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Hazmat Shipping Compliance Efforts Increase for ProShip

Hazmat Shipping Compliance Efforts Increase for ProShip

Leading Neopost company in logistics software and supply chain solutions, ProShip, confirmed its partnership with Labelmaster in an effort to maintain compliance and safety measures by providing visibility to dangerous goods shippers through the use of ProShip Multi-Carrier Shipping Software. This technology grants access to hazmat tables, robust validation checks and compliant shipping papers.

“Labelmaster’s Dangerous Goods Information System (DGIS) is updated as regulations change, and the system validates the originator’s shipments against them, providing guidance on packaging, labeling and the filling out and printing of Shipper Declarations. This partnership will give ProShip customers the benefit of easier and more reliable hazmat shipping, all within one system,” said Alan Schoen, President of Labelmaster.

“It’s our responsibility to give our customers the framework that helps realize a positive return on investment from their hazmat shipping function, and Labelmaster helps us do that,” added Mullen. “We are thrilled to continuously add new features that keep our customers confident in their shipping strategies, no matter what they ship.”

The release from the company notes that over 1.4 million shipments of hazmat occur in the United States alone, creating a need for such technology to reduce the risk of shipment and supply chain delays as well as fines.

“Hazmat compliance can be an intimidating and confusing undertaking,” said Matt Mullen, senior vice president and managing director of ProShip, Inc. “In a recent survey, 65 percent of respondents said that keeping up with changing regulations was one of their greatest challenges. ProShip’s partnership with Labelmaster alleviates that challenge and helps our customers meet delivery promises without delay.”

Source: ProShip


The Power of Lean Manufacturing: A Complete Guide

In post WWII Japan, Toyota developed a revolutionary production process now known as lean manufacturing. This highly successful method for reducing waste, improving flow, and increasing production began as a method to compete with Western automakers and soon became a revolutionary production mentality the world over.

As a systematic way to increase efficiency and better please customers, lean principles run counter to traditional mass-production practices. Yet, they allow small and medium businesses to consistently increase quality while decreasing costs. They emphasize key objectives like simplicity, flow, and balance. Companies large and small can leap over their competition by understanding and implementing this highly efficient system.

What Is Lean Manufacturing?

In short, lean manufacturing is a continuous improvement philosophy promoting system-wide efficiency. Indeed, this system values balanced productivity that harmonizes across the entire value chain. If a particular line is more productive than the other parts in the value chain, it does not benefit the efficiency of production. Therefore, lean manufacturing principles adjust for overall efficiency rather than settling for individual productivity.

Lean management in manufacturing provides a sustainable competitive advantage by streamlining the production process from raw material to customer. And reduction of waste and non-value-added activity increases total system efficiency. Whereas the mass production method developed by Henry Ford might increase total output to increase profits, Toyota-inspired lean focuses on smaller batches to smooth production flow in the plant. So the result is a reduction of non-value-added activity and a subsequent increase in value-added activity. Without increasing the number of employees or adding new equipment, meaningful output is increased as a ratio to busy work.

Built on the Japanese model of efficiency, lean manufacturing seeks to continuously reduce muda or waste. And the power of lean manufacturing lies within its ability to find processes and actions to reduce or eliminate. In turn, this creates a balanced process that reduces cycle time and waste, increases quality, and enhances customer satisfaction.


The Importance of Reducing Cycle Time

There are numerous reasons to reduce cycle time and waste, some of which are less obvious than others. Cycle time refers to the length of time it takes to convert raw materials into finished goods. And the length of this cycle determines the company’s ability to convert assets into profits. A company able to reduce cycle times more than their competitors will be able to respond more quickly to market demands and thus gain a larger market share. Some of the many benefits of reducing cycle times include:

-Innovation opportunities

-Better distribution positioning

-Increased productivity

-Higher customer satisfaction

-Advantaged profitably potential


Eight Lean Wastes

Lean production does not focus exclusively on waste reduction, but waste is minimized or eliminated more as an inevitable byproduct of better production flow. It may seem obvious that waste hurts productivity and profitability. But the importance of reducing waste is often underappreciated. There are numerous areas of waste that go overlooked. Lean manufacturing typically focuses on seven key wastes. But others expand the list to eight, represented by the acronym, DOWNTIME:

Defects: A defective part caused by poor quality inputs, user error, or other problems is costly and easily avoided.

