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The Top Shelf

Each month, we provide a new and timely article for your enjoyment and an archive of previous articles for your reference.

Current Article

The Consequences of Hiring or Promoting the Wrong Person: Hire people carefully; mistakes are costly in more ways than one.

Previous Articles

Image-Based Scanning: A Better Mouse Trap? Faster scanning changes everything.

CLO — Chief Listening Officer: Writing and talking are important for good managers, but so is listening.

Managing Your Customer's Inventory: Computerized inventory management software can eliminate outages.

I Trust You What does this mean? Let's consider it.

Are MOOCs a Threat or Promise? Now would be a good time to find out more about massive open online courses.

Who Threatens the Successful Distributor? There are three constant threats and we'll quickly consider each.

The Future of Robotics: Long-term pay-backs are no longer the case. It's time to consider the technology.

The Critical First Day: Hiring a new employee is expensive, but about one third of new hires will quit within 6 months. The first day is important for employee retention.

Adapting to Complexity: Leveraging software to manage complex situations in the warehouse.

A Step-by-Step Process in a Warehousing Startup: A plan is essential and this article considers some basic steps.

Assessing the Risks of Warehousing: When you're faced with making a decision that involves risk, three questions are important.

Leadership Styles: Consider he two primary leadership styles and their effetiveness.

Questions for Your HR Executive: How effective is your Human Resources manager?

Corporate Culture: Why it's important for your employees to understand what it is.

The Critical First Day: About one third of new employees will quit within the first six months. This can be reduced with better onboarding procedures.

Negotiation: Art or Science? Beware one-size-fits-all approaches.

Do we need a multilingual workforce? Let's consider why not.

Understanding E-Learning: E-learning can be an efficient way to bring knowledge to your employees.

Apprenticeship: Could this be the Answer to Our Current Talent Shortage?

Are Leaders Born or Made? Let's consider the question.

Don't Automate Just Because You Can: Automation can be a good thing or a bad thing. Be sure to understand this before automating a process.

Margins Are More Important Than the Top Line: It's easy to concentrate on revenue and it's also wrong.

The Neglected Metric Called Churn: Are your employees and clients loyal? If you have a high churn rate, something is wrong.

What Is Supply-Chain Management? Find out more this month in the Top Shelf article.

Changing Horses: What are you doing to plan succession for top management? Probably not enough.

Thinking about Buying a New Warehouse Management System? Maybe it's worth considering some alternatives first.

Hiring for Talent: Suggestions for finding the best employees.

Visibility in a Crowded Marketplace: Thoughts about what you can do to ensure your business remains viable.

Change: Is it a threat to your job?

Failure Isn't Always What it Seems: Victory sometimes follows multiple failures.

The Danger of Denial: When presented with factual information, one of the most dangerous reactions is denial.

Logistics Management Is More than Cutting Costs: If you concentrate solely on reducing costs, you're dropping the ball.

Tools and Trust: Are you wasting money by trying to protect tools?

Prescription Before Diagnosis Is Malpractice: Before providing a solution, be sure you understand the problem.

Are You a Turtle or a Dinosaur? The climate is changing and your survival depends on the answer to that question.

Clothes Make the Person: How you dress can have an effect on how your employees perceive you.

What Causes Warehouse Damage? There are many causes, but nearly all of them will be in one of just seven categories.

Catch People Doing Something Right: Positive re-enforcement is often far more effective than negative re-enforcement.

The Miracle of the Box: The shipping container literally changed the world, creating winners and losers along the way.

Three Questions about Leadership: These are important questions, one that can affect the future of your operation.

The Curse of Excessive Waiting: Waiting frustrates everyone. It's time to find solutions to the problem.

Accountability: Knowing who's responsible for every task leads to a better ooperation.

Loyalty versus Price: Is your service viewed as a commodity or have you developed customers who are loyal?

Warehousing Is All about Trust: This may seem obvious, but it's sometimes easy to forget.

Managing with Good Questions: One of the most powerful tools available to you is a good question. Ask and prosper.

