Sunglasses detect fatigue

An Australian sleep expert has developed a method for detecting drowsiness with what looks like an ordinary pair of sunglasses.

Sleep Diagnostics will show its Optalert™ system at this year’s Freight Expo in Melbourne.

Developed by leading Australian sleep expert Dr Murray Johns, Optalert is a scientifically proven system that provides advice to the driver of impending drowsiness before they fall asleep at the wheel.

The Optalert glasses look and feel like an ordinary pair of sunglasses, but a small sensor emits pulses of invisible light to measure eye and eyelid movement.

An in-dash processing unit analyses the data and emits an audible warning if it detects that the driver’s level of drowsiness is becoming dangerous.

Sleep Diagnostics CEO Phil Burke says Optalert had been adopted by some of the biggest names in the transport and mining sectors.

“Toll Liquid Distribution and Linfox are early adopters in the transport sector, while Anglo Coal, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto have installed Optalert™ into their mining haul trucks,” he says.

According to Burke, Optalert is the world’s first validated system for providing early warnings of drowsiness.

“Tough new fatigue management regulations for the transport industry highlight the danger of drowsiness on the roads, and Optalert will reduce drowsy-related accidents,” he says.

“Under chain of responsibility regulations for fatigue management, all parties must ensure they do not breach the duty of care by their demands, actions or inactions, so Optalert can play a key role in the chain of responsibility.”http://www.optalert.comFreight Expo 2007 runs from 19 to 21 September at Caulfield Race Course in Melbourne.

For more information on Optalert visit www.optalert.com.

Two awards for Eye-Catcher

Adelaide based warehouse design business Eye-Catcher Innovations has won two at the Telstra South Australian Business Awards.

Eye-Catcher Innovations won the Australian Government Micro-business Award for businesses with five employees or fewer, and was also successful in the AMP Innovation Award category, for businesses that have recently introduced an innovative procedure, product or service.

Eye-Catcher Innovations specialise in the cost-effective design of warehouse safety and point-of-sale products.

Established in 2003, the Hilton-based business currently offers three product ranges: warehouse column protectors, indoor/outdoor safety sign holders and indoor/outdoor point-of-sale sign holders.

Eye-Catcher Innovations has achieved international success with its warehouse column protector, Protect-it™, which is designed to minimise forklift damage to pallet racking by absorbing large impacts and preventing rack collapse, as well as improving workplace safety.

Exports account for 85 per cent of Protect-it™ sales, which is sold throughout Australia, Europe, South Africa, USA and Canada.Eye-Catcher Innovations will now progress to Sydney where they will contest the Australian Government Micro-Business Award and the AMP Innovation Award against winners from other states.

Designed to support and recognise Australian businesses with 100 employees or fewer, the Telstra Business Awards were initiated in 1992.

Since then, the program has become one of the most prestigious and highly regarded awards programs in Australia.

For more information about the Telstra Business Awards, please visit the website: www.TelstraBusinessAwards.telstra.com

Greenlighting efficiency

With increased international attention focused on the environmental impact of manufacturing and transportation, today’s leading companies are using cutting-edge technology to “go green” across the supply chain.

In addition to boosting a company’s reputation in the minds of consumers, applying a “green” mindset to supply chain processes can also deliver financial benefits, including reduced costs in key areas such as materials, labor and transportation.

Balancing environmental objectives with strategic and financial goals is a tricky business, according to Supply Chain consultancy RedPrairie, there are simple, cost-effective ways for companies to help their supply chains better support their environmental goals.

Creating a “green” supply chain can be easier than you think Going “green” means committing to change, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be a painful, expensive, or lengthy process.

Every step to increase efficiency throughout the system adds up, and the overall impact can make a dramatic difference—for both the environment and the bottom line.

At RedPrairie, we’re committed to developing the technology, solutions, and strategies needed to create more cost-efficient—and environmentally sustainable—supply chains.

Here are 7 “greenlight” supply chain initiatives that can help you meet your company’s environmental goals.

1. Optimize Your Routing and Consolidation

The opportunity

Inefficient planning and routing of transportation units and fleet operations can lead to enormous amounts of wasted fuel—and time. Optimized routing and consolidation provides the ‘best possible path’ through a series of stops and ensures your drivers spend as little time as possible at each stop.

