Answering FAQs as a provider of Control Software

Spring Automation 101: Answering Frequently Asked Questions, Part 1

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Answering FAQs as a provider of Control Software

As a provider of turnkey controls and control software for automated material handling equipment used in distribution and order fulfillment centers, Spring Automation partners with customers to ensure project success. That’s why we wanted to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves and share the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) we get to see if we are the right partner for you.

We get a lot of questions, so I’ll be answering them in this post and in a part two. Here, you’ll learn more about the solutions Spring Automation provides and types of projects we work on, and where we fit into the design process and project lifecycle.

What solutions and services does Spring Automation provide?

Spring Automation provides complete, end-to-end controls for automated material handling equipment. Our projects typically include programmable logic controllers (PLCs), control software, communications hardware and protocols, SCADA, human-machine interface (HMI) control systems, and more.

Additionally, we offer our proprietary Voyager warehouse control system (WCS) software, built with a modular design that enables easy configuration, or reconfiguration, as an operation’s needs change. Voyager can incorporate a variety of functions, including proactive monitoring in real-time to enable more informed decisions, highlighting key events in daily operations, an alarm tracking function to identify and track faults and errors, and more. Voyager can be configured to control destination routing, sorting, order consolidation, print-and-apply solutions, dimensioners, in-line scales for weight capture, and many other processes, systems, and tasks.

Spring Automation also offers service and maintenance contracts tailored to match our customers’ needs. We make recommendations to help operations managers strategically plan updates and modifications with our guidance to prevent any issues or code errors, avoiding unexpected downtime. Spring Automation further assists in troubleshooting and provides support to customers who are making changes to their current system. Our highly experienced controls engineers can travel on site for upgrades, modifications, expansions, and software updates.

What types of projects and industries does Spring Automation work on?

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and system integrators engage us to provide the controls hardware and software that make automated material handling, distribution, or order fulfillment operations function and perform as expected. We provide controls, electrical, and software packages for Greenfield facilities, retrofits and expansions of existing operations, updates, and modernizations of current control systems and software, and software updates for controls systems.

While we work in a broad range of industries, with the tremendous expansion of e-commerce and online shopping over the past few years, we’ve experienced an uptick in the number of parcel handling, logistics, and retail projects. The size and scope of our project work ranges from small engagements lasting a few days to large, multi-phase projects spanning multiple years.

Where does Spring Automation fit into the design process?

Spring Automation becomes involved early in the design process upon being invited by a system integrator or OEM to provide a controls and software design proposal for an automated system.

We start each proposal with a mechanical drawings package for the overall system design, a complete equipment list, the proposed project timeframe, and target go-live date. After evaluating this information, our solutions team then puts together a recommended design plan for the controls and electrical packages, as well as for any necessary software — such as our Voyager warehouse control system (WCS).

We work to provide solutions that enhance system usability, minimize the potential for unnecessary complexity in the controls, and prevent system errors or faults. For example, we propose the placement of key automatic identification and data capture technologies to maximize read rates and minimize errors.

Additionally, we try to gather as much information about the project’s current objectives, as well as any anticipated growth or phased expansion plans. Knowing ahead of time that an operation will likely be expanded in the future helps our engineers provide a design for installing equipment and controls that allow for the addition of more automated equipment. By investing in a larger or more expandable controls solution, an operation generally saves a significant amount of time and expense during the later phases of a system’s design.

Want to learn more about Spring Automation?

In my second FAQ post, I’ll explain what sets us apart as a turnkey controls and control software provider, how we’re proactively addressing the supply chain disruptions and lead time challenges, and how Spring Automation’s solutions are a key part of the digital innovations enabling distribution and fulfillment operations to maximize their automated system investments.

If you have any questions that I did not answer — or you want to learn more about our solutions, services, and software — connect with me at or by calling 615-472-9454. I look forward to hearing from you.


