Monthly Archives: August 2013

The hidden costs of fleet management

Any facilities manager understands that building a strong fleet of industrial movers is essential for efficient operations.

However, owning an entire fleet of vehicles comes with several hidden costs that, if gone unchecked, can lead to much lower profit margins in the long term. To keep these costs under control, many warehouse officials turn to asset management systems to keep their fleets in check.

Often, these asset management programs involve identifying areas where efficiency can be improved in industrial vehicles, which can also lower costs associated with repairs and scheduled maintenance. These also include making sound capital investment decisions in the first place, so a business isn’t stuck with money-sapping utility products for the long haul.

While these programs are a great way to ensure the hidden costs of fleet management don’t come back to bite you, there are other ways that you can take better control of your equipment.

By using Spacepac electric products, facility managers can significantly simplify their asset management programs. All Spacepac products are engineered to hold up in tough conditions and last for years.

Though durable, their simple design also ensures repairs will always be a snap, and if scheduled maintenance is a part of the asset management program, this too can be simplified with less complex products.

Spacepac XL-H400 Battery Electric Tug

Spacepac XL-H400 Battery Electric Tug

The Spacepac XL-H400 Battery Electric Tug, for example, is categorised as one of the company’s “standard” machines, but it can pull as much as 1,500 kilograms and is designed for multi-shift operations.

Some of the world’s largest companies have already integrated the product into their asset management programs, including Amsterdam’s Shiphol Airport, Unilever and General Electric. Considering the machine can operate for up to 24 hours on a single charge, it’s ideal for any operation that never sleeps.

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Look for versatility in electric tugs

Buying the right equipment to do the heavy lifting at any large facility is a wise expenditure.

Countless studies have been conducted in several countries that confirm it is extremely cost effective to ensure labour workers have the correct tools to make their jobs easier. This results in better employee morale, lower absenteeism, lower workers compensation costs and high productivity.

Moreover, by choosing an electric tug that is highly versatile and can be used for a number of different tasks, a facility manager can eliminate the need to buy several expensive products for various purposes.

In today’s world of constant progress and new technologies, it’s crucial for businesses to think long-term. Buying a heavy duty forklift that can only perform one function may work for some tasks, but it’s almost guaranteed that its best features will become obsolete as the years go on.

DEC BULL-2 Towing 1100 Litre Wheelie Bins

DEC BULL-2 Towing 1100 Litre Wheelie Bins

Spacepac has developed products that managers can easily integrate with dozens of attachments designed for specific purposes. Take the DEC BULL-2 Battery Electric Tug, for example. This product comes with the ability to attach several hauling options ranging from trolleys to hooks and clamps.

With the right attachment, this one machine can be used to transport heavy oil drums easily from one end of a facility to another. All it takes is a simple switch, and the same product quickly becomes the perfect carrier for a powered chassis designed for a company’s unique products.

The special hooks Spaceac offers with many of its products can be used for just about any industrial towing need.

Choosing movers and tuggers that can adapt with the world’s rapidly changing technology can give any facility manager peace of mind that an equipment investment won’t run dry in only a matter of years.

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Small tugs help maximise space in warehouses

Even with all the new technology that has been developed for warehouse managers to help them maximise space in their facilities, overcrowding is still a serious problem, and can affect distribution companies’ bottom lines and the supply chain as a whole.

An unkempt warehouse can limit how much inventory can be stocked at any one time. As more distributors adopt lean operations, it’s become even more important to keep all areas of the warehouse clear of clutter and unused items.

Some experts say that unused goods or equipment that has been forgotten about can take up as much as 30 per cent of a warehouse’s storage space. Effective use of this space could increase the amount of goods that can be stored and moved by one-third.

Minimising bulk and maximising space begins with reassessing large moving equipment and other machinery. Often, facility managers will hold on to bulky moving equipment for when they occasionally have to transfer large items, such as trailers and oversized pallets.