It also maximizes the usage of each trailer load shipped, resulting in fewer loads overall.

The environmental impact

RedPrairie has found that our fleet clients save an average of 10-15% in miles driven from improved routing and consolidation. This translates into a direct reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.

According to EPA estimates, every gallon of diesel consumed creates 22.2 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

If every driver in a fleet of 50 trucks drove 5 fewer miles a day through optimized routing and planning, after one year it would save 1.5 million pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere—not to mention substantially reducing fuel consumption and fuel costs.

In addition, optimized routing reduces idling time, and better consolidation of shipments reduces loading and

unloading times.

2. Improve Your Fleet Management

The opportunity

Do you often wonder:

• How fast are my drivers really going?

• How long are my trucks idling?

• Where are my drivers?

• How many trucks or drivers do I really need today?

Fleet tracking, or Fleet Visibility, helps you track vehicle movements and monitor performance with real-time feedback on route productivity.

At RedPrairie, we’ve found the lack of fleet visibility results in enormous workforce inefficiencies and fuel waste. Incorporating GPS tracking and monitoring into your fleet operations is a relatively easy fix for companies looking to reduce their overall carbon emissions footprint.

The environmental impact

Better fleet tracking allows for more efficient management of resources and reduces the overall amount of diesel fuel consumed.

According to the EPA, truck and rail transportation consumes 35 billion gallons of fuel a year, producing 350 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Improved fleet management can make a significant dent in the overall environmental impact of transportation.

Some of the greatest environmental benefits from fleet tracking come from the reduction in idling time and improved equipment use.

Our RedPrairie Fleet Visibility customers are typically able to reduce idling by 30%. Moreover, approximately 15 states and dozens of county governments have proposed laws to restrict the amount of time a vehicle can idle its main engine. Thus, reducing the amount of idling in your fleet can have significant legal, financial, and environmental benefits.

In addition, fleet tracking solutions can help you determine an improved fleet strategy—helping you better plan your equipment purchases and usage.

One grocer cut 83,000 gallons of diesel fuel and half-million miles by switching from single trailers to tandem trailers at its distribution centre.

The tractors also have computer controls that limit cruising speeds to 65 mph, and automatically turn off engines after five minutes of idling (Timesunion.com, “EPA program cuts grocer’s emissions,” June 24, 2007).

3. Increase Your Global Transport Efficiency

The opportunity

Delays due to port clearance documentation, poor duty payment coordination, or general lack of visibility into your global supply chain can create significant inefficiencies across your operations.

Our global transport solutions can help you increase efficiency by improving the coordination, strategy, and logistics surrounding the movement of goods through multiple countries.

With an increasing number of materials being shipped from Asia and Latin America, the overall environmental impact of those shipments can be reduced through better, more efficient coordination and tracking.

The environmental impact

When goods are stuck in ports or in customs, most companies worry about the sales impact. However, there is also an environmental impact that results from the storage and inefficient movement of those goods.

Gaining clear visibility into the movement of goods allows you to optimize routes and modes of transport around each final destination—for example using large capacity containers for unloading in ports near areas of high demand, and smaller containers for cities with lower demand.

This type of optimized international multi-modal transport can exert a smaller impact on the environment by increasing transportation efficiency.

4. Create System-generated Tasks and Communications

The opportunity

Most warehouses still rely on paper-based methods of communication. However, electronic interfaces, RFID, voice-based technologies, and electronic Advanced Ship Notices (ASNs) can significantly reduce the need for paper in the warehouse.

In addition to reducing paper consumption, system-generated tasks, and specifically ASNs, make receiving more efficient—which in turn impacts the overall efficiency of trucks and warehouse personnel.

Our complete suite of system task and communication tools can help you integrate critical systems to increase the efficiency of your operations.

The environmental impact

Roughly 170 trees are destroyed for every 500,000 pieces of paper at postcard weight (“Recycled Papers: The Essential Guide,” Claudia Thompson).

This doesn’t include the carbon dioxide emissions and greenhouse gases generated in the production of the paper.

