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Distributor's Link Magazine Spring 2020 / Vol 43 No2

38 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S

38 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK Robert Footlik Robert B. Footlik, PE is a retired Professional Industrial Engineer. With over 50 years’ experience as a Warehouse and Logistics Consultant to a wide variety of clients including Fastener Distributors, Bob has a wealth of valuable information for our industry and he is willing to share it. While Footlik & Associates is now closed, his expertise is still available to his friends and our readers. For friendly advice, a second opinion or just to start a conversation, he can be reached at robert@footlik.net. PROTECTING YOUR MOST IMPORTANT ASSETS: PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE FOR PEOPLE - PART 1 No matter how large or small your company every Fastener Distributor in the world uses highly sophisticated, autonomous and intelligent “equipment” called people. And just as you should deem Preventive Maintenance (PM) important for mechanical equipment it is of far greater importance to PM the staff, coworkers and friends around you. There is far more that you can do to improve productivity, quality and satisfaction with healthy, happy and motivated people than with robots, warehouse/business management systems and sophisticated automation. This will require a multi-faceted approach and a dedication of purpose that can only come from the top. People Perform Only As Good As Their “Fuel” While you cannot control what your staff eats off the job there are still options for those potential 10+ meal breaks at work. Start with removing all the junk food from vending machines and replacing it with healthy alternatives. Yes, there will be some initial shock and grousing, but if fruit, vegetables, healthy snacks and energy bars are available for free some behavioral modification can be achieved. Breakfast and soup provided on premises can relieve stress, allow the people to sleep just a little longer insuring that they start their day with decent nutrition and have a good comfort level at mid-day. One advantage of this is it is also an opportunity for CONTRIBUTOR ARTICLE communication, team building and improving morale in a nurturing break room environment. Long term research has shown that a healthy diet will be beneficial in every area of life, both physical and mental. If you are serious about this there are many resources available, including nutritionists who will provide in house focus groups and training just like any other area of management consulting. This isn’t just for the warehouse staff that is on the move all day, it’s even more important for the sedentary individuals who sit at a desk for 7+ hours per day. With a bit of reinforcement much of what the staff learns will also go home with them. And this can influence those other 13+ meals a week. Chart the results in weight loss, comfort indices and satisfaction polls it you want to be truly scientific. It Isn’t Just About Food It’s also about hydration. If you work in a hot climate you probably already know that one should always drink before becoming thirsty. But what makes you think that air conditioned indoor air isn’t just as dehydrating? Most facilities have a thermostat on the wall to control temperature, but nothing for humidity. In the summer air conditioning removes humidity from the air… and from the human body. And in the winter without humidification the dry air really takes a toll on skin and on the rest of the persons. CONTINUED ON PAGE 120

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