Overproduction: Overproducing irrespective of demand or capacity is wasteful and not considerate of the customer.

Waiting: Bottlenecks occur due to oversupply or undersupply and should be handled by better supply chain management and personnel management.

Not Utilizing Talent: Waste occurs when the skills of the workforce are underutilized or misappropriated. Human talent is a highly valuable and often overlooked commodity.

Transportation: Movement to and from docks and warehouses is an area for potential waste reduced by better layout and better aligned process flow.

Inventory Excess: Numerous factors can lead to excessive inventory, which, in a mass production paradigm, might appear as productivity, yet does not benefit the overall process.

Motion waste: Even the repetitive motions of employees on the assembly line can diminish productivity and contribute to waste.

Excess Processing: Avoid redundancy and unnecessary steps.


“Waste is anything other than the minimum amount of equipment, materials, parts, and working time which is absolutely essential to add value to the product or service.”  -Ohno Taiicho


The Powerful Benefits of Going Lean

While many assume lean manufacturing only benefits large, repetitive, mass-production operations, the fact is small-medium sized manufacturers can also benefit. Lean manufacturing principles can impact the average producer in a powerful way that extends beyond just financial gains. Here are some of the many powerful benefits of adopting lean manufacturing:

-Lean identifies value as defined by customer demand, thus leading to more satisfied customers.

-Lean removes wastes like inventory, transportation, and others.

-Lean shortens cycle time and increases production.

-Lean brings about greater employee morale and buy-in.

-Lean produces more per man hour.

-Lean reduces the amount of space needed for production.

-Lean increases cash on hand.

-Lean focuses on pull – or demand-based flow manufacturing – rather than push.

-Lean reduces operational costs, maximizing profits.


Lean Manufacturing Principles

Lean manufacturing is more than just a way to make products. Essentially, it is a school of thought. And while there are many lean manufacturing principles that make up this school of thought, much of the power for this system is contained in just five primary concepts. These five leading principles or values were most famously articulated in the 1990 book, “The Machine That Changed the World,” by James Womack, Daniel T. Jones, and Daniel Roos. And understanding these five lean manufacturing principles will enable you to transform your business into a lean production machine:

1. Specify value as perceived by the customer: Value must be perceived through the customer’s eyes – not merely based on the product you can provide, but the end solution they actually want.

2. Identify the value stream: Rather than thinking in terms of departments, companies using lean principles will visualize the value stream as an interconnected flow of processes that provide value; this does not include any processes or steps that do not directly contribute to the value.

3. Make the value flow through the value stream: The focus must be on value-adding steps; if non-value-adding steps are necessary, perform them simultaneous to the value-adding steps, but never put them before.

4. Pull the value from the value stream: Avoid inventory management waste by shifting to a single-piece flow that produces products on demand as needed.

5. Strive for perfection: The goal is not to improve beyond your competitors but continuous improvement and perfection in every way – from order processing to logistics to customer service.


Lean Manufacturing Tools

Lean production is all about getting the most out of every resource and finding better and better ways to do things. In this pursuit, numerous lean manufacturing tools have been developed and refined. And here are some of the most powerful tools to use in your lean manufacturing operations.

5S is a system emphasizing cleanliness and organization in the workplace by following five essential standards:

1. Sort: keep workplace free of all unnecessary items.

2. Set: all things should be in order for each unique workplace to ensure maximum ease and efficiency.

3. Shine: everyone should be a janitor; everyone is responsible for keeping their workspace clean and tidy.

4. Standardize: all roles and tasks should be standardized in lists and schedules to promote good habits.

5. Sustain: ensure everyone is committed to the long-term goal.

Just-In-Time (JIT)
Just-In-Time or Just-In-Sequence (JIS) is a form of lean manufacturing and a logistics method for inventory control. JIT is a system of manufacturing what the customer wants, in the quanity the customer wants, when the customer wants it. This allows the reduction or elimination of buffers or inventory, and means the use of delivered components within minutes of their delivery.