Cutting unnecessary paper use from your warehouses can generate a quick “green” return on investment.

5. Take Full Advantage of Improved Packaging Strategies

The opportunity

There is an increased global focus on reducing the impact of packaging on waste systems and landfills. However, there are also additional steps that can be taken within the supply chain to ensure that reduced packaging, storage containers and transportation supplies are used as efficiently as possible.

While many companies are transitioning to reduced packaging materials, some do not reconfigure their shelving to take full advantage of those gains.

Our warehouse management solutions can help you streamline storage and accurately track crates and pallets so transportation materials can be more easily recycled and reused.

The environmental impact

In Europe, und
er the European Union’s Packaging Waste Directive, manufacturers already pay for collection and recycling of packaging waste based on the material and weight of their packages.

In the United States, many retailers and some states have established packaging material mandates.

One of the most famous companies mandating packaging changes is Wal-Mart. The company’s “Packaging Scorecard” is a measurement tool that allows suppliers to evaluate their packaging against all the other packaging in a product segment. Scores are calculated based on the following weights:

· 15% for greenhouse gas/carbon dioxide generation per ton of production;

· 15% for material value;

· 15% for product/package ratio;

· 15% for container cube utilization;

· 10% for transportation;

· 10% for recycled content;

· 10% for recovery value;

· 5% for renewable energy; and

· 5% for innovation

(Source: www.walmartfacts.com).

Packages that score well on one criterion may not rate as high in another, indicating an area of potential improvement. Since each package is compared with its peers, a ranking can change if another supplier improves its packaging.

Last year, Wal-Mart’s Canadian operation switched several shipping crates from cardboard to plastic, allowing them to be reused about 60 times on average, as opposed to the single-use cardboard design.

The company estimates it saved $4.5 million from the switch, reduced waste by 1,400 tons, and reduced carbon emissions by 10,000 tons due to the elimination of cardboard production.

The Canadian initiative is now being replicated in other Wal-Mart operations around the world (Source:

Wal-Mart Canada).

6. Deliver on Energy Conservation Strategies in Your Warehouses ]

The opportunity

There are a variety of ways to increase energy-efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of warehouses—from energy-saving motion sensors for lights, to solar power and reusable pallets.

In the U.S. alone, more than 2 billion wooden pallets are used every year, the equivalent of approximately 1 million acres of hardwood forest.

Even small changes such as switching to reusable pallets and creating more efficient shelving or forklift routing can have a significant impact on the overall environmental footprint of a warehouse.

For over 30 years, RedPrairie has worked with clients across every facet of distribution operations to increase efficiency.

Our Warehouse Management solutions can help you improve shelving strategies and create more efficient loading processes so materials can be off-loaded in order of delivery, reducing the idling time and fuel consumption for each truckload.

RedPrairie’s load optimization software virtually determines optimal loading and weight distribution to meet Department of Transportation standards which are designed to help minimize the environmental impact of transporting goods.

When combined with our Workforce Management solutions, RedPrairie can even allow you to establish and track key performance indicators for environmental initiatives such as recycling, energy-efficiency or load efficiency down to the individual employee level.

The environmental impact

Based on EPA estimates, the average energy cost per square foot for a non-refrigerated warehouse is approximately $1.00, and the average energy cost per square foot for a refrigerated warehouse is

$1.45. Running a more energy-efficient warehouse provides the opportunity to cut those costs down significantly and allows you to rely less on non-sustainable energy resources.

Examples of RedPrairie clients who have achieved significant gains in energy efficiency include

PepsiCo and Subaru.

PepsiCo has made a companywide commitment to environmental action, including using more solar energy at its facilities, recycling water, and purchasing renewable energy credits that subsidize the development of clean sources such as wind power (USA Today, “Eco-marketing a hot topic for advertisers at Cannes,” June 22, 2007).

Subaru was the first automotive plant in America to achieve zero landfill status, with a 99% recycle rate.

That same plant was also the first U.S. auto plant designated as a wildlife habitat (Source: Subaru).

7. Improve Labor Management

The opportunity

By combining the schedule, time clock, task list, online courseware, and performance metrics into a single touch screen user interface that’s role-specific, your employees can do more, use less paper, and see instant results. These tools also allow store and warehouse management to improve how they manage and schedule people.