Alex Smith

About the Author

Alex Smith joined Spring Automation in December of 2021 as Director of Sales and Marketing. Alex graduated from Western Kentucky University with a degree in Corporate and Organizational Communication. He has held a CMSE (Certified Machinery Safety Expert) certification since 2018 while working for a safe automation company providing engineering services and products to OEMs, integrators, and end-users. Before joining Spring Automation, Alex spent 8+ years in the automation industry, serving in various sales roles. Most recently, he worked for an automation company specifying equipment for barcode scanning, dimensioning, and presence sensing, among many other applications in Logistics Automation. In his spare time, Alex enjoys playing golf, spending time with family and friends, being outdoors, and watching sports, especially the Kentucky Wildcats and Atlanta Braves.

Happy National Intern Day

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Happy National Intern Day to all our interns at Spring Automation, past and present.

We would like to recognize and celebrate the hard work, passion, and creativity they bring daily.

Thank you, Interns!

Meet our Summer 2022 Interns - Happy National Intern Day

Check out what current interns have to say about Spring Automation, their experience, and advice for students seeking an engineering internship.

Dylan Geiger is a Vanderbilt University student majoring in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Engineering Management. His favorite part of the internship has been the clear and consistent pride that the people at Spring show in their work and how great that makes it feel to come in each day. He has heard people speak about how Spring is the best company they've worked for, and it has become evident to him why from the close-knit, congenial atmosphere in the office and online meetings. His advice to a new intern would be to ask questions about the company, its work, the industry as a whole, and even life in general. He says the people at Spring are happy to share what they've learned on their journey to where they are now.

Clay Howard is a Tennessee Tech Mechanical Engineering Student. He says working alongside experienced engineers in this field has helped him become a better engineer for the future. He has learned how to use resources given to him and find resources to overcome obstacles in the design aspect more efficiently. His time at Spring Automation has shown him how important and entertaining it is for an engineer to always be curious and want to take the initiative to learn new software and skills. Clay has had the opportunity to assist Software and Controls Engineers in troubleshooting AutoCAD Electrical. Through the internship, he has learned how vast and powerful the software is and developed an interest in pursuing it further in the future.

Trenton Singleton is a Vanderbilt University Electrical Engineering Student. His advice for a new intern is to keep asking for opportunities to showcase your skills. He believes this is a way to show Engineering Team Leads what you are capable of and how hard you are willing to work, which can increase the number of projects you are assigned. The most surprising thing about the internship to Trenton was seeing how many skills learned during the summer could be used outside the controls engineering atmosphere. For example, to be a good controls engineer, IP addressing and networks are necessary to understand as well. His favorite part about being part of Spring Automation is the environment, and he jokes that the snacks are a big bonus too.

Patrick Schulte is a Tennessee Tech Mechanical Engineering Student. He knew he wanted to go into the automation field and had previous experience with PLC Programming, but he wanted to learn more about the engineering field. Patrick suggests that students seeking an internship should consider Spring Automation if they want to learn as much as possible about the industry. He mentions that internships aren't enough time to see the finished projects, but it allows students exposure and shows what it is like working for a company the size of Spring.

Magdy Girgis is an Electro-Mechanical Engineering student at Middle Tennessee State University. His favorite part about the Spring internship is discovering new technologies he had no idea existed. He found himself learning more about practical applications than in class, seeing first-hand all the different devices deployed in the field, and even taking part in addressing a few Remote IO modules. He appreciates Spring's mountain of educational resources, including the training portal, Lunch & Learns on the Spring server, and the Lab. In the Lab, interns can practice building circuits, become more familiar with the Powerflex 525 VFD, and study the code written to interact with different components, such as beacons, motors, cameras, photo eyes, etc. Learning how the company organizes the vast lines of code and breaks down tasks to distribute workload is a skill he will not forget. In addition, Magdy had the chance to attend a few meetings and the opportunity to understand the inner workings of quoting, accepting, commissioning, and handing off a project. He feels everybody who works at Spring is incredibly insightful, genuinely helpful, and extremely welcoming. He is truly grateful for his experience here and knows the next intern will be too.

Naba Al-Akashi is a Mechatronics Engineering student at Middle Tennessee State University. Her advice to a new intern is, "Don't be anxious. Know that here at Spring, every voice is heard, every idea is given a chance, and every person is valuable." She believes that at Spring Automation, there are endless opportunities to learn from more experienced interns, commissioning engineers, controls engineers, management, and other individuals from different departments. Naba has been an intern since May of 2021, making it hard to pinpoint a favorite part of her internship. However, each internship term has provided a unique learning opportunity. In the beginning, she developed her soft skills and learned how to define her weaknesses and work towards developing them into strengths. Overall, she has enjoyed seeing how the tasks asked of her, the ideas she has worked on bringing to fruition, and the skills I have acquired, have enabled me to become a member of the team and culture here at Spring Automation.

