Tuesday, May 31, 2011

U.S. employers are struggling to find available talent

Interesting article on the availability of talent from Supply Chain Management Review

The number of employers struggling to fill positions is at an all-time survey high despite an unemployment rate that has diminished only marginally during the last year

Manpower Group has released the results of its sixth-annual Talent Shortage Survey, revealing that 52 percent of U.S. employers are experiencing difficulty filling supply chain positions within their organizations, up from 14 percent in 2010.

The number of employers struggling to fill positions is at an all-time survey high despite an unemployment rate that has diminished only marginally during the last year. U.S. employers are struggling to find available talent more than their global counterparts, one in three of whom are having difficulty filling positions.

According to the more than 1,300 U.S. employers surveyed, the jobs that are most difficult to fill include skilled trades, sales representatives and engineers, all of which have appeared on the U.S. list multiple times in the past. The survey also highlights the most common reasons employers say they are having trouble filling jobs, including candidates looking for more pay than is offered, lack of technical skills and lack of experience.

“The fact that companies cite a lack of skills or experience as a reason for talent shortages should be a wake-up call for employers, academia, government and individuals,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president of the Americas.

“It is imperative that these stakeholders work together to address the supply-and-demand imbalance in the labor market in a systematic, agile and sustainable way. There may also be an increasing imbalance between employers willingness to pay higher salaries in what is still a soft general labor market compared to the salary expectations of prospective employees, especially those with skills that are in high demand.”

Dr. Theodore P. Stank, Bruce Chair of Excellence in Business, University of Tennessee told LM—SCMR’s sister publication—in a recent interview that supply chain professionals need to “reinvent” themselves:

“Machinery and technology can become obsolete in a short time, but the same is true of people in the workforce,” he said. Unless you continue to grow and take on new responsibilities a person becomes stale and vulnerable,” he said.

ManpowerGroup surveyed almost 40,000 employers across 39 countries and territories as part of its annual Talent Shortage Survey. Globally, 34 percent of employers say they are having difficulty filling positions, the three most challenging of which are Technicians, Sales Representatives and Skilled Trades. The reasons most often cited are lack of experience, lack of available applicants and lack of technical skills. Among the 39 countries and territories surveyed, employers are having the most difficulty finding the right people to fill jobs in Japan (80 percent), India (67 percent) and Brazil (57 percent).

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor

May 25, 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

10 Ways To Save Money By Reducing Forklift Repair Costs

Found this great article on how to reduce forklift repair costs from RackExpress.  Thought I would repost it.

1. Replace worn tires and wheels.

Forklifts have almost no suspension. Worn or chunked tires cause excessive jarring and shaking of mechanical, electrical and hydraulic systems. Consider different tire materials and durometers that offer more shock absorption and wear life for load wheels and forklift tires.  We are currently offering a special for tire replacement

2. Eliminate sources of tire chunking and flat-spotting.

Don’t let wooden pallet debris, plastic wrap, trash or manufacturing scrap lay on warehouse and production floors. Small pieces of wood ruin load wheels, especially on walkie-rider pallet trucks. Plastic wrap damages wheel bearings when it gets wrapped around wheel assemblies. Clean your floors frequently and consider plastic or metal pallets.

3. Repair damaged floors and thresholds.

Crossing a bad threshold or hitting holes repeatedly in a lift truck can cause serious damage to the tires, as well as the electrical, hydraulic and mechanical systems. A few dollars of epoxy patch can save thousands in wheel replacement.

4. Stop inching pedal abuse.

Inching pedal misuse and abuse can lead to costly transmission failure. Forklifts with inching pedals are prone to abuse if operators are not trained in proper use.

5. Reduce impact damage.

Stop running into things…Seriously consider impact or shock alarms to help monitor operator and truck incidents. Improper truck selection, aisles that are too narrow and improperly trained operators can all be causes of unnecessary impact damage.

6. Invest in forklift operator safety training.

Commit to quality training and ongoing testing for your operators and you will see reduced forklift damage and inventory damage.

7. Schedule preventative maintenance.

Scheduled preventative maintenance will save you a great deal of money in the long run by preventing major component failures that require costly repairs, reduce your available forklift fleet and often require you to rent a forklift.

8. Make sure your forklift operators have the right truck for the right application.
If your warehouse staff is using a Narrow Aisle Reach truck to run down a ramp and into an outdoor yard, putting pallets into racking using an Orderpicker (don’t laugh), using a 4-wheel sit-down counterbalanced truck to store and retrieve pallets in a 120” wide aisle you may want to re-evaluate your truck selection.