Preferred MethodsSM and Standards are another way to create a more efficient workforce.

Preferred MethodsSM focus on how a job should be performed by your employees.

Preferred MethodsSM also act as instructive tools for managers to coach individual employees on how to perform their role most efficiently by eliminating wasted effort—enabling employees to work smarter rather than harder.

The environmental impact

In 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that Americans spend more than 100 hours a year commuting to work. Making sure your facilities are staffed correctly can eliminate unnecessary trips by employees, reducing the overall fuel consumption needed to get your employees to and from work.

More importantly, improved labour automation and training tools can make your people more efficient, requiring less overtime.

Also, with improved labor efficiency you have the opportunity to give your employees paid time off for training or volunteering. RedPrairie offers its employees two days of paid time off every year to volunteer.

Every step matters

Every initiative to improve efficiency that you greenlight is another opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of your supply chain.

From more efficient store operations that consolidate and reduce the number of inter-store transfers and replenishment shipments, to tools that allow you to improve the accuracy of shipments, and better inventory controls to reduce waste from overproduction, technology will continue to lead the way for greener, more efficient supply chains.

About RedPrairie

RedPrairie is a world leading consumer driven optimization company. Built on an advanced Service Oriented

Architecture (SOA) developed over the past 10 years, the RedPrairie integrated suite of solutions offers on-demand capabilities to over 25,000 sites worldwide for many of the world’s largest companies.

RedPrairie’s E2e™ solutions synchronize people and products throughout the customer buying cycle to ensure goods reach the right place at the right time.

At the point of sale, this means consumers have access to desired products and that the store is staffed with the right people to help them make their purchases. In the production cycle, it means suppliers and manufacturers time and synchronise shipments and production based on demand signals from the retailer. And in the back room of the store, it means having the least amount of inventory, solving the “last yard” problem of the retail supply chain.

With 20 global service sites and standard service methods that have been validated over the last 30 years,

RedPrairie provides unparalleled service and support.

For additional information, call 1.877.733.7724, or

access www.RedPrairie.com.

New industry skills advisory initiative

A new consulting service from Victoria University’s Institute for Logistics and Supply Chain Management provides the means to identify logistics workforce training needs and offer advice on training solutions tailored to fit your business and your budget.

The Industry Skills Adviser program (ISA) offers the tools to optimise profit and capitalise on a company’s Logistics workforce skills, delivering:

· Reduced total logistics costs

· Improved customer satisfaction levels

· Increased supply chain capabilities with customers

· Better relationships with customers and suppliers

· Improved workforce problem solving

· Increased performance and building stronger teams

· Improved workplace safety, including auditing of current practices and critical incident management

ISA Program Manager Geoff Rigby says the initiative offers three levels of service.

“Level 1 is a complimentary 90 minute review of the client’s logistics operations complete with fully costed ‘training solutions’ proposal, with reference to any specific concerns you raise thought the consultation,” he explains.

Level 2 involves a two day survey of a company’s logistics operations and Level 3 entails a comprehensive audit of a company’s logistics, distribution, warehouse health and safety status, and related supply chain operations.

“Level 3 also enables a company’s initial concerns raised in the complimentary review to be addressed,” Rigby says.

“The delivery of logistics training and education solutions to specifically meet individual companies’ skills and capability requirements will be managed by ILSCM, on behalf of VU, and its partner organisations.”

For more information:

03 9919 6253 or email geoff.rigby@vu.edu.au

Cold Chain Conference

The 2007 Refrigerated Warehouse and Transport Association of Australia (RWTA)/Global Cold Chain Alliance Conference and Exhibition will be held from August 19th to 22nd at the Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove in Queensland.

With the theme ‘competitive advantage in the global cold chain’, the conference will reflect the positive outlook of the industry as a result of new global affiliations.

A range of Australian and international speakers from the cold chain, general business sector and commercial organisations will cover key industry issues aimed to assist delegates to successfully manage growth.

For more information, or to register, visit the RWTA website.

New seafood research centre

Australia’s seafood industry will benefit from a new research centre in South Australia that will focus on value-adding seafood products, better management practices, and improved access to premium export markets.

