Material handling includes moving, storing, controlling, and protecting products and materials throughout the manufacturing process. Such a process includes material distribution, consumption, and even disposal. There is a range of solutions and systems throughout this process that require the use of material handling equipment to support logistical matters. This equipment helps companies become more effective in the form of improved customer service, efficient delivery times, inventory reduction, handling costs reduction, and transportation costs reduction.

When designing the material handling system of your company, you must refer to best practices. This makes sure all the processes and equipment work together smoothly. You can accomplish this by analyzing what you are trying to achieve.

Here are some tips that can help you improve your process when handling materials:

Determine your Goal

Determine what exactly you need and what you are trying to achieve when it comes to improved performance. Listen to anyone who will be involved in the process. Also, consider asking for input from end-users and suppliers. Take your time analyzing your implemented systems that have been successful.

Ensure your Equipment Meets Minimum Standards

Whatever item you use, ensure they meet minimum standards without needing customization. You must look for a solution to any material problem and through a standardized process or equipment. Keep in mind that anything custom can be more expensive and will cost more to repair and maintain. Usually, standardized equipment functional enough to work in several areas and aid in various tasks. Be consistent in your choice of storage equipment that includes shelves, bins, and racks, as well as transport equipment. Also, ensure consistency in your product handling process to reduce errors and confusion.

Use Technology

Technological advances have entered the warehousing sector. Warehouse management software programs are an example that can help increase business processes including product handling.

Employ Automation

These days, automation makes works a lot easier and faster than before. Make sure to automate wherever possible. Consider automated picking and put-away technologies. Conveyor systems are great investments. With automation, your business efficiency, responsiveness, accuracy, and consistency will increase.

Assess Lifecycle Costs

When investing in product handling equipment, you need to look beyond the initial capital outlay.  Make sure to account for the cost of consumables, installation, training, setup, maintenance, and repair. In some instances, a handling solution that looks less expensive upfront will lead to higher costs in the long run. Aside from costs, you need to assess how efficiency and productivity have improved.