Listen to Naba share more about her experience and future goals as she grows at Spring Automation. 


Learn more about the Spring Automation Controls Engineering Internship below and apply today!

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At Spring Automation, we value team success and challenge every individual to strive for professional development. As a Spring Automation intern, you will have access to an online training portal designed to pave the road for growth by providing straightforward and easy-to-access training documents for all team members. We are committed to providing interns with the tools needed to succeed. The goal for the training portal design included ease of access, low pressure for trainees, and crafting a roadmap of content that matters. Training can help anyone feel more confident in his or her role producing better performance and efficiency.

At Spring, we also have a certification program that interns can participate in designed to accomplish the following goals:

  • Accurately evaluate team member skill set
  • Provide streamlined hands-on training catered to our clients & industry
  • Ensure quality standards at onboarding phase
  • Invest in continuous growth for existing team members and interns

The certification program at Spring recognizes team members and their achievements with the ability to earn a LinkedIn virtual badge, an enamel pin, and a certificate.


Visit us at MODEX 2022 at Booth #B4833

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MODEX 2022 + Spring Automation | Booth #B4833 | Atlanta, Georgia | Join us now! | March 28-31 | Your Premier Supply Chain Event |

Get the most out of Modex 2022 by scheduling a time to meet with Spring Automation at Booth #B4833! Learn more about our offerings and how Spring Automation can help improve your warehouse efficiency. Modex will allow you to discover cutting-edge solutions and the latest trends with an opportunity to network with other professionals. Meet, connect, and learn from over 1,000 leading solutions providers in the supply chain, manufacturing, and distribution industry.

Our experienced team of engineers and programmers understands your challenges and works hard to produce software solutions to improve your bottom line. We tailor-fit the perfect solution to optimize your warehouse operations and maximize productivity. Our process evaluates information essential to your business and matches the right software solution for you. Schedule a time to meet with us at Modex to discuss your issues and learn how we can help you through our various service offerings, including PLC Programming, HMI Development, Panel Fabrication, Electrical Installation, and Software (WCS).

Join us in Atlanta, GA, to explore next-generation solutions, and let us introduce the Spring Automation team to you. You can register at no cost for Modex. For more information about Spring Automation or to schedule a meeting, please connect with our sales team.

Three Ways to Succeed as a Commissioning Engineer

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Three Ways to Succeed

Working as a Commissioning Engineer, every day is different.

As a controls integrator, commissioning engineers play a pivotal role in on-site checkout and testing. Bench testing and panel shop checkouts are important to ensure a smooth commissioning process. Both will help identify issues in the system programming and the panel builds prior to arriving on site.

Here, we explore three strategies for someone starting their career as a commissioning engineer.

  1. Focus on Communication. Communication is an essential skill in every industry. In automation, it is vital since the stakes on a worksite can be higher than they are in the office or designing behind a desk. If communication on an automation site fails, not only can it potentially cause problems and delays for the project, but it can also result in damage to equipment or property or, in the worst case, injury or death to members of your crew. The job site is a moving, thriving ecosystem with people of all personality types and technical disciplines, and you never know what mix of people you will be working with. Remaining professional is important in a Commissioning Engineer role. Being professional means knowing you represent Spring in every situation and using professional language. Staying positive regardless of the situation is more impactful than most would think. A Spring Automation commissioning engineer strives to remain customer-focused.Be sure to know your responsibilities and ask questions to project managers or other Spring engineers when issues arise.

  2. Be Prepared and Organized. Preparation can be critical for any scenario. Preparing for commissioning ensures an efficient commissioning process. This also ensures all team members have what they need on-site. It is important to develop clear commissioning plans and trackers to understand what task needs to be completed and allow others to see what has been completed. This includes gathering all relevant documentation, schematics, manuals, programs in one place. A commissioning tracker is a spreadsheet used to keep track of projects during the on-site commissioning process. Forming a standardized testing procedure is a great way to streamline the commissioning process. It allows engineers to document all the IO that has been checked and the functionality test that have been performed. This helps coordinate the progress of the project between engineers on-site and project managers.

