From end-to-end, how Global Industrial supplies the life of a pen

[Image Attribution: SeventyFour via Getty Images]


Consider the humble pen—ubiquitous in business, but long critical to moving ideas (and deals) forward. The pen has a constant companion through the manufacturing and distribution process in Global Industrial, which serves as a single source for a wide range of solutions at each step of the way.


Here’s a look behind the scenes at how this one-stop-shop approach helps bring a pen to life:


Step 1: Manufacturing


The pen’s life begins on a workbench, where the research and development team uses hand tools to create a test model, rework the design, and create a final prototype. Their arsenal might also include measurement and testing tools to verify the pen’s balance and other functions critical to user comfort, reliability, and performance.


Into the manufacturing equipment our pen goes, where Global Industrial has a hand in various aspects of the assembly, including machine guards to protect workers, pumps supplying water for water jets, and other pieces of machinery. When the pen comes out, it is deposited off the manufacturing line into bins, totes, and containers that move on conveyors to the packing area. Along the way, industrial fans, blowers, and portable air conditioners keep people and product from overheating.


Step 2: Distribution


At the packing station, the pens are removed from their bins and placed into individual boxes for sale, and then into larger boxes for distribution. Packing workbenches have an open work surface for assembling orders, as well as shelving and storage space for packing supplies. These supplies include corrugated boxes, rolls of bubble wrapping, floor scales, packing tape, and labels and barcode supplies to help boxes reach their destination and identify any special handling needs.


Once filled, the boxes ready for shipment are placed on pallets based on order size. The pallets could be steel, for long-term durability; presswood, which are lighter than wood or plastic; plastic, ideal for long-term stacking; and heavy-duty options for larger capacities. Completed pallets are moved to storage or the loading dock with the help of pallet trucks and jacks and then onto the distribution trucks using a lift truck. A range of lift truck models is available, including counter-balance lifts and hand/foot-pump-operated lifts.


Meanwhile, dock and truck equipment including wheel chocks, dock boards and plates, bumpers and dock lights, make loading safer and easier.


Once the pens arrive at the distribution center, a similar process of loading and unloading takes place. Large orders are stored on pallet racks in the distributor’s warehouse until they are ready to ship to the retailer or end-user. Netting, mesh guards, frame guards, and other safety and security features can be added to the pallet racking system. For smaller orders, use standard commercial shelving.


Step 3: Retail


The pens arrive at the retailer, and it’s time to go inside. Hand trucks are used to carry small orders from the distributor’s truck into the store. A pallet truck may be used to carry large orders in from the loading dock. Dock and truck equipment is again important for safety and efficiency.


At the store, the pens are showcased on retail display fixtures, which could include display tables and showcases as well as slatwall merchandisers and racks. Gondola shelving is another option for keeping the display of small items such as pens organized and at the ideal viewing height.


 Safety every step of the way


No matter where the pens are on their way from product development to delivery, safety is paramount. Global Industrial provides products that ensure safe material handling.


At the manufacturing facility and loading dock, choose from hard hats and bump caps as well as additional head and face protection such as face shields and safety lights. Hi-visibility safety clothing, including vests, jackets, shirts and hats with vibrant colors and reflective strips, help workers stay visible, while earmuffs protect hearing from loud manufacturing and equipment noise. Fall protection harnesses also are available.


Protective barriers, guards, and bollards may also be necessary in your space. For walking or working sites, or areas with an unprotected edge four feet or more above a lower level, employers must provide a guardrail system, personal fall protection gear, or a safety net system. Open dock doors meet the requirements for a guardrail system, too. Ensure your guardrail system is well-designed and easy to install and uninstall to ensure the required levels of safety.


It’s time to sign on the dotted line.


Where does the pen’s journey end? In the hands of your team, perhaps to fill in daily logs, make a sale, or to sign a purchase order for more products to ensure the business keeps up with demand.


From the design workbench to your back office or warehouse floor, the unassuming yet essential pen travels a long journey. But it doesn’t go it alone. Regardless of what you make or sell, Global Industrial supplies products to meet your needs across the manufacturing and distribution supply chain. Connect with our product experts to learn more.




The information contained in this article is for informational, educational, and promotional purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. It is the reader’s responsibility to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules, codes and regulations. If there is any question or doubt in regard to any element contained in this article, please consult a licensed professional.  Under no circumstances will Global Industrial® be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on this article.


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