Supply chain expo Modex, held every other year in Atlanta, GA, offers attendees access to the latest manufacturing and supply chain technologies. This March, more than 800 exhibitors displayed their supply chain solutions on the 180,000 foot show floor.
During the show, Lista took the time to connect with some of the industry’s leading innovators. To get a sense of how they’re optimizing productivity and profitability in the workplace, we posed the following question:
Would you share some examples of how industrial organizations are maximizing space and capacity in their workplace locations?
The following is a list of some of the trends we uncovered:
- Utilizing an Existing Space: According to Mike Raby, Vice President, Dealer Sales of Steel Solutions, more and more organizations are taking advantage of existing space in facilities. “So if a company’s got a 200,000 square foot facility and the ceiling’s 40 feet and you don’t have any room on the floor,” Raby says, “a mezzanine basically adds a second floor to the structure. It gives some limitations as far as building codes are concerned, but it’s a fraction of the cost of what new construction would be, whether it’s a new building or tearing up part of the building and adding onto it.”
- Identifying Customer Pain Points – and Finding a Solution: Some companies may have run out of floor space while others need to revamp their facility’s appearance because they have customers coming in. Some organizations may have a security problem and some may just want to be organized or it takes them too long to take inventory so they want to make improvements. Whatever the case, Modex attendees agree the key is to identify the customer pain points (i.e., “What’s the problem you’re trying to solve?”) and work together to find a solution.
- Consolidation: A major trend among manufacturers this year is consolidation, claims Michael Vaughan, owner of prefabricated building company 4anOffice. “They’re taking where they might have an enormous warehouse and reducing their floor space by the use of either mezzanines or inplant offices,” he says. “One place I’ve been working with, they bought a second building that they own instead of having to pay lease on it…and now they’re consolidating all their production lines into one building and doing a lot more work with mezzanines to where they can put the storage of products above the office and production lines.”
- 5S: Many manufacturers we spoke to during Modex indicated that 5S, a workplace organizational and housekeeping methodology, is a trend in the industry right now. According to the EPA, “implementation of this method ‘cleans up’ and organizes the workplace basically in its existing configuration and it is typically the first lean method which organizations implement.” To learn more about the concept, take a look at Lista’s white paper on implementing 5S workplace organization in manufacturing facilities.
As evidenced by our series of interviews at Modex, manufacturers are giving renewed attention to maximizing space and capacity in the workplace this year. Stay tuned for additional takeaways from Modex!