in compliance.

  1. Eliminate All Unnecessary Steps in Your Processes

Where possible, have your employees pick directly to a shipping carton instead of a bin they use to move product to where it needs to be shipped. Not a huge thing, but it all adds up when you focus on the small things. In our experience, most warehouses have at least a handful of unnecessary steps in place, so it’s worth your time analyzing every step in your processes to see what you need, and what you don’t.

This could also include analyzing the layout and storage of product in your warehouse. You may want to optimize it to minimize wasted employee movement, for example.

  1. If You Have A Big Warehouse or Distribution Center, Consider Cross-Docking

With cross-docking, you completely bypass unloading, storage, and then reloading the product. You simply take the product from your existing transportation container and move it onto the next one.

It’s hard to set up at first. But once you have it in place, you get significant cost and time savings.

  1. Optimize Your Usage of Vertical Storage Space

Taller containers can make a big difference in how much product you can store in your warehouse or distribution center. Combine bins with shelving to optimize your storage space closer to the floor. When you optimize all your storage, you can keep more in the same amount of space, without having to consider an expensive expansion.

  1. Streamline Picking

Ideally, you’ll use warehouse management software to do this. You’ll have to look at how you use materials in your warehouse.

A couple of examples for optimizing your picking operations include storing frequently sold items near the front of your warehouse and storing items sold together next to one another. This minimizes picking delays and wasted movement. Using these examples, you’ll likely have a good idea of where you can make efficiency gains.

If you follow these five best practices, you’ll find yourself with more efficient operations and lower costs than ever before.

How to Choose the Right Industrial Packaging Partner

What differentiates one industrial packaging company from another? As you talk to them, you’ll notice they generally offer similar products to one another. So, why would you choose a particular one instead of the least expensive one?

The truth is that there are many ways industrial packaging companies differentiate from one another. How do you find that out?

Here’s a few tips on that:

  1. What Results Have They Actually Delivered?

Any good salesperson should have a number of stories they can tell about problems they’ve solved for customers, and the precise results those customers have gotten from their services. Ideally, they have a customer story/case study to discuss that matches the problem you’re facing right now.

They should be able to communicate the amount of money saved in clear, understandable terms.

  1. They Know How to Help You Rethink Your Operations

Experienced and qualified industrial packaging companies don’t just understand your company and how you operate. They can look at your current operations and provide immediate suggestions for improvement in new ways you hadn’t considered before.

Industrial packaging companies can do this because of their own experience in your industry. Others cannot because they don’t have as much skill at solving the problems you face.

  1. Comprehensive Service Offering

Highly experienced and successful industrial packaging companies know how to solve a long list of problems. Their expertise may even extend well beyond industrial packaging. The longer their selection of solutions, the stronger the company they are.

  1. Grill Them During Your Free Assessment

The best way to find out if an industrial packaging partner really is a good fit for you is by asking them tough questions. You have to know they’ve solved the problem you’re facing for companies exactly like yours in the past. Ask them for examples of how they’ve done so. If they don’t have a good one, ask them to walk you through how they might solve the problem you have now.

You’ll be able to understand if they have the capability to provide the solution you need.

  1. Check for Industry Recognitions and Awards

Awards can be highly political, or earned through true excellence. See if the company you’re considering has been recognized by any authoritative bodies. Research how the distinction is chosen, and give the company a call if you can’t find accurate information online.

Finding the Right Industrial Packaging Partner Is A Process

When all’s said and done, choosing the right industrial packaging company takes hard work. Only by comparing all the vendors after talking with them and researching them can you get to know which one makes most sense for you.

4 “Smart Shifts” Your Industrial Packaging Partner Can Help You Make

 

Here at Pollock, we have something we call “Smart Shifts.” What are “Smart Shifts?”

Simply put, it involves making the right shifts in operations so you make the biggest measurable gains in productivity, yield, speed, and quality. They can vary somewhat by industry.

Regardless, when you make a “Smart Shift,” your company experiences some cool benefits. Take a look at a few examples of Smart Shifts some companies can make:

  1. Re-Analyzing and Optimizing Your Processes

When you do the same thing day in and day out for years, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. This isn’t just true in production lines. It’s true for nearly everything human beings do.

