Jan. 21, 2013
-- Shelf Stocking requires automation according to Brian McNamara, founder of Retail Handling Solutions, based in Falmouth, Maine. He concedes that the process is time consuming, labor intensive, and fraught with productivity road blocks and the potential for injury and product breakage. With all the advances made in other areas of the store, this key operation function has been largely ignored.
Manufacturing journalist, Thomas R. Cutler recently contributed a feature article titled, “Using Lesson Learned: Automating In Store Applications,”
published in the current issue of Automation and Controls Today. Cutler reported, “The line between manufacturing and warehouse became muddy over the past decade as out sourcing became common place. Companies that were solid manufacturing organizations had to become efficient and effective using warehousing and distribution processes. That line between manufacturing and distribution has now been crossed right into the front door of retailers worldwide. The lessons of ergonomics in plants and distribution centers are now seen at shelving, in the aisle, and in the back room of retail operations.”
Retail Handling Solutions (www.retailhandlingsolutions.com)
is at the core of revolutionizing retail products handling. For nearly a century not much has changed in the way 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.
Southworth International Group is the parent of a family of companies whose mission is to make work faster, safer, and easier. Southworth’
s roots date back more than a century. For much of this history, the company has been developing and supplying equipment that provides the many benefits of the practical application of ergonomics in the manufacturing and warehousing industries. Its divisions are widely recognized for their innovative approach to application engineering, extensive product offerings, and adaptability to exact customer requirements including service both before and after sales.
In more recent years, it has extended its focus to include the opportunity rich repetitive handling requirements of many retail operations. Store goods are handled multiple times, often in awkward positions and almost all operations are done over and over again. Safety problems are clearly an issue and applications to improve productivity abound. Recognizing that retail store operations are significantly different from manufacturing and somewhat different from warehousing, 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