Scientists from the new Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre (Seafood CRC) will benefit the seafood processing industry in particular by looking at processing along the supply chain and developing better approaches to marketing seafood, as well as examining critical issues in managing delivery along the value chain for the aquaculture and wild-catch industries.

The Seafood CRC brings together the expertise of universities, research organisations, peak bodies and seafood industry stakeholders to increase the sustainability and profitability of the seafood sector.

Warehouse staff productivity boost

Leading UK retailer of value books, crafts and gifts, The Works is optimising labour productivity at its 24 x 7 Sutton Coldfield distribution centre using Workforce Management from RedPrairie.

With annual revenues of £100 million and 2,500 employees, The Works stocks items from 500 suppliers and introduces around 100 new product lines each week at its 300 stores.

The company implemented Workforce Management to build on the 25% increase in picking efficiency already achieved with RedPrairie’s Warehouse Management solution and to transform the performance of its warehouse operatives.

The Works Supply Chain Manager Diane Smith says managers now benefit from dynamic workforce reporting functionality via a PC-based user interface that delivers accurate expectations for picking tasks, taking into account preferred work methods, such as travel distances, weight and environmental factors.

In just five months, operator productivity has grown by 25% while increased employee motivation has reduced staff turnover.

In addition, new starters are trained faster and with best-practice operating methods that enable them to be productive from day one. The system has already paid for itself and there are further benefits expected.

Real-time monitoring enables team-leaders to measure the up-to-the-minute performance of individuals or teams and alerts them to potential problems before they disrupt warehouse operations.

Workforce Management’s job costing functionality ensures that labour costs are allocated correctly while its web-based reporting tools provide timely insight into irregularities.

“Implementing RedPrairie’s Workforce Management solution has created a performance-focused culture at the Works that supports the company’s commitment to developing employees potential and rewarding their loyalty and dedication to serving customers,” Smith comments.

“As a finalist in the 2005 Investors in People Award for Business Improvement Through People™, The Works has already been recognised for the value it places on staff training and development.”

Following the implementation of Workforce Management, operatives now fully understand expectations and opportunities and are better motivated to contribute at a higher level than ever before in a fairer system that rewards above-average performers.

Workforce Management also helps managers identify process weaknesses and other problems that prevent staff from reaching their targets and enables less productive team members to be given the assistance they need to reach their potential.

With the success of RedPrairie’s Workforce Management solution at Sutton Coldfield, The Works plans to capitalise on its investment and maximise the benefits to its business.

The company is evaluating RedPrairie’s retail workforce solutions for its 300 retail outlets that are set to increase in number to 400 over the next few years.

Leveraging its investment in RedPrairie’s productivity-enhancing solutions will help boost employee performance and efficiency throughout the entire supply chain and retail operations.

“RedPrairie’s workforce management suite reinforces our position as an employer who recognises that staff motivation and development are key to business productivity and growth,” says Smith.

“Workforce Management makes workers self-accountable for their performance, enabling supervisors to become coaches and mentors, which results in a more efficient business and rewarding workplace.”

Workforce Management’s sophisticated work forecasting capabilities will optimise use of personnel resources at The Works, resulting in improved delivery times to stores and a better service to end customers.

The Works Chief Executive Derek Hine says implementing Workforce Management builds on the company’s strategy to maximise the value of RedPrairie’s Warehouse Management solution (WMS).

“This will help us meet our growth targets while continuing to reduce order fulfilment and labour costs.”

“We are delighted to have increased operative performance by 25% within a few months of go-live and confidently expect even greater workforce efficiencies with Workforce Management in the years to come,” he says.

RedPrairie Managing Director and President International says The Works’ success testifies to the deserved reputation of RedPrairie’s workforce optimisation solutions for retail and our undisputed market leadership in this sector.

“We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership with The Works as they continue to drive revenues and profitability through innovation in their stores and supply chain operations.”

Consumers go green

An increasing number of Australian consumers are becoming ‘eco shoppers’ and don’t mind paying a little bit extra to clear their conscience, according to organic retail success story, Pierce Cody, Director, Macro Wholefoods.