So, your processes are one of the first places to look to get measurable results. With your processes, the best things to check are equipment, process bottlenecks, and opportunities for automation. Typically, manual labor processes that require large amounts of such labor have the biggest opportunity for savings and efficiency gains.

  1. Using Automation to Reduce Your Dependency on Temporary Labor

Temporary workers cost less to hire and give you the flexibility you need when you need it. However, the hidden cost of temporary labor has long-term repercussions when you rely on it too much.

You constantly have to train and supervise temporary staff. You can’t always rely on temporary labor to be there when you need it. And you never know the quality of the workers. Automation has a higher up-front cost, but it can put an end to these problems and others presented by temporary labor, giving you a nice long-term ROI.

  1. Optimizing Packaging Design and The Systems Used to Package Your Products

There’s no doubt that changes in packaging design, and the systems you use for packaging, seem small. But, you have to remember to multiply the changes by the number of products you produce over a given time frame to see your true ROI. Many companies easily rationalize and minimize small changes that add up to massive savings.

  1. Protecting Your Pallets

Does your company store large amounts of product on pallets? Then you may have some big savings opportunities available. The greatest inefficiencies in pallet protection come in how you wrap your pallets.

In some cases, employees don’t wrap them properly, which later leads to the goods on board being damaged. Also, wrap that is too thick may be used, which drives up your costs unnecessarily.

These are some possibilities for “Smart Shifts” you can make to increase your efficiency. There are many others too. Now, you have an idea of what can be done to boost your savings fast.

9 Benefits You Get When You Choose the Right Industrial Packaging Partner

Choosing the right industrial packaging partner takes extensive research and hard work. But, once you have the right company in place, you get a number of benefits you didn’t have before.

Check out just some of those:

  1. Reduced Packaging Cost Without Sacrificing Quality

Cutting costs is always good, but they’re even better when you don’t have to give up anything to get those reduced costs. An experienced industrial packaging partner knows how to help you decrease your packaging costs without negatively affecting the package itself in any way.

  1. Lower Labor Costs

An industrial packaging partner can help you improve the efficiency of your processes, eliminating many of the man-hours needed with your packaging. Not only do you free up additional capital, but you also reduce the time necessary for supervising and managing these employees.

  1. Greater Staff Productivity

The employees that remain on your team will be more productive with the help of the right industrial packaging partner. Because of their higher levels of productivity, they’ll also be happier workers.

  1. Faster Time to Market

With the right industrial packaging partner, you’ll have your product packaged faster. That means you can get your product onto the shelves of stores faster. And, if you have a new product, or if you’re in intense competition, you’ll have an edge for winning.

  1. Clear Understanding of Your ROI

The right industrial packaging partner helps you accurately understand the ROI you get from their services. You’ll know exactly what you’re getting back, and how much capital you have available to invest in other business ventures.

  1. Reliable Technical Support

No implementation or optimization of any process goes perfectly. Every company faces challenges. The right industrial packaging partner minimizes these in the first place, and also provides excellent technical support for resolving these issues when they do happen.

  1. Using Environmentally Friendly Materials Where It Makes Sense

Making your packaging green is a nice side benefit. It helps build trust and confidence with your employees. And you can market the fact you do this to your customers too, which also improves their opinion of your product and company.

  1. Your Reputation at Work Improves

Do all these benefits sound good? They make you look good too! When you choose the right industrial packaging partner, they not only deliver your company some nice benefits, they improve your status at work too because you made a good decision.

  1. Nearly Instant Access to All These Benefits

The right industrial packaging partner gets you all these benefits basically right away. They’re ready to implement new processes and help you solve your most pressing business problems. If you choose to do the same in-house, you may have to wait many years and suffer several setbacks before you finally get them.

Packaging Tips For 3PL Companies To Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet

Mis-picks, mis-packs and general shipping errors are the quickest ways to drive profitability out of operations. This becomes a bigger problem when unhappy customers start questioning why they ever started doing business with you and might never do business with you again. There’s absolutely no doubt that logistics and supply chain issues are critical to any 3pl’s success. But you don’t always need large-scale overhauls that require months to implement to get dramatic improvements.

