4 Ways Urethane Floor Coatings Will Improve Your Industrial Facility

4 Ways Urethane Topcoats Will Improve Your Industrial Facility

Epoxy floor coatings will improve the appearance, longevity and durability of many types of industrial facilities. When Liquid Floors installs epoxy floor coatings, we often suggest an additional layer of High Traffic Urethane to improve the durability, slip resistance, and chemical resistance of the resinous flooring system

 
Here are a number of benefits achieved by adding a High Traffic Urethane topcoat.
 

Slip Resistance

High Traffic Urethane coatings naturally offer improved slip resistance over traditional epoxy floors.  When aluminum oxide powder is added into urethane coatings it creates a smooth matte finish.  Combine this with aluminum oxide aggregate and you can fine tune the texture required for virtually any environment.  Most industrial facilities, when properly cleaned, see improved slip resistance without the addition of heavy aggregates.  For heavy industrial manufacturing facilities where surfaces are exposed to cutting fluids, water, or fine powders additional aggregate may be required.  With either option the physical characteristics and integrity are not compromised.  

Improved Durability

Urethane Topcoats also greatly improve the durability of your finished floor.  Taber abrasion and chemical resistance of a urethane flooring system is greatly superior to that of epoxy flooring alone.  While epoxy coatings serve as a functional primer and body coat for a floor, these systems are not durable under heavy forklift traffic or when exposed to process chemicals.  Even when impact resistant overlays are installed a urethane topcoat should always be considered to prolong the life of your floor.
 

Savings

When you are in the process of constructing a new facility or renovating a current space time is money.  Investing in the right flooring system can provide immeasurable savings over the life of the coating.  Urethane floors will provide a much longer lifespan when compared to epoxy floors.  This will reduce downtime and maintenance associated with floor repairs, damage from chemical exposure, and re-coating due to increased surface wear. Another often overlooked saving is through light reflectivity.  Urethane floor coatings can greatly reduce the amount of overhead lighting required to adequately illuminate a facility.  This will reduce power consumption along with a facilities carbon footprint.

Beautification

Urethane floor coatings can be pigmented in a wide range of colors and sheen options.  Many manufacturing facilities choose to use various colors to designate production areas from traffic aisles.  Another safety benefit is identifying fire extinguisher, eye wash station, emergency exits, and overhead crane areas.  For restrooms and break areas decorative flake or quartz is often used as a functional and beautiful surface.  Urethane coatings are the key to longevity to any of these great flooring options.

James Eller is a Industrial Flooring Consultant with www.liquidfloors.com based in Greenville,SC.  He has been involved in the industrial floor coatings and concrete polishing business since 2000.  Clients served include aircraft manufacturers, automotive manufacturers,  USDA processing plants, pharmaceutical facilities, and more. For more information or assistance email james@liquidfloors.com 

 

TOP 4 BENEFITS OF OUTSOURCING

Outsourcing is the contracting out of a business process to another party. Outsourcing programs date back for decades in the business and manufacturing world, as there are many benefits to be found.

Here are the top 4:

  1. SAVINGS

By outsourcing a process, floor space is freed up for something else, and many times employee head counts are reduced or can be reassigned to other tasks. This can greatly affect the overhead and factory burden in a manufacturing setting. One of the best examples of this is the outsourcing of Payroll and Human Resources that many companies have done to reduce their internal costs.

  1. QUALITY

In Supply Chain scenarios like the outsourcing of assemblies, the third party now is more responsible for the quality of the component coming in and dealing with any quality issues in the supply chain. Less strain and manpower on your Quality department leads back to benefit #1.

  1. CONTROL

Through outsourcing, a company can put more focus on its core competencies and work for better efficiency in their own processes. This is especially helpful during growth or expansion, when all hands are needed, and this leads to benefit #4.

  1. FOCUS

With a non-core business process outsourced, management and core personnel can focus on new initiatives or work on LEAN, Six Sigma projects, etc.

JBE, Inc. specializes in outsourcing by providing quality Supply Chain Management Solutions. Our Assembly Services have helped our customers reduce their own internal costs and resources and allowed them time to focus their efforts on their core business. This is particularly true when we manage the Supply Chain for quality and cost, thereby reducing the number of touches a company’s staff has to make on suppliers.

Rainy-day-IMG, Industrial Network Group, Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, South Carolina

What To Do on a Rainy Day

What do you do when it’s raining buckets outside and there’s no one to make a call on? It’s a perfect day to increase your efficiency by re-organizing your contact’s, or CRM system, replying to those hundred emails you’ve been ignoring, or straightening your desk if nothing else. Do you have a stack of business cards you haven’t gone through in ages? Do you have an old notebook of meetings with clients that may have nuggets of info that you could use to follow up with them later? Just because it’s not the best day for travel, and maybe you’re feeling under motivated, doesn’t mean you can take the day off. Use the day to do an online course in some subject you need to polish up on, or learn something completely new! Reach out to an old contact or connection you haven’t spoken to in some time and spend 5 minutes catching up. You could go “old school” and handwrite a card and mail it. These types of activities will pay off as you’ll have a sense of accomplishing something worthwhile on a rainy day, and extra motivation when the rain stops! Get after it!

