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Klein Tools - For Professionals Since 1857

Klein Snapshot – February 12

Posted on:February 12, 2021

Throughout 2021, once a month we’re continuing to bring you a Klein Timeline Snapshot: a look back in time at a specific year, looking at what the world was like in said year, and what was happening with Klein Tools.

This month’s year: 1993

Chevy Lumina: $12,599
Men’s slacks: $25.99 per pair
Pillsbury cake mix: $.79 per box

What was happening in the world: February 1993 saw America experience a terrorist attack in the form of a bombing at the World Trade Center in New York City. A truck bomb was detonated below the North Tower and was intended to send the North Tower crashing into the South Tower, taking down both and killing tens of thousands of people Luckily, this series of events failed to come to fruition, but the bomb still killed 6 people and injured over 1000. In the aftermath of the bombing, the World Trade Center and the businesses that resided inside reevaluated and updated safety protocols and specifically procedures for evacuation of the buildings. These updated procedures played a crucial role in evacuating during the September 11 attacks nearly a decade later.

What was happening with Klein Tools: As Klein Tools set its sights on better performance, its leaders knew the company would need to come up with a better distribution system that could get products efficiently to market. The company’s Cedar Rapids distribution center was the hub though which all Klein products flowed to customers, but its inventory management and shipping processes were entirely manual. In 1993, the management team oversaw the start of fully automating the center, and by the end of the year, the entire system was automated and electronically controlled. Handheld computer and robotics worked together to bring orders to the floor electronically, and conveyers brought bar-coded and specially sized boxes to match orders to pickers who were only picking in their own zones. Orders were picked directly into containers and products were scanned to ensure accuracy. This process of automation and innovation made 1993 a year where the center was able to process a record number of products.

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