Equipment and technology upgrades

1/6/2020

There is no question that logistics and supply chain management is fraught with complexity. The industry deals with costly materials and equipment and navigates increasingly interconnected global marketplace; often, clients have dramatically different needs and priorities, not to mention contending with a seemingly constant stream of ever-changing regulations.

"This constant juggling act is only the tip of the iceberg," says, MYA Logistics’ President, Jamie Cord. "There is an endless stream of data that tracks, measures performance, monitors environments, product location, deliveries, route selection and more," Cord continued. "MYA Logistics is an industry leader because we embrace new equipment and technologies that reduce costs, drive efficiencies, provide real-time traceability, allow us to tailor customized solutions for our customers and improve their end to end experience," added Cord.

Lately, the logistics company is embarking on an investment journey that includes expanding and upgrading its fleet of tractors and trailers, replacing propane-fueled forklifts, installing new hand-held scanners and tablets to upload and monitor performance and safety data in real-time. The company has also added internal sensors and software that monitor warehouse environments (temperature and humidity) to protect its customers’ inventory. However, at MYA, these are only a small sample of recent innovations made by the third-party logistics (3PL) leader.

 

 

 

Let's talk wireless asset management

 

MYA Logistics purchased new Yale Vision forklifts for its warehousing system. In addition to sustainability benefits (eliminating propane fuel usage), the new lifts expand MYA Logistics services to include food-grade manufacturers.

"Regulatory agencies prefer the use of electric forklifts over propane when handling perishables. We certainly gained access to a new manufacturing market; however, we purchased Yale primarily because of their internet connectivity (IoT), ability to improve warehouse efficiencies, and strengthen safety protocols," said Jacob Ingram, Vice President of Operations.

From a safety perspective, the new forklifts won't start, and they're not drivable without a seatbelt buckled around the operator. More importantly, the new system replaces old paper checklists with a modern hi-tech automated system of tracking and diagnosis. OSHA safety standards are pre-programmed directly into the lift's onboard computer system, and the operator runs through the preset checklist digitally before starting the vehicle. Furthermore, the lifts are GPS enabled so that teams can locate them instantly through any smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer.

 

 

There are many benefits of upgrading its forklift fleet: wireless monitoring, remote usage, and maintenance tracking, analyzing load weights, time of usage, impact sensing, sharing data, and more efficient use of space and product placement, for example. However, this new asset management tool allows team members to adjust quickly and provide manufacturers with better flexibility as their inventory management needs or criteria change.

Furthermore, the new Yale Vision forklifts are fully integrated with MYA Logistics RAMP Warehouse Management System technology. As a result, not only can they determine usage, location, and efficiencies at all times, clients can also log in to the system and look over or even manage their inventory remotely.


Small technologies with a significant impact on performance

 

"We've also added scanners and tablets to our warehouse technology," Warehouse Supervisor, Jake Waychoff indicated. "Because we can scan barcodes and product codes more quickly, these tools help us to provide our customers with instant visibility to their products."

"We can reach higher rack levels with the new scanners, so the operator doesn't have to exit the forklift in most instances, which saves time," Waychoff continued. "They also provide better accuracy by automating data entry and eliminating hand-written paper logs."

As a result of the new scanning technology, MYA Logistics provides manufacturers with immediate access to inventory manifests including products received, shipped, and their exact location from the first to the last mile. On the other hand, the tablets provide associates with instant visibility to a product's position within the warehouse and where it is in the delivery process.

"The principal benefit our clients feel is that they too have remote access to the system, and can communicate with supervisors and their teams directly," Ingram said proudly. "Makes it easier, and more accurate while providing customers with a precise level of accountability."

 

 

Finally, people within the organization have felt the improvements, too. "They feel a sense of pride, especially when they're using new technologies that make their jobs easier and help them perform at their peak," said John Sitroneto, Warehouse Supervisor. "We recently purchased personalized hoists that help our people lift heavy objects without any strain. They make handling even cumbersome objects a breeze," added Sitroneto.

 

 

"We make all of these investments from a people perspective," according to Cord. "Making supply chain management efficient and worry-free makes our customers feel good about their decision to hire us; that's priceless," Cord said. "But, we're also investing in and adopting new technology, processes, and procedures to benefit our people. The payoff, they not only contribute to our growth and ability to innovate; they've taken great pride in how we’re evolving to make their work lives easier and more balanced," Cord concluded.