9. Monitor your maintenance costs per hour on each truck.

What is your service company charging you for similar jobs on similar trucks? Is your cost per hour to operate your trucks different? You may discover that one or more of your trucks may be a lemon. If you keep pouring money into a truck in may make sense to put it out of its misery. Consider outsourced fleet service audits or fleet maintenance software.

10. Don’t forget battery maintenance and battery charging education.

Electric lift trucks can have one of several types of lead acid batteries. Some require watering, while some are sealed and require very little maintenance, or are “maintenance free”. Some batteries don’t mind opportunity charging, that is charging when the battery is not completely discharged, but some do. Improper watering and charging can cause trucks to run hot which is very damaging to the expensive electrical components. Check our our video on proper battery handling and truck charging. Make sure all of your batteries are in good working condition and do not have dead cells.

Source: Rackexpress

Friday, May 27, 2011

We salute our troops, past, present and future!

On the eve of this wonderful three day weekend, all of us at  Hyundai Forklift of Southern California would like to take this opportunity to thank those wonderful people of our armed forces who protect this great country. We would also like to remember those people who have given their lives in the line of duty that have allowed this great country to be what it is today. Thank you!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Southern California Industrial Real Estate - Market Starting to Firm Up!

The industrial real estate market in Southern California is starting to firm up. There is optimism among owners and developers and they are sensing less risk. Two examples of this are the Watson Land Company and The O’Donnell Group, both breaking ground on speculative projects. The O’Donnell Group broke ground on a 64-acre speculative industrial park called Banning Industrial Park that will include 12 buildings totaling over 1.2 million square feet. The Watson Land Company has broken ground on a 616,542 square-foot industrial building in Redlands despite not having a tenant lined up for the property. It is the first speculative industrial building to get underway in the Inland Empire since 2009.

“The absorption rate for larger industrial buildings within the Inland Empire market has increased significantly in the past year,” observed Lance Ryan, Watson Land’s vice president of marketing and leasing. “This has led to a supply constrained market for properties above 500,000 square feet, with continuing strong demand for new product among large corporate users and third party logistics companies.”

Year to date, there have been approximately 375 industrial sale transactions with a value just over $1 Billion Dollars. The average price per square foot was approximately $65 per square foot and the average Cap Rate was around 6.5%. The average size transaction was $6.4 Million Dollars. Demand for well located industrial property remains strong and the prospects for a strong second half in 2011is outstanding. As the economy improves and jobs increase, the industrial market will be the first to feel its effects. Over the next 24 months, jobs should increase, vacancies decrease with rents and values stabilizing and potentially increasing. However, it is a great time for the private investor to buy, as the institutions are for the most part are still on the sidelines.

Remember when investing to make sure the “cash flow” can cover all expenses, including debt, and still provide you with a good return. Also be careful that your “equity” can cover any improvements or re-zoning that is necessary to stabilize the property and do your homework to enhance the opportunity for “appreciation” over the next 5-10 years. And, most importantly, quantify your “risk”. Look at the worst case scenario, loss of tenant and equity infusion for tenant improvement, versus the best case, a long term high credit tenant. Reality is probably somewhere in between. And as always, “location, location, location”.

Article Submited by: Mark Larson President Lee & Associates

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Choosing a Forklift Preventive Maintenance Program - Seven Important Factors

When buying either a new or used fork lift, the secret to a good return on your investment is a quality preventative maintenance program. While sourcing a forklift maintenance program for your fork lift in Orange County or Los Angeles County, there are seven factors that should be included in any program you select.  Keep in mind that a preventive maintenance program is not meant to eliminate the need for maintenance. Instead it should reduce the amount of lost productive time due to a malfunctioning lift truck.

First of all, any good maintenance program should be completed on a regular schedule. Depending on how actively you use your forklift, maintenance should be done on a set schedule. So any provider you choose to go with should be able to keep track of your maintenance schedule and inform you when it needs to be performed next. Most forklift manufacturers require their products have a preventive maintenance process completed every 150 - 200 hours of operation.

Next, you should look for a service provider that is capable of maintaining a history of your forklift maintenance performed, as well as repairs completed. This is critical for a many reasons. It allows you to understand how much you are spending on this process as well as to identify recurring issues. It will also allow your provider to customize your maintenance program to fit your use and operation. So if you have a dirty operation, the provider will know to always come prepared with new filters because the old ones are probably going to be dirty.