However, there is a better option when it comes to moving these large goods and still keeping floorspace open.

Spacepac XL-H400 Tug Towing Linen Trolleys

Spacepac XL-H400 Tug Towing Linen Trolleys

Spacepac XL-H400 Battery Electric Tug is relatively small compared to other electric hauling vehicles. At 440 milimetres wide, 600 milimetres long and a height that maxes out at 1150 milimetres, it can subtly sit in any office or corner.

But don’t let its size fool you. The Spacepac XL-H400 battery electric tug can pull or push up to 1,500 kilograms with a battery life that, when used alongside a replacement, can allow for 24-hour use. This makes it ideal for any operation that requires around-the-clock service, such as airports and manufacturing plants.

When it comes to hauling big items, don’t waste space with heavy duty machinery when the sleek Spacepac XL-H400 Tug has everything you need.

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Event planners can get a helping hand from electric tugs

Event planning is an all-encompassing term with several moving parts.

On the one hand, it takes disciplined planning, budgeting, research, social skills and creativity to pull off a successful event. Whether it’s for a corporate outing, a small party, a large convention or any other gathering, an event planner must take many factors into account.

However, there’s another side to event planning that isn’t quite as romantic or glamorous: moving lights, speakers, stages, podiums, chairs, tables and any other equipment the event may require.

This should be a serious consideration for anyone in the event planning business. Without a strong equipment moving plan in place, all the time spent budgeting and ensuring punctuality could go out the window.

One study completed by Certified Special Events Professional Dr Joe Goldblatt concluded that about $500 billion is spent on event planning around the world every year. However, the average profit margin for each project came in at only about 15 per cent.

With enormous potential for larger profits, event planners may need to rethink their strategies, adopting a more lean approach akin to what the global manufacturing industry has seen in recent years.

Spacepac XL-H400 Battery Electric Tug

Spacepac XL-H400 Battery Electric Tug

Perhaps one way to cut down on costs and increase margins is to do away with unnecessary workers. With the right electric tug moving equipment, such as Spacepac XL-H400 Battery Electric Tug, fewer employees could haul larger loads at one time.

This one change would spell huge differences. The total cost of putting on an event would be lower, making the organisation more marketable, and the reliability these products would bring could send customer satisfaction even higher.

Event planning certainly takes brains, but when this is paired with the right form of brawn, it can lead to enormous profit margin increases and business growth.

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Hospitals turn to Spacepac Industries to lower employee strain and fatigue

One of the most common and critical tasks hospital employees perform has also been linked to serious chronic injuries: Moving beds through hallways.

Not only are the direct costs associated with employee injury and fatigue rising, but this can also have a negative impact on overall employee morale.

Some estimates suggest hospital staff can pull or push heavy equipment as far as 20 kilometres every day. Moreover, as these beds become more complex and are outfitted with more monitors and controls, the total weight is only getting higher.

EVO Mover - Battery Powered Bed Mover

EVO Mover – Battery Powered Bed Mover

 

To protect hospital employees from fatigue, and in turn lower healthcare-related costs, Spacepac Industries developed the EVO Mover Battery Powered Bed Mover.

The machine sets itself apart from other bed movers in that it pulls from the front, meaning operators can begin turning as soon as they come upon the corner or door frame. The mover works in all hallways, elevators and ramps, eliminating the chance of employee strain, exhaustion or injury no matter the workplace – hospital, doctor’s office, retirement home or other setting.

Just adding to its many benefits, the mover also lowers the risk of Work Cover claims. A safer hospital environment means employees will be happier, less inclined to hurt themselves and also less likely to file costly claims.

All movement is controlled by a portable handset, ensuring an employee never has to bend over and risk physical torsion strain. Even the bed-mover connection process is automated and easy. All an operator has to do is click a button and the mover hooks itself up to bed all on its own.

Keeping the patients in mind too, Spacepac Industries developed the Bed Mover to operate quietly, ensuring patients can sleep soundly even when being moved.