Dependability: Is this your employees' most important trait? Should it be?

The Importance of Giving Feedback: Let people know how they're doing.

Coping with Private Equity: Is a private equity firm in your future?

The 4/10 Work Week: Are you ready for it? It can offer benefits for warehouses that operate 6 or 7 days a week.

NIMBY and Office Productivity: Sometimes a warehouse problem might be happening closer to home than you think.

As we publish new articles, earlier articles will be archived here.

Do Railroads Have a Future? Railroads were in decline for much of the second half of the 20th Century, but the future looks bright.

A Customer Relations Credo: Keeping your customer satisfied is relatively easy if you follow the rules.

The Hierearchy of Safety Priorities: When a hazard is found, what should happen next?

Niche Marketing in the Warehouse: Warehousing is a business that's uncommonly receptive to niche marketing.

The Ten Flavors of Warehousing: This is not a one-size-fits-all business and there are at least 10 business models. Can you identify more?

Learning from Mistakes: Instead of punishment for mistakes, consider them ways to learn how to provide better services.

Success Can Be Dangerous: Complacency can be the result of long-term success.

Are You Overlooking Critical Measurements? In addition to all the obvious measurements that are important to the health of the operation, some are often overlooked.

The Importance of Training: There's no question that training is also important to your employees but it's also important to your customers.

Your People Need to Know: Instead of keeping workers in the dark, share information with them. The results are trust and better performance.

Make IT Your Competitive Advantage: Many of today's most successful businesses are founded on a solid information technology foundation.

Outsourcing or Nearshoring? Remember the race to move factories to Asia 10 years ago. Now there's a race to bring them home.

The Difference Between Artisans and Laborers: A dedicated professional becomes an artisan by going beyond the expected and providing services that were not contemplated.

Why You Should Be a Preferred Shipper: The trucking business is changing and if you're not considered to be a preferred shipper, you'll be at a disadvantage.

Understanding Risk: Both buyer and seller must recognize that risk is a part of any business proposition and, as risks increase, so does the price.

Start with the End in Mind: Know what you hope to accomplish before you start.

Controlling Quality By Asking Good Questions: Good questions are the key to obtaining meaningful answers. Here are some clues.

Retention: The importance of retaining both clients and employees cannot be overstated. How does your company rate?

Safety Still Comes First: It may be an old topic but Ken offers a different approach and 5 priorities for warehouse operators.

Why Green Is Keen: Being green may be good for the environment and it can also be good for the bottom line.

Diogenes in 2012: Today's skill sets are not the same as those needed 20 years ago. Are you looking for the right skills?

Three Hallmarks of Warehousing Quality: Retention of employees and clients are two of the three key indicators.

Housekeeping and Discipline: Cleanliness are warehousing don't always go together but they should.

Overwhelmed by Communications: The answer is delegation.

What Should You Stop Doing? Are you spending time on activites that are useless and unrewarding? If so, why?

Building a Culture of Innovation: The best companies are always looking for better ways. When an employee finds one, what rewards are given?

Is Strategy a Dirty Word? No, but strategic planning and studies should often have lower priorities than they do have.

Affordable Green: Are "green" tactics and sustainability only for big corporation? The answer is No.

Logistics, Geography, and Oil: The high price of fuel is changing many of our assumptions. Are you keeping up?

Deliverable Mediocrity: As a manager are you committed to excellence?

Do They Value What You Add? Just because you call it "value added" doesn't mean your clients agree.

Coping with Change: Today's warehouse managers face new challenges and the survivors will be the ones who respond best to change.

Building a Culture of Innovation: Managers must reward creativity. What steps could you take today to encourage innovation?

Mistakes Managers Make: The customer comes second is just one thing that top-flight managers keep in mind.

The Importance of Delegation: What's involved in delegating tasks and how to delegate successfully.

Supply Chain Education Today—Improvements Needed: Bill McBeath examines educational opportunities for the industry today and finds them wanting.


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