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TriFactor White Papers


TriFactor shares thoughts on effective ways to reduce costs, increase capacity and improve the accuracy of your distribution facility.

Ways to Improve Material Handling Efficiency

Critical Factors when Choosing an Order Picking System


Planning a Warehouse or Distribution Center


Choosing a Conveyor System


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TriFactor Articles

Articles featured in trade publications that highlight our Client Partners projects, TriFactor and information written by TriFactor's staff. 


The Five Most Common Mistakes When Planning a Distribution Center by TriFactor's Craig Bertorello and featured in Supply & Demand Chain Executive (online).  


Seven Factors to Consider When Choosing an Order Picking System by TriFactor's Richard Gillespie and featured in Industrial Distribution (online).


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Advanced Handling Systems (AHS) Changes Its Name

Advanced Handling Systems has changed its name to TriFactor.  Learn more about the meaning of TriFactor.

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Material Handling Solutions | Material Handling System Evaluation | Material Handling Systems Design Build Process
TriFactor Home > Material Handling Solutions Process

TriFactor Edge: Material Handling Systems Design Build Process

What’s your problem?

In the new economy, we don’t have the luxury of sticking our heads in the sand and ignoring the problems and inefficiencies that are right in front of us.  We are all tasked with satisfying the needs of both our customers, as well as our stock holders.  We must operate as cost conscious as possible, while getting the right product to our customers on time, every time. 

More than likely, the problem you face also has an impact on others in your organization.  As an example, a distribution center manager consistently having trouble getting orders shipped on time, often has his staff work overtime in an effort to meet commitments.  While the distribution center manager has to account for increased operating costs, the sales department has to work harder to make up for lost sales due to customer satisfaction issues, and the President of the company is faced with lower profits and a growth plan that is not achievable.

What can you do?

The first step is to set aside time to work “on your business” instead of “at your business”.   Working “at your business” simply means performing the regular day to day position responsibilities.  Working “on your business” is much more strategic.  It consists of examining your operation to find all the issues or problems that exist. Working on improvement is critical to continued success.

The second step is to reach out to fellow team members and specify who else is impacted by these problems, determine in what way they are impacted, as well as the magnitude of the impact.

Third, find someone who has the experience to determine the root cause of these problems, as well as establish potential solutions.  If your company has an in-house industrial engineering department, they can dedicate the time needed to do an analysis of the situation.  Make your case to upper management by explaining the operational problems your team is faced with and the potential resulting customer dissatisfaction.  If you don’t have an in-house engineering staff, consider a professional engineering company that specializes in material handling solutions. 

Fourth, pick a Partner to solve your problems.  The bottom line is due diligence. Find someone you trust with the education and experience needed to successfully manage the solution process from start to finish with total confidence.  This defining step is critical and many factors should be considered when choosing a Partner, all of which are detailed in a white paper entitled The Three Factors of the Design Build Process”.

Last, once your solution process has been defined, you need to act.  If plans stay in a drawer, your company will continue to suffer the consequences and lose the competitive edge needed to be a market leader.

Consider TriFactor your solution provider!

TriFactor is a licensed professional engineering firm that specializes in material handling solutions.  We have a structured design build solution process that has been refined over the last 25 years and is called the TriFactor Edge.  It consists of 3 phases:

TriFactor Edge gives you everything!

Budget planning and analysis.  During high-level planning for a large capital project, the Needs Analysis phase of the TriFactor Edge provides conceptual layouts, budgetary pricing and an accurate implementation timeline.  With these deliverables, a Return On Investment (ROI) can be calculated to determine the project’s viability, and if it’s prudent to move forward.

Collaborative design.  This process begins with all stakeholders involved.  TriFactor’s material handling professionals work closely with all parties including executive, operations, engineering and construction teams to develop an appropriate layout and description of operations that meet your business goals.

Total transparency.  With the approval of the system’s layout and description of operations, TriFactor solicits bids from multiple manufacturers and installers and provides each vendor’s costs, features and benefits to you.  Based on this analysis, TriFactor offers input regarding vendor selection: however, you make the final decision based on your priorities.  Once accomplished, TriFactor provides a summary of all vendor costs, applies a pre-negotiated profit margin, and develops a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for the contract.

Low risk.  TriFactor’s contract method is a cost plus a pre-negotiated profit margin up to a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP).  If the project comes under budget (through value engineering or other cost reduction methods) you benefit in the savings.  However, if the cost plus the pre-negotiated profit margin is higher than the GMP, then TriFactor absorbs the difference and you pay only the GMP. This approach provides both the front end savings, normally seen in fixed price multi-bid projects, along with the potential back end savings of a cost plus contract while minimizing the risk of going over budget due to the maximum price guarantee.

Time savings.  The traditional method of soliciting multiple bids often results in unexpected time delays.  First, you must develop the RFQ and then attempt to compare what can be completely disparate proposals, which may not conform to the RFQ.  Since this can be a daunting and costly process for many companies, they ultimately go with a trusted partner.  The TriFactor Edge, a material handling system solutions, process avoids expensive pitfalls and the loss of valuable time.