With a battery lifetime of 1-3 days between charges, this is the ideal way to improve conditions during any hospital shift.

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Maximising warehouse workspace with Spacepac tugger trains

Improving the floor plan of your warehouse has long been a proven way to increase worker productivity and overall warehouse efficiency.

Spacepac Tugger Train Trolleys

Spacepac Tugger Train Trolleys

Combine layout improvements with machinery designed to pull long trains of bins and trolleys through narrow spaces, and you’ve got a highly efficient system that can be further sharpened by individual employees who are doing the picking and packing.

Often, warehouse managers don’t fully use the ceiling space they have, sprawling horizontally instead of vertically. If you’ve got the right lifting gear, it’s important to use as much air space as you can when storing pallets and bins.

In doing this, however, it’s smart to remember to put goods that are picked less frequently toward the top of a stack.

It’s also crucial to put the right piece of equipment or bin in an area where it fits best. By doing this, and creating narrow aisles, you can maximise warehouse floor space.

Spacepac Tugger Train Trolleys

Spacepac Tugger Train Trolleys

Once you’ve arranged the floor, it’s best to use a compact but powerful mover to pull trains of haulage wagons through tight areas. Spacepac Industries developed its Tugger Train to be a transport wagon that can move up to 20 trolleys at once.

The machine comes with five attached trolleys that stay extremely stable even when the train is in motion. The product also has a very small turning radius, making it ideal for well-organised and efficient warehouse floor plans.

Spaces as small as  two metres across are no problem for the Tugger Train, and since the operator can ride along, it saves employees time and energy.

Its design allows a single operator to control all functions of the machine, further driving down labour costs and increasing overall employee productivity.

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Using Spacepac products to lower your carbon footprint

Over the past decade, the term sustainability has undergone a profound shift.

What was once a word that only dealt with green living and saving the trees has now become a standard business practice, with more of the world’s largest companies touting the financial benefits of running a sustainable operation.

Xerox, for example, has been a frontrunner in the race to lower carbon emissions. The company made it a priority to lower its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent between 2002 and 2012, and by 2009, had far surpassed this goal.

In only seven years, Xerox slashed greenhouse emissions by 31 per cent, which it says led to enormous cost savings through the US’ Energy Star savings program.

Similarly, Wal-Mart recently underwent a major change, deciding to save energy and reduce emissions to lower overall energy and transportation costs. The company pledged to eliminate 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from its supply chain by 2015.

Spacepac XL-H400 Battery Electric Tug

Spacepac XL-H400 Battery Electric Tug

These are certainly large endeavors, but it all starts with small changes. One of the easiest ways to lower emissions is to switch to battery-operated industrial movers, which don’t require dirty diesel fuel and give off zero emissions.

Spacepac XL-H400 Battery Electric Tug is a great example of a machine that can help a warehouse keep its productivity high without sacrificing a commitment to a better environment.

The machine can pull up to 1,500kg, and can be used for either single- or multi-shift operations. When an optional second  24-volt battery is used, the tug can run for up to 24 hours before it needs to be recharged, making it perfect for continuously operated facilities, such as warehouses and airports.

Going green is no longer just for the environmentalists, it’s a sound business decision that can be made easy with the right products.

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DEC-Bull-2 rises to the occasion at airports around the world

Airlines all over the world rely on ground support equipment at international airports to maintain a schedule and operate as safely as possible.

When these systems are compromised in anyway, it can lead to delays, customer dissatisfaction with both airlines and facilities managers or even safety concerns.

One of the most common pieces of ground support equipment are the baggage transport trucks that haul trolleys full of luggage from the terminal to the aircraft. While these certainly have the torque to carry heavy loads, they also come with several added costs common to powered industrial vehicles.