Having effectively expanded an organic food store in Bondi Junction into a chain of eight supermarket/cafes in Sydney and Melbourne, Cody believes that consumers are becoming more environmentally aware and are looking to retailers for eco-friendly stores, products and experiences, regardless of the bottom line.

“Retailers need to stay attuned to customer feedback, and ‘conscious consumers’, as I like to call them, are impressed by eco-friendly retailers,” said Cody, who will present Price is not as relevant when your store is in tune with your customers at Australia’s leading retail conference.

Eco-shoppers tend to ‘interrogate’ product labels, marketing campaigns and staff, all with the planet’s wellbeing in mind. They are however, willing to overlook higher prices if retailers offer genuine ‘green’ options.

“Today’s conscious consumers expect retailers to be ‘green’ and are willing to pay for that because they also get the ‘feel good’ feeling that comes with making the choice to look after the environment,” he said.

“Like all things, some consumers will see eco shopping as a passing fad, whilst some others have it truly embedded in their psyche, and they are becoming a growing majority.”

Cody will feature amongst an impressive line up of speakers at the National Retail Forum, including one of Al Gore’s Climate Change Leaders, Gilbert Rochecouste, Director, Village Well. Rochecouste will discuss examples of Australian, European and US retailers that are profiting from making environmental statements.

Running alongside the National Retail Forum is Retail Expo Australasia, Australia’s largest retail exhibition. Showcasing environmentally friendly products including energy efficient lighting systems with 50,000 hour life and solar guard roofing that blocks over 99 per cent of ultraviolet radiation and 95 per cent of infrared heat, Retail Expo will offer retailers the information and products they need to respond to this growing window of opportunity.

Kennards rolls out the forklifts

Kennards Hire has introduced new-model Toyota forklifts into other parts of its extensive branch network after a successful start in Melbourne.

Dual-powered (LPG and petrol), 42-7FG25 model forklifts, which are road registered and can fit inside a container, can now also be hired from Kennards’ outlets in Sydney and  Perth.

Because Kennards has so many locations – more than 90 across Australia – the machines can be accessed quickly, particularly for short-term needs such as emergencies, overload, seasonal requirements and casual hire.

Brisbane-based Hedgehog Events used the new forklifts to erect and dismantle a stand at the Queensland on Show jobs expo, which was staged in Melbourne in August and Sydney in October.

More than 5000 people in each city visited the expo to explore the opportunity of starting a new life up north. Hedgehog Events had responsibility for the Queensland Government stand.

“We use Kennards because they have locations wherever we work throughout Australia, and we know we are going to get good quality equipment,” Hedgehog Events’ managing director Shane Rushbrook said.

Other forklift models are available elsewhere in the Kennards’ network.

CHEP snares Woolworths deal

CHEP has announced a six-year service agreement with Australia’s leading fresh food retailer Woolworths Limited.

Under the agreement, CHEP will supply and manage its specially-designed collapsible produce crates to Woolworths’ Vendors who will exclusively provide Produce packed in the new crates to Woolworths supermarkets across Australia and New Zealand.

The president of CHEP Asia-Pacific, Howard Wigham, said the agreement was the largest in the history of CHEP in the Asia-Pacific region, and would double CHEP’s ‘Fresh’ business.

“This agreement will set a benchmark in supply chain efficiency, safety and environmental performance, placing leading-edge foldable crates into Australia’s fresh produce supply chain, delivering best-in-class performance for the first time,” Mr Wigham said.

“It covers the supply, tracking, retrieval and inspection of used crates, and the repairing, washing and relocating of the crates for their next use.

The reusable, returnable and recyclable crates will carry produce from farm to supermarket shelves.

Mr Wigham said CHEP Asia-Pacific searched the globe to develop a fresh produce system that delivers optimal value, helps reduce OH&S risks associated with manual handling, is environmentally efficient and protects the quality of produce from the farm to the supermarket shelf.

As part of the undertaking, CHEP will upgrade its crate-washing service centre network with recycling systems that cut water usage and sewer discharge by up to 90 per cent.

“This major initiative will help us work towards our vision of leaner, greener and safer supply chain solutions across Asia-Pacific,” Mr Wigham said.

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