  3. Stay Detail-Oriented. Attention to detail is important in this industry due to the coordination of multiple teams and individuals. We work closely with our field installation supervision team to ensure the installation meets safety requirements, project requirements, and customer specifications. Coordination includes internal people at Spring Automation, subcontractors, site personal, customers, electricians, and other vendors. Demonstrating attention to detail is important when dealing with safety procedures. From the moment you enter a job site, it is important to be aware of surroundings and wear personal protective equipment.

Looking for more guidance on ways to launch your career path in the material handling industry? Connect with us at

A Day in the Life of an Account Executive

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As an Account Executive at Spring Automation, John Muether plays a critical role in maintaining client partnerships and expanding Spring's client base. Listen more to hear John share his experience and how he implements the sales process in his daily responsibilities.


My name is John Muether, and I am an Account Executive with Spring Automation. My role here at Spring Automation is to work with a portion of our existing clients to maintain and develop those partnerships and cultivate new business. Like most new partnerships, they all start with a cold call. Going into that call, I will know quite a bit about the company, who their leadership is, and what they do. My main objective is to understand what their expectations would be of us and what they look for in companies with long-lasting partnerships. Following that would be an assessment call, and that’s really where we do a deep dive into what Spring Automation offers. If the assessment call goes well, it would be retrieving an RFQ (request for quotation). We would bid that work and then hopefully the procurement of a PO (purchase order). Another one of my responsibilities here at Spring Automation is to serve as that liaison between our customers and our engineering team. The best sales advice that I’ve ever received is that the best salesperson reduces the stress of others around them, both colleagues and clients. I joined Spring Automation because they offer exceptional engineering services to our customers, but they have also cultivated a wonderful work environment. In my previous roles, I’ve worked for companies that provide automated software solutions. Still, these solutions were geared more towards the operations or finance part of the company, where I wanted to be more on the ground level. The biggest challenge that I have faced when joining Spring Automation was learning all of the industry terminology, as well as learning the functionality behind all the components and field devices that we might see for any given solution and the way I overcame this challenge was I spent quite a bit of time on site following David Moghadam. He is our electrical installation supervisor and spending quite a bit of time with our engineering team.

About Spring Automation:

Spring Automation provides material handling controls, software, and installation services to end-users, integrators, and OEMs across North America. We specialize in bringing our customers high-quality and dependable programming, design, and build solutions for their projects.

At Spring Automation, we are a family by our shared purpose: To Have Fun Building Legacies Together. We are a team that loves each other and what we do. We design and implement high-quality controls solutions. We strive for growth through diversification while maintaining a culture of teamwork and innovation. Whether we are serving our customers, community, or family, we take pride in everything we do. When we win, we win together.

Connect with John at to explore ways we can help you and your business meet your goals or visit to stay in the loop on our latest news, Spring team, and trending topics in the automation industry.

A Day in the Life of a Controls Engineer

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In her role as a Controls Engineer, Ashley Jones is inspired by the culture at Spring Automation. She has continued to grow within her current position through learning from past projects and coworkers. Listen more to hear Ashley share her experience.


I was looking for a company with a great culture which I've definitely found here at Spring Automation. My role is a Controls Engineer. I am responsible for Control Panel Designs and AutoCAD, PLC Programming, HMI programming and design, as well as onsite commissioning. My first project was large material handling site in Southern California. I joined Spring Automation because I knew that I would learn from all the extremely experienced engineers we have here. I love the environment here, and I knew it was a great opportunity to further my career in engineering. I enjoy working for Spring Automation because of the culture. We're like one big family who is always there for one another. Before becoming a Controls Engineer, I started my journey with Spring Automation as an intern. Throughout my internship, I was able to really get a feel for the culture that Spring has to offer and thoroughly enjoyed coming to work every day. One of my biggest challenges is being new to the engineering industry. I only graduated college about a year and a half ago. There's a bit of a learning curve whenever you first start. I overcome this challenge by working with my coworkers, asking as many questions as I need, and learning from past projects. In the future, I would like to work my way up to being Engineering Lead on projects so that way I can be more hands-on from beginning to end. 