DEC Bull-2 Battery Electric Tug

DEC Bull-2 Battery Electric Tug

Planned repairs and maintenance on large vehicles, as well as unscheduled downtime, can lead to inefficiency and lost productivity. In the commercial aviation world where punctuality is key to success, this can make a major difference in customer satisfaction.

To eliminate the risk of breakdowns, many facilities operations are shifting toward using alternative tugging and pushing products. The DEC BULL-2 Battery Electric Tug , for example, has been used in airports around the world to safely and efficiently haul luggage trolleys.

The BULL-2 runs on a long-life battery that does away with hefty fuel costs common to trucks and other hauling vehicles, and its sleek design makes it much easier to clean and maintain.

The product runs on a built-in 24 volt battery and AC motor, and has a maximum speed of 12 kilometres per hour. Weighing just 300 kilograms itself, the BULL-2 can be easily maneuvered between jobs and put away for storage.

It is also extremely versatile, and comes standard with an attachment hook, a battery charger a brake and other features.

If the user wishes, the BULL-2 can also come with custom hooks, ignition keys, a horn or non marking tyres.

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User-friendly equipment eliminates the need for temporary project workers

No matter what kind of business it is, virtually all companies will need to complete a project outside their expertise at one time or another.

Whether it’s a professional office that needs to move floors, a nursery that wants to alter its floor plan according to the seasons or a manufacturing facility that needs to move heavy equipment, there will come a time when management will have to ask additional duties of their employees.

Companies will often outsource temporary or contract workers to complete such projects. Although demand for these workers has grown immensely as the global financial crisis reshaped corporate and industrial HR procedures, many experts still warn against using this form of labour.

The most pressing concerns are the unexpected costs that come along with temporary and project employees. It may look good on paper to save time and energy by delegating a project to a temp, but in the long run, this method has proven to lower overall employee morale, worsen productivity and reduce work quality.

Instead of investing in temporary employees, offices and facilities could benefit from purchasing user-friendly machines that anyone can handle – not just niche experts.

Spacepac XL-H400 Battery Electric Tug

Spacepac XL-H400 Battery Electric Tug

Take the manufacturing facility that needs to redesign its floor plan, for example. By using a product like the Alitrak TT1000, a company could ask its own workers to operate the extremely intuitive machine, saving costs that would have been spent on outsourcing the work.

Spacepac designed its electric tugs to be used by anyone – not just experts. The simple designs make the products ideal for anyone in charge of the moving project, and with pulling power ranging from 1,000kg to 6,000kg, there is an exact model for what a business needs.

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The good business sense behind hiring electric tugs

Once a business has made the decision to invest in new machinery, the next course of action is typically to look at the cost benefit ratios of hiring this equipment versus buying it for the long haul.

Alitrak TT600 Battery Electric Tug Available for Hire

Alitrak TT600 Battery Electric Tug Available for Hire

While there are certainly advantages to both options, businesses operating under varying conditions or at different stages in their development may find it much more beneficial to hire new equipment. This is especially true for any project work that may only last a short period of time.

By hiring machinery, business can avoid capital outlay on large upfront costs, and then the business does not have to perform any of the required paperwork that goes along with equipment purchase. Depreciation, maintenance, storage and unscheduled repairs are also common costs associated with buying machinery, which won’t be passed on when equipment is hired.

Spacepac has developed a line of products that are especially useful when hired. For just $24 per day, any company can rent the Alitrak TT600 – a universal industrial workhorse that has several applications. For example, if a company is re-arranging its own heavy warehouse equipment, it can hire the Alitrak TT600 for as long as it takes to the complete the project.

Similarly, if a business is moving office space, it can use the product to carry server cases, printers, CPUs and other bulky equipment.

Once done, the Alitrak TT600 tug goes back to Alitrak, requiring no maintenance or storage on the part of the company. Alitrak is flexible with its pricing, and if it is needed for weeks or months at a time, there are price schedules to accommodate for this.

Designed for basic tasks and single shift operations, the Alitrak TT600 is ideal for any short-term moving work.

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