Automated Vertical Shuttles: Better Inventory Storage Infographic

Better inventory storage is essential for any business. As part of a LEAN plan, improving your storage area creates efficiencies in every aspect of your business – from employee productivity and satisfaction to space management and overhead costs. And this doesn’t just apply to manufacturing facilities. Industries like healthcare and automotive have many of the same needs for LEAN initiatives and better inventory storage.

Adapt Your Storage to Today’s Fast Paced Culture

One of the most significant changes you can make is to invest in the right storage system. While the old racking and shelving systems may have worked in the past, they just don’t cut it anymore in today’s fast paced, instant world. People want items shipped to them overnight, doctors need medical supplies on-hand for surgeries, and cars need to be repaired yesterday.

Automated Vertical Shuttles Make Necessary Changes to Your Storage

The next step in storage is automation. And the best solution for automating your storage is vertical shuttles. The infographic below illustrates why vertical shuttles are the best solution for your inventory storage.

automated vertical shuttle inventory storage infographic

Gain Efficiencies in Every Area of Your Business

The numerous benefits of automation with vertical shuttles include:

  • Saving up to 85% of floor space compared to tradition shelving
  • Reducing picking labor up to 2/3
  • Improving picking accuracy by as much 99.9%
  • Interfacing picking with inventory management software
  • Managing inventory to eliminate stock-outs and reduce stock levels
  • Reducing bottlenecks and improve the flow of materials
  • Securing inventory from unnecessary losses
  • Reducing worker safety claims and enhancing ergonomics

Are You Ready to Take the Next Step?

If you want to learn more about vertical shuttles, we can help. Southwest Solutions Group® has been designing, installing, and servicing automated storage systems for decades. Click here to watch a video and get in contact with the storage expert in your area.


Preventing Sitting Disease & Promoting Workplace Wellness

According to the American Medical Association (AMA), sitting for extended periods of time can be incredibly detrimental to one’s personal health. The sedentary lifestyle of many people, both at work and at home, can be costly. But preventing sitting disease—what experts call the negative consequences brought on by long periods of physical inactivity—and promoting workplace wellness can be as simple as allowing your employees to stand at their leisure and still be able to work comfortably.

What Is Sitting Disease and What Are The Risks?

sit-stand-monitor-mountsA  2008 Vanderbilt University study of 6,300 people estimated that the average American spends 55% of their waking time, or 7.7 hours per day, in sedentary behaviors such as sitting. Excessive sitting has a negative impact on the metabolic system and can lead to increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, depression, cardiovascular disease, and more. “Sitting disease” has even been called “the new smoking” by some experts, as sitting for most of the day can increase the risk of heart attack to “about the same as smoking,” says Martha Grogan, a Cardiologist with Mayo Clinic.

To make matters worse, according to a 2010 report from the University of Queensland School of Population Health, “Even when adults meet physical activity guidelines, sitting for prolonged periods can compromise metabolic health.” So even if your employees are getting regular exercise, sitting all day is still going to negatively affect them.adjustable-sit-stand-monitor-workstation

What Can Be Done?

So what’s the best way to combat sitting disease and ensure that your business is promoting workplace wellness? Both the AMA and the CDC recommend sit/stand desks to allow employees to take control of their health and work environment. And if that wasn’t enough, according to an Ipsos study approximately 60% of employees surveyed were convinced that they would be more productive of they had the option to work on their feet. Three out of four full-time employees of large companies wish they didn’t spend most of their working hours sitting. And 67% of U.S. office workers wish their employers offered desks that could be adjusted for seated or standing work. It isn’t just scientists who are convinced of the benefits of standing at work—it’s employees themselves, too.