Below, we’ve listed 6 smaller, less overwhelming ways to improve your packaging and shipping processes in 2017.

  1. Inventory should be positioned strategically. 

If your company ships from more than one location, place D movers in just one location, but A & B movers in both to reduce inventory carrying costs. It can also reduce your inbound shipping costs too. If you need a hundred D movers, put them where the labor costs and warehouse space are lowest.

  1. Packing materials and boxes should be kept close at hand.

It is important to reduce the steps in the warehouse. Keeping packing materials, tapes and boxes, at the shipping workstation will help reduce the steps your employees will have to take to go somewhere else to pick up the bubble wrap or a box.

  1. Pick into the actual shipping box.

Have employees pick into a pre-labeled shipping box whenever possible to save time processing orders. This option is particularly helpful when almost all orders fit in boxes of a standard-size.

  1. Wireless mobile printers. 

Companies should outfit their warehouse staff with wearable label printers that can merge 2 steps into 1. When they pick ready to ship, prepackaged items, these printers are programmed to print shipping labels when these items are scanned.

  1. Try on-demand packaging.  

Now that dimensional weight is an industry standard, rightsizing packaging is more critical than ever. This will enhance sustainability and reduce shipping and packaging costs.

  1. Work with a packaging and shipping systems professional
    Finding a balance between meeting merchandising demands and satisfying customers is no simple task. When you team up with experts, your company will avoid expensive decisions that obstruct fulfillment operations. However, working with a packaging and shipping systems professional will help you reach profitability goals. Having someone help you reduce costs by eliminating non value added steps and automating packaging processes will be invaluable to your company.

By partnering with a packaging and shipping systems professional at Pollock, you’ll get the best packaging solutions that’ll save money and time on your packaging and shipping processes.

How have efficient packaging methods helped your company?  Have you increased output or saved money or time?  Let us know below.

How IoT Could Change the Operations of Your Company in Just a Few Years

Stock market analysts are going nuts over the “internet of things” (IoT) revolution they believe will E-commercehappen over the next 5 years or so. There’s dozens of opportunities for massive growth. One projection says the IoT industry will grow from $130.33 billion in 2015 to $883.55 billion in 2022.

This prediction also includes a growth in IoT devices from 16.3 billion in 2015 to 26.3 billion in 2020.  You’ll see many predictions that fall along similar lines.

We’re not here to speculate further about future growth in IoT. But, for the time being, it looks like an impending trend that will be big and will profoundly change the way many things operate. That includes your retail business.

So, check out some ways the Internet of Things could change your retail company’s operations for the better both now and in the future:

  1. Create a Seamless Experience Across Dozens of Channels

Today’s consumer will interact with your brand across a number of different channels. They’ll view your website, Twitter account, Facebook, LinkedIn, watch TV, listen to the radio, see your billboard, and go inside your store.

They expect a similar experience across all of those. If they don’t feel that, they’re going to get confused. And then, they’ll be more likely to check out competing stores. Long-range Wi-Fi will enable IoT to happen in retail stores who focus highly on experience to sell.

  1. Know Up-to-the-Minute Information about Your Products’ Status

Large retailers like Costco and Home Depot break even, or even operate at a slight loss on their product. Costco makes its profit on membership fees while Home Depot upsells services.

Because you have little room for error when selling product, you need to know every last detail about your product. IoT could help you learn your exact inventory, the strength of the current purchasing trend (for example, a quick run on food before a football game), automatically order when you hit a set level, and tell you exactly where your product is in transit.

  1. Boost Revenue with At-Risk Customers

No one likes to wait. What if IoT could send your customers text notifications while they wait in line? They could then learn a different register to check out at. Or, your employees could receive automatic notifications to run to the registers to help out much sooner than your manager would notice. Maybe your customers get a notification that they get a 10% discount on today’s purchase for their patience.

Or, take it even a step further and IoT-connected sensors on consumer’s refrigerators automatically order more lettuce once it runs out.

IoT could be used to save many sales that you may have lost in the past.