About Spring Automation:

Spring Automation provides material handling controls, software, and installation services to end-users, integrators, and OEMs across North America. We specialize in bringing our customers high-quality and dependable programming, design, and build solutions for their projects.

At Spring Automation, we are a family by our shared purpose: To Have Fun Building Legacies Together. We are a team that loves each other and what we do. We design and implement high-quality controls solutions. We strive for growth through diversification while maintaining a culture of teamwork and innovation. Whether we are serving our customers, community, or family, we take pride in everything we do. When we win, we win together.

Are you looking for a new opportunity to grow? Connect with us at or visit to stay in the loop on our latest news, Spring team, and trending topics in the automation industry.

Warehouse Goals Made Simple: What You Need to Know about Voyager WCS

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Voyager WCS

Voyager is a Warehouse Control System (WCS) that benefits leading manufacturers, retailers, direct-sale, and e-commerce companies. We provide thirty years of industry experience in upper-level software and databases. Voyager offers a custom HMI capability. It is designed as an integrated software solution that extends beyond traditional WCS functionality. It provides scalable and configurable four-wall functionality to help you manage your business. Real-time data can help you make better decisions.

We offer an in-house WCS and HMI solution. Programmed in Python, our solution does not require licensing and is not tied to one provider. If you prefer a 3rd party HMI platform, such as Ignition, Spring can integrate Voyager into many HMI offerings.

WCS Screens:

  • Order Tracking
  • Lane Order Assignment
  • Conveyor Graphics
  • Scanner Screens
  • Alarm Screens
  • Sorter Hit Points
  • System Log

The purpose of Order Tracking is to reduce wasted time hunting down misplaced orders in a conveyor system. Voyager has the ability to track your order’s last position and report where it was last scanned or diverted in the system. Through Voyager, you now have the ability to assign certain order types to specific destinations. This includes directing certain shipping carriers, order types, or other criteria to specific sort lanes.

Our WCS and HMI offerings provide you with insights into the lower-level PLC controls and upper-level WCS.

Three benefits of adding Voyager WCS into your current operations:

  1. Modular Design. Easily configure and modify as your business grows and evolves.
  2. Proactive Monitoring. Use real-time data to make better decisions. Our System Log shows highlighted events in your day-to-day operations. The alarm history screen can help you identify and track faults in the system. Voyager provides a built-in search bar to enable you to search on a specific device or description with a filter for specific dates or timeframes.
  3. Low Total-Cost-of-Ownership. Through Voyager WCS, you do not have to spend money changing to expensive software. This allows you to spend more of your resources building your business.

We tailor-fit the perfect solution to optimize your warehouse operations and maximize productivity.

Explore Voyager further through watching this demonstration explaining standard screens and uses:

Reach out to us at to discuss Voyager WCS and learn more about how we can improve your warehouse efficiency.

The Importance of Training

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"An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” -Benjamin Franklin

At Spring Automation, we value team success and challenge every individual to strive for professional development. Training can help an employee feel more confident in his or her role producing better performance and efficiency. Nash Orten, a Spring Automation Engineering Team Lead, created a training portal to pave the road for growth by providing straightforward and easy to access training documents for all team members. His goal for the training portal design included ease of access, low pressure for trainees, and crafting a roadmap of content that matters. We are committed to providing employees the tools needed to succeed. Here are seven reasons to invest in training and other goals when creating the Spring Automation training portal.


7 Reasons to Invest in Training and Onboarding:

1. Set the Tone. Organized and developed training sets the tone for new hires; it shows them the company they just joined is organized and invested in their professional growth.

2. Hit the Ground Running. Proper training allows a recruit to spend two to four weeks preparing themselves for various engineering work, allowing them to impact project work within a month. Traditionally it takes a person three to five months to be effective.

3. Understand the Product. Good training can teach you how to do a task. Excellent training teaches you where your efforts fall into the bigger picture: the final product. Great training starts with driving the big picture of these systems home to the recruit.