A Simple Solution: Sit-Stand Monitor Workstations

sit-stand-workstationsAn effective sitting and standing workstation will allow employees to transition from sitting and standing with minimal effort. A convenient storage tray that can hold your mouse, notebook, keyboard, or other work items adjusts right along with the monitor stand so you can always have your necessary items within the ergonomic reach unique to you. The monitor stands transition and lock into place smoothly with no jerky motions, and adjustments can be done by a single person. The monitor stands are also free-standing, so they can integrate with any desk or work surface so you can use your existing furniture. The stands also allow for individual monitor adjustment, and cable clips and storage trays keep cables secure and out of the way. The monitor stands also come in 1, 2, 3, or 4 monitor configurations.

A 2011 study by the CDC showed that when workers used standing desks and reduced their sitting time by just an hour a day, they reduced they upper back and neck pain by 54% and experienced improvements in their mood. However, it’s important to educate yourself and your employees how they should be standing. Arms should be at a 90 degree angle with wrists in a neutral position, computer monitor at eye level and the screen at a 20 degree tilt, 20 to 28 inches from your eyes; knees should be slightly bent, and employees should wear comfortable flat shoes or even go barefoot, if possible. You also shouldn’t stand all day; chiropractor Dr. Rob DeStefano recommends alternating back and forth between sitting and standing at about 30 minute intervals. He recommends adjustable monitor stands so employees can transition from sitting to standing and vice versa at their leisure.

Contact Us For More Information

Southwest Solutions Group® can help you get started on promoting workplace wellness and providing a healthy, adaptable, and productive working environment for your employees. We will also provide you with a free consultation to determine your exact needs before our process begins. To learn more or to speak with a specialist, give us a call at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.


How Can University Libraries Store More Books in Less Space?

university library book storage

University libraries have the tremendous task of storing all these books, yet have limited funds to get it accomplished. Also, because we are now in the computer and digital technology age, students increasingly need new amenities to be added to the library: computer stations, study spaces, quiet rooms for group meetings, comfortable sofas, and makerspaces.

The Rise of Off-Site Book Storage Depositories

Because of these circumstances, libraries are being put in a very hard place: how do they store more books in less space? Increasingly universities are turning to off-site storage for materials that are valued but rarely used (archives).

In these off-site book depositories, the libraries can preserve these important materials long-term by controlling temperature, humidity, air exchange, and lighting. The problem arising now is that even these off-site storage facilities are becoming full.

The Challenge of Managing Capacity with Budget

What options do libraries have for storing these valuable but rarely used items? They can build more buildings, but that’s too expensive, or they can dispose of a large percentage of library materials, but that’s not desirable. The best option is to better use the current space they have available. How can they do that? The answer is with compact mobile high-bay shelving.

Extend Your Storage Vertically compact high-bay mobile shelving

Compact mobile high-bay shelving extends up to 35 feet in height. The individual shelving units roll on carriages to move together as compactly as possible. Even though the high-bay shelves are extremely tall, they are very simple to move. In fact you can open an aisle space with just the push of a button.

Compact mobile high-bay shelving is cost-efficient and environmentally friendly because its smaller building footprint conserves both space and energy. They are also customizable to meet your library’s unique storage needs.

Protecting Shelving Users and Contents

You might be worried about safety with such a big storage system, but there’s no need with all the safety features. The shelving has electronic systems to stop movement when a person enters an aisle. Also, the shelving is approved for fire safety by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association). And finally, compact mobile high-bay shelving integrates with early fire suppression providing fast response to sprinklers to greatly minimize the risk of fires damaging valuable library collections.

Contact Us for Compact Mobile High-Bay Shelving

Southwest Solutions Group® specializes in designing and installing compact mobile high-bay shelving. Call us today at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message to find out how we can help transform your off-site library storage to store more books in less space.


SSG Scans 7 Million Pages of Medical Records for San Antonio Hospital

Challenges the Hospital Faced While Undergoing a Major Expansiondigitizing hospital medical records

A nationally recognized medical center in San Antonio, Texas, launched a major expansion entitled The Capital Improvement Program. As the largest construction project in the history of Bexar County, the program’s goal is to help the hospital meet the healthcare needs of the growing community and give patients better access to first-class care.

