Casebook 2011: Quad/Graphics loads safely, on the level
Efficiencies in a distribution facility can create savings throughout the supply chain. With a mixture of dock hardware and software, one DC reduced travel time for lift trucks, increased the speed and safety of loading, and cut the number of miles traveled by trucks on the road.
The management of the 338,000-square-foot Quad/Graphics DC in Menomonee Falls, Wisc., took a comprehensive approach to make the best use of its storage space and loading bays (Serco Company, 800-933-4834, http://www.sercocompany.com) . Bar coding is present throughout the process, on the pallets, at the doorways, and on the placards suspended above the staging locations. Forklift-mounted computers direct the drivers to pallet positions so drivers don’t have to meander around an 8-acre DC to find a pallet.
On an average day, 70 truckloads come in and out, with peaks reaching as high as 240 loads. To increase productivity, hydraulic dock levelers were installed to shave time off the loading operation by providing a full range of controls to position the platform. The facility’s 40 doors handle inbound and outbound shipments, providing the company with a lot of flexibility to send out full truckloads and reduce the overall number of miles traveled.
The facility employs vehicle restraints to reduce the risk of accidents occurring from trucks prematurely leaving the dock while a lift truck is operating inside the trailer. The rotating hook engagement captures and complies with regulation rear impact guards, securing the trailer to the dock. Interior and exterior LED green and red lights communicate the status of the dock to the truck driver and lift truck operator to ensure safe operation.