Any reasonable preventative maintenance program should have a comprehensive and thorough inspection and function testing checklist. This is the list of specific items that the technician will inspect and perform on your equipment to make sure it is in the best running condition possible. You should ask to review this checkout sheet when interviewing a service provider and see if it covers the items specific to your equipment and operating environment. Once you and your provider have agreed the checklist is right for your equipment, the service provider should provide a completed copy of the checklist each time your preventive maintenance program is completed.

One of the most simple but probably least understood processes in a preventative maintenance program is the cleaning of your lift truck. The number one cause of forklift downtime is dirt and debris. A preventive maintenance program is only as good as the cleaning your fork lift receives. Make sure that your provider is taking the time to clean your lift thoroughly including, but not limited to, blowing out the radiator with compressed air, wiping down the hydraulic cylinders, and replacing dirty filters with clean ones.

Upon completing a thorough cleaning of your forklift, your service provider should lubricate you forklift in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. This should be done with quality lubricants and in adequate amounts to assure those parts that move will move with ease and reduce wear.

Use only quality replacement parts on your lift truck. They should meet all of the forklift manufacturer’s specifications.

Finally, a good preventive maintenance program for your forklift should be at a fair price. Typically, to do this job properly, a mechanic should need one to one and a half hours to get everything done correctly. So the cost should be reflective on the time spent.

If you are looking for a good preventive maintenance program in Los Angeles County or Orange County give us a call at Hyundai Forklift of Southern California at 800-660-5241 or email us.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Forklift Safety - Performing Daily Safety Inspections

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) forklift standard for powered industrial truck training [29 CFR 1910.178(l)], forklift operators are to be trained on a variety of subjects regarding forklift safety.  One of those items is the proper daily inspection of the operators forklift and any maintenance that must be accomplished before work is performed.  Most manufacturers will provide a detailed inspection checklist in the operators manual provided when you purchase a new forklift.   This is definitely something you will find when purchasing a new Forklift from Hyundai Forklift of Southern California.

Sample Inspection Checklist
  Althought these check list may be very detailed, they may not always be fully inclusive of everything your forklift may need to be checked for as a result of additions or modifications made on the lift prior to delivery.  With this in mind, it is a good idea to review these changes with your dealer to make enhancements to your checklist.  It is also a good idea to have the unit inspected regularly by your dealer, who's job it is to stay up to date on changes in technology and safety regulations.

Another significant issue to consider here occurs when purchasing a used forklift.  Rarely does a used forklift come with an operatiors manual.  Check with your dealer to see if they can get copies of the original owners manyual with the maintenance and inspection checklist included.

If you are not able to come up with a source for inspection checklist, OSHA provides some guides for creating your own.  Since there are basically two major types of forklifts, gas/propane/diesel and electric, OSHA offers two sample checklists.  Look for more details on this part of forklift safety training on OSHA's website by clicking here

Don't forget, that Hyundai Forklift of Southern California can help you with this process, just ask our service department.  We also offer Forklift Safety Certification training for experienced operators.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Orderpicker, Stockpicker, Cherrypicker - Hyundai Forklifts Newest Product

An order picker, also known as an “order selector”, “stock picker” or a “cherry picker” is a man up forklift truck. An order picker is one of the most convenient tools for shipping centers and allows mixed product pallets to be put together quickly and efficiently. This is because the operator actually rides up on the platform so that his feet are at the same height as the forks at any given time. This machine is used in warehouses to “pick orders”. In other words, the operator will go up to the level that the product desired is stored and physically pull the items desired and place them on a pallet or platform that is sitting on the forks.

Hyundai Forklift Orderpicker
 Late last week, Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas announced the availability of the new Hyundai Orderpicker line. The line consists of two different capacity units. The 10BOP designed for a lifting capacity of 2,200 lbs and the 13BOP at 3,000 lbs capacity. Both units are designed with the state of the art AC electric systems and controls.

Similar to the other AC powered electric units offered by Hyundai Forklift, this unit incorporates the ZAPI AC control system. Unique to this control system is the ability to adjust parameters for regen-braking, plugging, performance modes anti-rollback features. The onboard self-diagnostic LCD monitor not only allows you to monitor speed, battery discharge level and the hour meter but is also displays the alarm codes and diagnostics display. The availability of this information allows for troubleshooting and adjustment of the equipment without a laptop or handset.

These units come with the option for two or three stage masts. The available mast sizes range for 128” all the way up to 366”. These masts have also been designed for high visibility through the mast opening.

The Orderpickers can be outfitted with 36 or 48 volt industrial batteries, which allows for long and strong operating periods.

To top this all off, this unit comes with a three year, 4000 hour warranty on the entire forklift. Get more detailed information on this product, including pricing and availability by contacting Hyundai Forklift of Southern California at 800-660-5241