4. Expand Hiring Pool. When a company invests in training programs, it now has the benefit of expanding its hiring pool to more entry-level talent. This is beneficial for candidates fresh out of school, providing more opportunities for students, and the business has more candidates and lower overhead.

5. Reduce Onboarding Strain. Training that is strategically planned can reduce the time spent by senior staff getting a recruit up to speed. Most training can be completed well before the "mentorship" phase starts, ensuring the recruit trains efficiently under a senior member.

6. Continued Growth. Training isn't just for new hires; continued growth and professional development is a vital part of staying ahead of the curve in today's technically challenging environment as well as keeping current team members engaged. When members have access to continuous training efforts, both employees and administrators can set constant improvement goals that are measurable and beneficial.

7. Team Engagement. Training and onboarding is a team effort, with members contributing and taking ownership of various content. This gives our more experienced team members the chance to share their knowledge and give back to the community within Spring.


Training Portal Design Goals:

1. Low Pressure & Ease of Access. Ensuring the training material is in a format that is easy to follow and readily accessible ensures that new hires can train at their own pace. This results in trainees taking the appropriate time to learn a new skill or freshen up on existing skills at their own pace.

2. Archive of Knowledge. Previously, it was required for an individual to be involved in a project to reap the experience gained during the process. Now, experienced team members can share their experience and knowledge with others by developing "training modules." This allows a new and existing member to navigate the various modules available, picking up skills and insights previously unavailable.

3. Content That Matters. Providing visual aids and working examples helps new hires retain key processes while feeling comfortable tackling real project work for the first time. With ever-changing technical/client specifications, Spring ensures that critical concepts are showcased, cutting down on time spent "searching for answers."

4. Road-mapping. The process of developing a training "map" that allows a new hire to hyper-focus the subjects they will be working on initially. With all the technical disciplines of our industry, road-mapping allows Spring to model various training efforts to fit our project forecasts, ensuring we have the resources available when and where they are needed most.

5. Remote Capabilities. The Training Portal was designed to onboard team members from home with remote work in mind. It is rarely necessary for a team member to be somewhere in person when using the latest technology and a remote mentality. This allows for flexible training times and opens Spring up to hiring individuals outside of the Nashville area.

6. Virtual Tours. Want to catch up on a previous project or learn about specific systems? Why not take a tour of a facility before diving into working examples that showcase how to design the system? Through our 360-degree view virtual tours, it is now possible to showcase our product to someone entirely new to our industry.


Are you looking for an opportunity to grow in a collaborative and team-oriented environment? Connect with us at careers@springautomation to learn more about employment opportunities.

Company Culture

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“I liked them so much, I joined them,” said a current project manager who worked closely with our team during his previous job.  

This quote exemplifies how we at Spring value a community that extends beyond our team. The individuals we serve are a piece of that community. We are built on teamwork, beginning by treating customers like they are a part of our team. Our shared purpose: “To Have Fun Building Legacies Together,” guides our actions daily. These characteristics contribute to our company culture.  

Company Culture

Finding a company whose culture aligns with your views is highly sought after when looking for a new job. Company culture can be defined as a set of shared values, goals, attitudes that characterize an organization. Although we have set values as a company, the values are steered not only by the company’s leaders; but also through our employees’ unspoken behavior.

Many companies are facing new challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, “42% of the U.S. labor force works from home full-time.” A significant concern among leaders is the continuation of collaboration and communication between co-workers while working from home. We confront this issue by celebrating each other’s successes through company-wide meetings where each department has the opportunity to share highlights from projects, employee recognition, and company news. We cheer each other on and take pride in everything we do. We are always there for one another and strive to sharpen our team. Virtual team events also occur throughout the week, creating time for team members to pause their work to build relationships. Over the past few months, our leaders have ensured that employees have the tools to continue to succeed in their role, whether that be a computer monitor for their home office or extra hand sanitizer and a face mask for on-site. 

According to the 2020 MHI Industry Report, “56% of companies find it challenging to hire or retain qualified workers.” Company culture is essential in the retention of employees in this fast-growing industry. We are excited to continue to grow as a team and as individuals. Are you looking for a new opportunity in Material Handling? Reach out to us today. 

Connect with us at to learn more about creating a partnership with our team.