MSC is a leading value-added distributor of metalworking and maintenance and repair and operations (“MRO”) supplies.
MSC offers more than 1 million industrial products at its 5 customer fullfillment centers across North America.
The use of mobile carts in the receiving process is not new to MSC. Operations had previously developed prototype mobile carts using several old aluminum picking carts and configuring equipment (batteries, chargers, and inverters) that were carried from its industrial stock.
It did not take long for MSC managers to realize expected gains in efficiency by processing receipts directly at the receiving docks. However, MSC soon realized it needed more durable carts to maintain the efficiency improvements while meeting increasing customer demands for quick product delivery.
Shane Honig, senior industrial engineer at MSC:
“Our customers have to get their products to market faster, so they are demanding more speed from us. We had to look for the next generation of mobile carts.”
The company looked to Newcastle Systems to provide new carts, purposely designed for the rugged environment of daily distribution.
Each mobile cart holds everything that receiving personnel need, including a computer and monitor, a wireless scanner, bar code and label printers, a toolbox with box-cutting tools, and other supplies.
The carts also contain maintenance-free batteries, chargers, and inverters to assure that power is maintained for up to 12 hours – plenty of power for a full shift.
The carts also fit well into MSC’s lean distribution processes. Everything is efficiently organized on the carts to assure that workers have what they need to keep product moving.
The Newcastle Systems PC Series Mobile Powered Workstation, boasting a weight capacity of 500 lbs, provides seamless rechargeable power and the ability to run several devices at once (including a laser printer) for 8-12 hours of normal use. This workstation allows operators to perform their tasks wirelessly in a facility, warehouse or distribution center.
Rich Delille, receiving supervisor for floor freight and stock handling:
"We are able to take the cart to the product instead of having the product being brought to us. There are a lot of times when our forklift driver is unloading trailers or busy putting product up in our pickupand- delivery racks for stock handlers to put away. So we are not wasting valuable time waiting to process product.”
Based on the carts' performance at the Columbus, OH location, MSC also plans to install them in facilities in Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. The labor savings alone provide a return on investment of only four to six months.