Gemba means “the real place” in Japanese, and refers to the factory floor in manufacturing – or any place where the value happens. In lean manufacturing philosophy, this technique involves a “Gemba walk” management must regularly go on at the site. This allows management to get a real feel for the process and any issues to address.

Value Stream Mapping
This tool involves creation of a flow diagram depicting each and every step in the value process. Such a map allows for evaluation of all steps to identify waste and inefficiency and to reduce manufacturing time.

This strategy for continuous improvement is one of the most powerful and important tools for lean manufacturing operations. From the Japanese words, kai, meaning “change,” and zen, meaning “good,” this tool emphasizes the need for good change on an ongoing basis. This means documenting and managing procedures and taking input and feedback from all members of the company. Over time, this lean manufacturing tool will incrementally produce powerful changes for the better.

The goal in view is to identify the weakest link or proverbial bottleneck holding back the speed of the overall process. Lean manufacturing often utilizes bottleneck analyses to determine the slowest processes and steps in the manufacturing stream. Speeding up just one or two small functions can often dramatically speed up the entire manufacturing process.

This Japanese word for “signs” refers to a system of using cards or signs to indicate three phases each product moves through: do, doing, and done. Using this visual “pull” system, it becomes easier to manage only those parts needed for a specific production run. This eliminates the need for excess inventory or backlogged products.

Continuous Flow
Closely associated with Kanban and JIT, this tool integrates all production elements through ongoing examination, evaluation, and improvement. In order to provide stability and continuity, continuous flow usually means leaving the factory running 24 hours a day with no interruption and very little waste if any. This is the opposite of batch production.


Lean Byproducts: Agility, Competitiveness, and Quality

Through following these principles of lean manufacturing, adopting these tools, and reducing these key wastes, manufacturers who specialize in lean concepts create highly desirable byproducts. Lean production results in a certain agility in meeting the competitive demands of a swiftly evolving marketplace. The focus on total expense and value rather than on single component costs not only eliminates waste and inefficiency, it also promotes quality and customer-driven solutions.

The faster products can flow through an organization from start to finish, the faster that company can respond to market demands and satisfy the consumer. And the more efficient that process is, the more quality the company can afford for each dollar. Lean manufacturing powerfully enables producers to navigate the changing market with precision and agility. This comes from traveling light and from a manufacturing process utilizing surgical precision. In the end, as streamlined, stripped down, and simplified as they are, lean producers are the giants of modern manufacturing.

Port Logistics and 2019 Trends

Port trends for 2019 are already taking shape as the industry continues to see increased joint ventures and tandem efforts for mutual visions combined with record-breaking growth rates for 2018 from ports such as the South Carolina Ports Authority – which saw an impressive 15 percent growth for November 2018. The real question is how are they doing it from a logistics perspective amid the tariffs and market unpredictability? President and CEO Jim Newsome spelled it out: use timeliness and resource options to the advantage of operations. What might work one month might prove as unsuccessful for the next. Keep options and eyes open for shifts and opportunities. Have a backup plan:.

“While the US economy remains strong, there is increasing evidence that US beneficial cargo owners advanced shipments from Asia in an effort to avoid tariffs,” but carefully noted that, “The first calendar quarter of 2019, however, is much more uncertain in terms of outlook and considering strong volumes achieved in the same period in 2018.”

Port automation and the integration of technology solutions are trends that took charge in 2018 that show no sign of slowing down in 2019. The Port of Rotterdam cites proactive measures through technology solutions and gauging industry changes as key factors to success. Business Consultant Vincent Campfens puts it into perspective in the article, “42km of Connected Complexity: Operating in the Digital Future.”