What is the Line-Back Principle?

In the manufacturing world, the goal always is finding efficiency (savings), as the market constantly drives value and competition. Previously, I’ve blogged about outsourcing and the savings it can bring when moving non-core activities to suppliers who have this expertise.

But the question may be how do I know what to outsource from my manufacturing process to help me meet my goal?

This is where the Line Back Principle comes in, as it is exactly what it says it is. The definition is “starting at the work station, plan all supporting sub-processes right back to the origin.” When this is applied with LEAN thinking, processes are optimized, including logistically. When a non-value added movement or jobs are found in your current process, develop a plan to change how, who, and/or when this is being done. Cost analysis repeatedly show that allowing your human capital to focus on the core of your business frees up time and energy; thereby increasing efficiency and bring savings. (The GOAL)

The logistic benefits can be two-fold, as waste can be eliminated from line side and in transit. This can have positive effects in the presentation of any components and in the workstation itself.

Why not take a GEMBA walk and see if the Line Back Principle can help you find savings in your processes or flow. At JBE, we specialize in outsourcing and our team can help you run a Line Back exercise to improve through put and eliminate waste. This may just be the score you need to reach your goooooaaaaal!

 

FTZ - Sales,Industrial Network Group, Anderson, Spartanburg, and Greenville South Carolina

The Benefits of a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ)

Foreign Trade Zones are secure areas under U.S. Customs and Border Protection supervision that are generally considered outside the commerce of the United States. Located in or near ports of entry, they are the United States’ version of what are known internationally as free-trade zones.

These designated locations are where companies can use special procedures that help encourage U.S. activity by allowing delayed or reduced duty payments on foreign merchandise. There are also other savings to be found in utilizing a FTZ. Some examples of these savings are:

  • Pay Weekly Entry Fees instead of by container of imported goods
  • Harbor Maintenance Fees are now paid quarterly
  • No Duty on Waste, Scrap or Re-Exported goods
  • Higher security of FTZ often leads to lower insurance rates
  • Goods flow through FTZ faster than non-zone entries, increasing speed to market

Not to be overlooked in any Total Cost of Ownership calculation is the affect on cash flow that duty deferral can have. For instance, if you have a large Minimum Order Quantity or have an opportunity to Buy in Bulk, duty deferral in a FTZ allows you to save operating capital you need to run your business…that is until you actually pull the inventory from the FTZ.

JBE, Incorporated is proud to run a FTZ that has helped its customers manage their supply chains and costs. Let’s discuss the savings we can offer your company and the exact benefit our FTZ can bring your bottom line.

A road with the words Tough Decisions Ahead- Contacts,Industrial Network Group,Anderson, Spartanburg, and Greenville South Carolina

Finding the Right Contract Manufacturer

In the world of Contract Manufacturing and Assembly Services, there are many factors to consider that can make it a pleasant or not so pleasant experience. Whether you are looking to outsource a production module or a one-time project, if you make the wrong choice, you will spend more time and money than you stand to save. In my experience here are the 3 main questions, that if you find the right answers to, you are well on your way to a profitable win-win scenario.

 

1 – What Quality Management System do you have?

The ISO standards and their specialty subsets such as IATF16949 for Automotive, AS9100 for Aerospace and ISO14971 for Medical Devices are all good starts. What you are looking for is, not companies that just have these certifications, but ones that show a deft touch in implementing the fundamentals in their day-to-day business. The benefits are many and include the ability to track inventory, properly train staff in safe techniques and provide high quality deliverables. Ask how long they’ve had the certification, how many times they’ve re-certified, and who is the manager of their QMS (Quality Management System)

2 – What customers have you worked for in my industry, or a related one?

Don’t be afraid of companies that have worked for your competitor. Yes, there are some companies that really dislike their competitors, actually they hate each other. Maybe you’ve heard of the company that had a meeting with representatives from Coca-Cola. When they took the visitors to lunch, the restaurant served Pepsi, so the people from Coke made them change restaurants. That being said, while some companies don’t like their competitors, if you’ve worked for them, you should be good at what you do. Think of it from a social psychology point of view: that person you like probably will like you more, if they know you’ve dated someone they think of as a rival…

3 – How much of your key staff have been with the company long-term?

High turnover at a manufacturing company can lead to decreased efficiency. When new people are constantly getting up to speed, it can slow down the production process and lead to more breakdowns in quality. By working with a company that is good at developing employee training systems and retaining its employees, you’re benefitting from the increased efficiency of a smooth manufacturing process.

 

If you can find positive answers to these 3 questions, you have a strong foundation upon which to build a relationship with a supplier or possibly you have found a strategic partner for bigger things. At JBE, Inc. we pride ourselves on our QMS, the diversity of industries we’ve worked for and the tenure of many of our associates. Give me a call if we can help you with any of your projects.

The word PUSH spelled out downwards with persist until something happens, Industrial Network Group, Anderson, Spartanburg, and Greenville South Carolina

Being Persistent Without Being a Pest: 5 Rules for Effective Follow Up

So you had a great conversation with a potential client at that networking event, but now they will not respond to your follow up emails or voicemails.

