Material handling relates to how you move, store, control, and protect the products and materials that you receive from your supplier in the warehouse. Of course, it’s crucial for your business to handle material with utmost care and planning to make sure you are never late for shipping products to your customers, your investment doesn’t go to waste, and you can always keep an eye on the stock levels.
Most companies use an innovative modular belt conveyor to transport items from one place to another in the warehouse safely while minimizing downtime. In addition, you may have noticed that the shelves of Walmart are almost always full, and there’s no doubt why it’s one of the top American multinational retailers since it doesn’t compromise on its material handling processes.
If you want to better the material handling at your warehouse and maximize profits, keep reading this article!
You can’t make any changes or improve material handling at your warehouse without getting a grasp of the current operations. For this, you should conduct an audit and observe your material handling operations. You should notice how much time it takes to load and unload the items, how you receive them, and how orders are fulfilled.
Make sure you record them, so you can measure against them in the future to assess the improvement of your material handling. You will have to create KPIs specific to your business needs, such as worker turnaround, load and unload time, and overall output, to better measure your efficiency.
Of course, you may have hired plenty of workers for your warehouse. In order to utilize their strengths, you must assign them certain roles that match their expertise and experience level, as this will ensure a smoother and more efficient workflow in the facility.
For example, if there’s a new worker in the warehouse, they should be assigned to order fulfillment and retrieve products from the shelf. As they complete these duties, they will also get familiar with the warehouse, so they won’t have any issues taking on other tasks down the road.
On the other hand, your most experienced workers may be well-familiar with sorting items, driving around the facility, and even handling certain pieces of products.
Since your workers will be handling materials in the facility, you must consider their physical limitations. If they are exhausted or injured, they won’t be able to perform their best, and this will lead to damaged items and wrong orders and will cause you loss.
Therefore, you must properly train your employees for the most ergonomic way of lifting, squatting, carrying, and bending. In addition, you must communicate with them and take appropriate measures. You should also allow them breaks throughout the day.
Where possible, investing in automatic or semi-automatic equipment for material handling, like pickers, lift trucks, and carts will instantly boost the productivity of your facility.
When you assign one task to your workers at a time, they will be more productive and handle the materials in a more effective way. For example, the first half of the day should be dedicated to order fulfillment, and the other half of the day should be related to unloading materials and product sorting.
For this, it’s vital for you to prioritize the tasks of the day and make sure you and your workers don’t feel stressed or overwhelmed.
You shouldn’t overlook the significance of material handling to improve the efficiency of your facility. Investing in a material handling management platform will allow you to keep track of the movement of the inventory within the warehouse.
For instance, if you have a large facility with a plethora of products and different SKUs, you can scan them and add them to your system to always stay updated. Other innovative technology can also help you log transportation and record inventory for added efficiency.
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