Vincent Campfens comments: “Being a smart port is much more than merely introducing awesome new technology into a port to make it safer, more efficient and more sustainable. It is also about looking further ahead in time, making strategic choices to ensure that the port still exists in the future, whilst responding to changes in climate, politics, technology, industries and cargo flows. One of our recent strategic choices is a targeted commitment to digital innovation,” (Rotterdam).

Leading Global Software Firm Rolls Out First-of-its-Kind Time Management System, Targets World’s Growing Mobile Workforce

Leading global time management expert HMS Software – publishers of the TimeControl timesheet system – has announced the release of TimeControl version 7.4.1, a first-of-its-kind system targeting medium to large enterprises and their mobile workers. With nearly half of the total global workforce expected to be comprised of mobile employees by 2022, the newest release of TimeControl delivers unprecedented smartphone and tablet features, enabling users to do much more from their devices than simply collect time.

“This release represents a major leap forward in functionality,” said HMS Software President Chris Vandersluis, noting that the new mobile interface for the TimeControl Mobile app – available to Google Play for Android device users and on the Apple Store for iOS users – allows users to create, view, edit and approve timesheet data, as well as perform historical searches, right from their phones. “With every new release of our product we reinvent the way companies manage their time,” Vandersluis said.

Additional new features found in TimeControl 7.4.1 – a multi-function system that includes support for Time and Attendance, Time and Billing, Project Tracking, Human Resource Tracking, and Research Tax Credit Tracking – include:

-Support for multiple timesheet periods at once, meaning some parts of an organization can start their timesheets on a Sunday and others on a Monday, while other parts can choose to use a bi-weekly, bi-monthly or other length of timesheet, making it possible for large global companies to operate efficiently from one single timesheet.

-Unparalleled flexibility in how charge codes are displayed with the launch of a new Hierarchy view that allows the configuration and display of timesheet charges to be selectable for each part of an organization while maintaining a common enterprise view in the background.

-Major changes to the TimeControl Application Programmable Interface (API) that make it easier to integrate the software with other mission-critical corporate systems such as Finance, ERP and Project Management.

TimeControl was originally released in 1994 and was immediately successful in the project management sector. Today it is a comprehensive enterprise timesheet solution used by companies worldwide. TimeControl is designed as a multipurpose timesheet able to serve the needs of both Finance and Project Management simultaneously. Features include: a multi-browser, multi-device interface; vacation approvals; executive dashboards; extensive approval functionality; flexible reporting and integration with other project management and corporate systems. TimeControl is available both as an in-the-cloud subscription service and for purchase for an on-premises installation.

TimeControl 7.4.1 will be upgraded automatically for TimeControl Online subscription clients.  The upgrade is available to existing on-premise clients with a current support and maintenance agreement at no additional charge from the TimeControl upgrades site: A free Hosted TimeControl Trial is available at  For further information about HMS Software, please visit or email


New Blockchain Technology for 2019

As digitization and technology solutions continue to be the focus for trade experts, IT Solutions company CyberLogitec announced the creation and launching of their new blockchain focused solutions platform. The company, known for its work in providing solutions in the ports and terminals sector, confirmed this initiative will be implemented for all IT solutions in 2019.

The solutions, deemed as FREIGHT9 and OPUS9 pave the way for a purely digital system for maritime businesses, eliminating the hassle of paper-based documentation for all shipping. This is another prime example of the rapid pace of digitization within the trade sectors.

The total elimination of inefficiencies is the goal of many trade professionals, starting with paper-based systems and operations. With global trade shifting at a fast pace, companies must rely on technology-based solutions to keep up and maintain operations on a holistic level, reducing risks and duplicate efforts.

“The company aims to set the highest standards of innovation and excellence in the logistics ecosystem. It is hoped that as the logistics industry players adopt blockchain technology, the full potential of blockchain will be realized, and global trade will be boosted,” commented CyberLogitech in response to the news.

Source: Port Technology