But here’s the rub. The average person can get a few hundred emails a day. That makes it pretty tough to respond to all of them, and things naturally fall to the bottom of the list. If you don’t get a response, it doesn’t mean that someone’s ignoring you—it just may mean that he or she is too busy.

So, to the question: Should you follow up? Absolutely. In fact, it’s your job. And how often should you do so? My philosophy is: Only the best professionals follow up after the 3rd or 4th time. The important thing is to do it the right way; or, as I call it, be “politely persistent.”

Here are a few tips on how to politely follow up from that initial conversation—and get the answer you’re looking for.

 

Rule 1: Be Overly Polite and Humble

That seems obvious enough, but a lot of people take it personally when they don’t hear back from someone right away. Resist the urge to allow your feelings to be hurt and saying something like, “You haven’t responded yet,” or “You ignored my first email.” These simply are not the words of a professional. Showing that you are humble and friendly and that you understand how busy your contact is is a good way to keep him or her interested.

 

Rule 2: Persistent Does NOT Mean Every Day

Sending a follow-up email every day does not show you have gumption or passion, it shows you do not respect a person’s time. The general rule of thumb is to give at least a week before following up. Any sooner, and it could come off as pushy; let too much time pass, and you risk the other person not having any clue who you are.

 

Rule 3: Directly Ask if You Should Stop Reaching Out

If you have followed up a minimum of 5 times and still haven’t heard back, it’s worth directly asking if you should stop following up. After all, you don’t want to waste your time, either. I’ll sometimes say, “Pardon my persistence as I know both of us are busy, so if my communications are not welcome or warranted at this time, please let me know.” Most people respect honesty and don’t want to waste someone’s time, and they’ll many times let you know one way or another.

 

Rule 4: Stand Out in a Good Way

I once had someone trying to sell me something that I was somewhat interested in but was nowhere near the top of my priority list. Every week, I would receive a new email quickly re-explaining what he sold. Then one email asked what I thought about the Tarheels prospects this basketball season. He had done his research and knew I was a UNC fan.

The lesson: If done well, a little creativity in your follow up can go a long way.

 

Rule 5: Change it Up

If you’re not connecting with someone, try changing things up some. In other words, don’t send the exact same email at the same time of day on the same day of week. Getting people to respond can sometimes just come down to catching them at the right time. If you always follow up in the morning, maybe try later in the day a few times.

 

Remember: If someone does ask you to stop following up, stop following up. But until you hear that, it’s your responsibility to keep trying.

Cartoon picture of a man with 8 limbs running with horrible management- Networking Group,Industrial Network Group, Group Member, Anderson, Spartanburg, and Greenville South Carolina

Time Management – Efficiency vs. Multitasking

In today’s busy world, multitasking is all too common. Juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities might seem like the best way to get a lot done…

I often see “multitasker” listed as a professional description on résumés and profiles on social networking sites. In fact, I have described myself as a great multitasker. But as I read more about multitasking as it relates to successful project management, I am learning that it is better to be a strong time manager than a multitasker.

Multitasking is defined as performing two or more tasks simultaneously. It can also involve switching from one task to another or performing a number of tasks in rapid succession. All humans multitask on daily basis, whether at home, school or in the office.

Just the other day, I was watching TV, checking emails on my phone and reading an article on my tablet…but was I really efficiently doing any of these things? When I re-read one of my emails, it was a mess. I don’t know that I could tell you what was on TV and I am not sure what I got out of the article I read. Now granted, this was at the end of a long day and I was basically brain dead, but this begs the question: am I any better earlier in the day?

In a NPR News interview on multitasking,  Stanford University professor Clifford Nass  talked about his study which suggested that multitasking actually weakens cognitive ability and brain function. In his study, they focused on three key areas:

  1. The ability to filter relevant information from non-relevant information.
  2. The ability to manage one’s working memory, so essentially filing information away for immediate recall.
  3. The response rate of switching from one task to another.

His findings surprisingly concluded that heavy multitaskers were attracted to non-relevant information, could not recall information quickly, and were slower and actually worse at switching tasks. And there is no gender bias here either: men and women are equally bad. My wife not happy with this finding…

How many times have you been guilty of starting a task, getting sidetracked by something and then upon returning to the task, having trouble getting started again or even not remembering what it was you were trying to do?

So what is the better way? It sounds “old-school” but you are more efficient if you are able to focus on one task at a time. That is becoming much harder with the constant presence of distractions and the over saturation of information.

Here’s what I do to be more efficient:

  1. Check emails at set times during the day and set follow up flags for emails that can be handled later.
  2. Turn off incoming notifications on my social media – they can wait until a break or lunch…
  3. Guard my time from pointless meetings (more on this in a later blog)
  4. Be more disciplined when working on something to give it the attention it needs

I believe there will always be a need to be a “multitasker”; but unless you are efficient, it doesn’t matter how many tasks you can work on at once if you cannot bring any to completion, or the work you produce is of low quality.

My goal is to be a great Time Manager rather than a great mutitasker.