Material handling involves moving products from one place to another. This is especially common in distribution centres, warehouses and manufacturing plants. Efficiency in material handling involves moving these products as quickly and as safely as possible.
Ensuring that your material handling system works efficiently is, however, not an easy task. It involves a lot of coordination and synchronization. Nonetheless, the following tips could help you implement the appropriate material handling system.
1. Analyze Your Products
The product to be moved around determine the kind of material handling system you should put in place. While this may seem obvious, it is common for many people to assume that all products require the same type of handling. While a one-size-fits-all system may appear ideal at the beginning, with time you start to realize that it cannot handle all operations.
Rather than have to spend more down the line, it’s advisable that you invest in a system that will accommodate all your material handling needs as this will save costs in the long run. You should be intimately acquainted with your products and what they require in terms of handling.
After evaluating your products and identifying what each will require in terms of handling, the next stage is to design a system that addresses the requirements of your products. At this stage, you need to have a clear picture of what your new material handling system will require.
At the back of your mind should be a system that will handle most, if not all, of your products. It should also be cost-effective, especially in terms of cost savings in the long run. After settling on an appropriate design, the next stage is to customize it to your needs before installing it.
Once your new material handling system is installed, before you authorize its full-fledged use, have it evaluated and monitor how it works. This is a kind of a test-run to establish if your new system works as intended. Note any new requirements that may need to be incorporated before you release the system.
Evaluate its usefulness not only in moving products around but also in terms of cost-effectiveness. Seek answers to questions that could result in a more efficient material handling system. At the end of the day, you want a material handling system that improves overall handling efficiency in a way that results in better profits for your business.
4. Ensure It Is Profitable
As noted above, at the end of the day, your eye must be on your company’s bottom line. To replace an existing system, there has to be a compelling reason, backed by evidence, for adopting a new material handling system. Its benefits must spill down not only into improved processes, but also in improved productivity and profitability.
If after evaluation there is no clear indication of how the new system will improve your bottom line, you might want to rethink the idea. It is therefore important that you thoroughly analyze data collected during the evaluation stage and determine what value the proposed system will add to your operations. Proceed only if the new system will result in both improved material handling processes and higher profitability.
An effective material handling system should facilitate quick and efficient plant operations. Everything must work like clockwork for processes and tasks to run smoothly. The right system should be able to integrate forklifts, conveyors, cranes and other material handling equipment to ensure an efficient and smooth integration of a company’s operations. Beyond improved processes, the new system must add value, and profits, to your company’s bottom line.