Whether You’re Large or Small, IoT is The Wave of the Future

Your business size doesn’t matter. IoT may be more beneficial to big chain retailers. But, IoT will make a difference for retailers of all sizes

5 Overlooked Benefits of ERP Software

Your company likely already has ERP software. But, are you taking full advantage of it? Do you realize all Job Interview.the benefits it offers?

It’s easy to get so busy and struggle with coordinating so many people and processes that you overlook benefits of your ERP software. Here’s some that you could be missing out on:

  1. Solve Simple Problems At Little to No Cost

You may not know how to implement a certain process in your ERP. You might also have a minor technical glitch. Some ERPs are made by multi-billion dollar companies and have large online communities of users who share knowledge and solutions. All have at least some level of online technical support.

Regardless of the problem you have, you can find a solution either through another user or in online knowledge bases for most common problems.

  1. Stay in Compliance With Government Regulations

Government rules can be confusing and serve more to help the government than your business or customers. ERP systems help you keep your data secure and ease product tracking. If you sell food, you’ll be able to track any items that violate FDA law back to the distributor so you can resolve the issue with them.

ERP software eases complying with confusing and detailed government regulations.

  1. Free Up Employees’ Time So They Can Produce Profit

ERP software adds so much operational efficiency to your organization. That immediately addresses the problem of inefficient, haphazard processes that waste time and lead to customers getting upset.

But, the benefit you often forget about is that your employees now have more time to engage directly in activity that generates revenue. With additional time available, how can you assign your employees to tasks more likely to drive revenue?

  1. Consolidate Your Business Applications and Take Your Business with You

Ideally, your ERP consolidates multiple applications you might otherwise need to run your business. That makes operations easier, more streamlined and reduces costly mistakes.

Also, you can take your data with you if yours has a mobile dashboard. Or, you can just bring along your laptop with you. In either case, you’re always prepared to discuss your business with other professionals or research data to make better decisions.

  1. You Can Find Niche Vendors and Big Companies

Oracle and SAP offer ERP software for many larger niches. But, many companies offer the same for much smaller ones. While it can be hard to find the ideal fit for your company’s operations, one certainly exists. And when you do find it, you’ll experience all these overlooked benefits and many more.

ERP software makes a huge difference for businesses of all sizes, and especially retailers. If you don’t have a good fit for your operations, make sure you find one as soon as possible.

Modern Distribution Management Names Pollock Paper Top Janitorial Distributor

Grand Prairie, TX Dec. 7, 2016 – Pollock Paper, a leading regional janitorial products distributor, was recently named a 2016 top Jan-San Distributor by Modern Distribution Management (MDM). MDM is the go-to source for wholesale distribution industry research and publishes lists of market-leading distributors according to revenue in 15 different sectors.

As the Jan-San sector increases in competition, Pollock differentiates from the competition with a “problem-solving” approach. Founded in 1918, the company helps customers source, supply, and solve the biggest challenges they face as they manage their facilities.

“We love to work with customers, learning their goals and challenges, and putting our experience to use for them so they get systems that put an end to their facilities management problems,” said Tracy Evatt, Chief Operating Officer. “We have a team of experienced industry and product specialists who make this happen. Combined with our ordering, tracking, and reporting platforms, this helps customers control their budget and operations and avoid costly and frustrating hassles.”

Pollock offers the following services and benefits to help customers solve their most pressing facilities management challenges:

  • Exclusive line of commercial cleaning products and facility maintenance supplies that work for all budget sizes.
  • The right cleaning equipment, as well as installation and support throughout its entire life.
  • Green solutions for offices, warehouses, retail environments, and food processing, including green cleaning audits and products, green packaging, and green training.
  • Online resource center and live customer support.
  • Pollock’s e-commerce portals make controlling spend and ordering facilities management products easy.

Learn more about Pollock’s cost-effective and efficient facilities management products, services, and solutions at http://www.pollock.com

About Pollock

Founded in 1918, Pollock is now the Texas’ region’s leading facilities management products and supporting services distributor. The company’s problem-solving approach has been finely honed to help businesses solve all the issues related to managing their building. Pollock representatives consistently help clients find competitively priced products and services that help customers keep their costs down so they can gain big advantages over the competition.