Top 10 Logistics Innovators

Our annual list of companies whose forward thinking is worth recognizing.


 

Silver Eagle Distributors Turns to Paylode to Fill a Void

Texas-based Silver Eagle Distributors, the nation’s largest Anheuser-Busch distributor and one of the largest Grupo Modelo distributors in the country, recently turned to Paylode Cargo Protection Systems to literally ‘fill a void’ in their fleet operations.

In particular, Silver Eagle was experiencing damages in its route trucks used to ship cased beverage skids in 20-bay roll-up trailers.

“There was a gap between the side walls and the skids of approximately 6 to 10 inches, which was causing the pallets to shift,” explains Justin Stovall, business development manager, Paylode Cargo Systems.

Silver Eagle took a look at different companies’ solutions to “fill the void” in the trailer, but settled on Paylode.

“Paylode engineers designed and developed a customized, reusable void spacer that is comprised of 100 percent recyclable material,” says Stovall. “Silver Eagle was able to eliminate damages due to load shift. Also, the plastic void spacer ‘nests’ down to 1 inch, so it takes up very minimal warehouse space.”

 

Ergologistics Gives Workers a Hand with Lift ’n Buddy

It’s a bold statement to describe your product as the “Future of Hand Trucks,” but Ergologistics, the manufacturer of the Lift ’n Buddy, is living up to the claim.

Lift ’n Buddy is a mobile lifting device that combines the best of a standard two-wheeler’s durability and functionality, with automatic lifting and lowering capabilities.

“We’re targeting the manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, supermarkets, and route-based delivery sectors,” says James Dravitz, director of operations. However, it’s the catch-all “miscellaneous” category that’s also generating a lot of interest in the product.

The miscellaneous category is largely made up of the hospitality industry, says Dravitz, in particular, hotels, restaurants, and bars—workplaces that are associated with a lot of heavy lifting but that can’t accommodate a larger piece of equipment.

Think of the range of employees who work in hotel bars and banquet departments, lifting beer kegs, boxes of beef, and beverages to refill the vending machine, and you can get an idea of how valuable the Lift ’n Buddy is in this setting alone.

According to Aaron Lamb, the company’s president and founder, the ongoing improvement in worker safety standards, especially in Canada and the EU, and to a lesser extent in the U.S., are helping drive interest in the product, which can reduce worker injuries and a company’s liability.

 

Psion Finds Value in Modularity, Community

Psion’s commitment to giving customers a solution that protects their investment earns them a spot on this year’s list. The company’s Omnii handheld products, which can be configured for a variety of users and environments, are also highly cost effective due to their modular design and use of shared components.

The Omnii platform allows companies to save up to 30 percent in hardware costs over the life of the product, according to Psion.

But, it’s Psion’s IngenuityWorking.com Web site that really establishes the company as a logistics innovator.

“IW is an open community, an open source environment,” says Mike Wills, Psion’s vice president, North America. The Web site has been up and running for just over 2 years and has attracted over 18,000 unique subscribers. It’s a community of users, developers, and others who exchange ideas and suggestions, which ultimately make for a better product.

“We’re stronger because of the open commitment to the conversation flow and the input of ideas because of all the submittals, all the conversations, and all the strings,” says Wills. “There’s typically a diamond in there somewhere.”

 

Cheers to AstraPouch for an Alternative to Wine and Spirits Bottles

While consumers took years to adjust to the Stelvin screw cap on wine bottles, the transition to alternative packaging seems to be going a little faster. Undoubtedly, the wider acceptance of more environmentally friendly packaging has something to do with it.

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