One of the biggest challenges in this expansion project was the relocation of physical medical records. Even though the hospital already migrated a large chunk of their documents to an EMR (Electronic Medical Record) system and instituted a day-forward scanning process, there was still quite a sizeable backlog of existing medical records that needed a new home.

In an attempt to adhere to a tight schedule, it was critical the hospital made timely decisions regarding their medical records. In addition to these concerns, the hospital also needed to ensure that security and access control would meet all HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) requirements, as well as comply with internal best practices.

Strategies SSG Used for Scanning the Hospital’s Medical Records

To avoid the hassles of relocating their physical medical records, the hospital decided the most practical solution was to digitize their medical records in the most cost-effective way possible. After testing the document scanning services of Southwest Solutions Group (SSG), the hospital was confident that it was making the correct choice. According to a hospital executive, “The onsite demonstration, timeliness, and accuracy of the documents tested helped us make the decision.”

With over 40 years of experience in providing business organization systems, SSG was able to quickly provide a hybrid solution for the hospital. The service package, as well as the budget plan, was customizable, enabling the hospital to have full control over their monthly spending.

During the first phase of the document scanning process, SSG identified the hospital’s newest records using barcode technology. This allowed the hospital to pull and manifest records equally throughout the system. After identifying the records, SSG created an inventory and carefully prepared the documents for scanning.

SSG carried out the job at their off-site scanning facility and implemented rigorous quality control procedures throughout the entire process. Films and other unique documents were scanned at high quality levels, sometimes at levels higher than the original file.

After scanning, the digitized documents were sent directly to the hospital’s server using encrypted secure file transfers, allowing hospital staff the ability gain quick access to the records using their own EMR system. Finally, SSG stored the documents during a quality control time period (prior to shredding), enabling the hospital to conduct their own quality control validation.

Positive Results from the Document Scanning Project

SSG was able to scan almost seven million pages, while adjusting productivity levels based on the requirements and requests of the hospital staff. During the scanning process, hospital personnel were free to access these records and enjoy on-demand scanning services as well.

“After only 2 weeks, Southwest Solutions Group was scanning more papers than all hospital departments combined,” stated an executive. “Needless to say, the project was completed ahead of schedule and within budget.”

The document digitization process was seamless and did not disrupt the hospital’s daily workflow. “The SSG team worked diligently during throughout the holidays. They were so quiet; we did not even know they were in the files at times. The productivity level and commitment to the project was outstanding,” noted one hospital staff member. In the end, the hospital was able to avoid the high cost of hiring new personnel and was able to save their most important asset—time.

Contact Us for Help Scanning Your Hospital’s Medical Records

If your healthcare organization is looking for excellent document scanning services that will truly address your unique needs and give you more control over your budget, Southwest Solutions Group is the company for you. Get in touch with us by phone at 1-800-803-1083 or learn more about our free scanning offer today.


Promoting Productivity with Shuttle Storage Automation


Don’t Waste Money

Disorganized parts and inventory? Running out of space? Is your business not as productive as it could be? Shuttle storage automation with vertical lift modules (VLMs) and vertical shuttles can improve productivity, enhance efficiency and throughput, and organize your parts and inventory all while making the best possible use of your existing storage and floorspace. Before investing in costly and time-consuming building expansions, read below to see how shuttle storage automation can meet your specific needs.

Contact Us To Learn More

Southwest Solutions Group® provides design and installation services for vertical lift modules and many other types of shuttle storage automation systems to help your business stay on top. We will also provide you with a free consultation so we can be sure of your exact storage needs and ensure that you’re getting the solution that’s right for you and your business processes. To learn more or to speak with a specialist, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.

Contact Us!
girl with light colored hair with headset and smile on her face
button with words click here
Join Our Email List
Sign Up Now
Follow SSG on Twitter