Expert Answers to Biz Questions
Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.
3 Steps to Ensure You Have Good Material Handling Solutions
As a desk jockey turned serious entrepreneur, you did not toil away each day and night to grow your small business to the point where you have a solid social media following and growing customer demand, only to be stumped by how to warehouse your products for maximum efficiency. When you envisioned having the envious problem of filling orders, you did not think it would be because your inventory was so poorly laid out that you have created a huge logistics snafu that makes it next to impossible to quickly get to and ship products to your customers.
This business of how you store your products and how you move them out has been called many names. Some prefer to call it supply chain management (SCM), while others prefer simply logistics—although, logistics falls under the SCM umbrella. Most are simply confused by what the distinct differences are between these terms and, therefore, use them interchangeably. SCM applies to the “value chain” of activities across multiple companies, in contrast to logistics in which the value chain is within a single company. Names aside, the important factor is that it is critical to have the right solutions in place to handle the transport and storage of materials so that your customers are happy; your warehouse, distribution center, or fulfillment center employees are happy and remain safe; and your business thrives.
Here are a few material handling—also frequently referred to as materials handling—pointers to boost your company’s efficiency, no matter what industry you are in.
Get the Right Equipment
In a warehouse, distribution center, or fulfillment center environment, it is important to have the right equipment to store and move your products, especially in the case of a high-velocity distribution center where goods must be sent to the loading docks in a very timely fashion. These days, you can find all types of collapsible wire mesh storage containers, conveyor systems, bulk storage racks, hand trucks, pallet jacks, teardrop pallet racks, drive-in racks, and other types of solutions to accommodate various product dimensions and weights and various facility sizes. Many of the storage solutions on the market, in addition to being durable and high quality, are constructed to offer a great deal of versatility. This latter feature, versatility, is appealing to businesses focused on scaling in the near future that do not want to keep spending on updating their solutions.
Get the Right Maintenance
After buying the right material handling solutions, they should not be left unchecked. It is imperative that these solutions receive the proper maintenance on a routine basis so that they do not break down or become inoperable due to age, misuse, or abuse, or under the weight of the products, and cause product damage. Such damage could cost a fortune, which no small business can afford to cover.
Get the Right Training
You can have the best shelving and rack systems and other material handling solutions in place for your business, but none of it is worthwhile without providing the necessary training to manage it all. You must arrange for staff responsible in this area to be trained in the best ways to use all this equipment and keep it all functioning properly. That includes creating floor plans or layouts and determining how to organize it all for optimum retrieval. Putting together best practices will go a long way toward achieving success in storing, moving, selecting, and shipping products speedily and efficiently. The time savings will lead to bottom-line-friendly cost savings that can be reinvested in the business for a promising growth trajectory.
Keep Making Room for Growth
If you have been smart enough to build a business to the point where you need a warehouse, distribution center, or fulfillment center, then that alone is a real accomplishment. Do not stop there, though. Many businesses have suffered considerably and have even gone under due to a failure to manage their inventories properly; for example, such poor management has led to a poor customer delivery track record and poor forecasting, as well as a production decrease. If you have not hired an outside company to handle all your fulfillment operations, then make sure you have bought the right solutions to manage your inventory and that you have devised a system for efficiently transporting those goods from the storage facility to your customer’s doorstep. Today, you have much to choose from as material handling solutions are becoming more innovative each day, so stay on top of the latest trends, implement them if you see a direct need, and see your business continue to rise.
Copyright 1995-2021, Idea Cafe Inc. Downloads are for personal use only, not for resale to others, and may not be reprinted in any form without written permission from Idea Cafe Inc.
DISCLAIMER: We hope whatever you find on this site is helpful, but be cautioned that it may not apply to your own situation, or be totally current at any given time. Idea Cafe Inc. and all of its current and past experts, sponsors, advertisers, agents, contractors and advisors disclaim all warranties with regard to anything found anywhere on this family of websites, quoted from, or sent from Idea Cafe. and its related sites, publications and companies. We also take no responsibility for comments published by others on these pages. TRADEMARKS: The following are Registered Trademarks or Servicemarks of DevStart, Inc.: Idea Cafe®, Online Coffee Break®, The Small Business Gathering Place®, Take out Info®, Biz Bar & Grill®, Complaint-O-Meter®, A Fun Approach to Serious Business, CyberSchmooz, and BizCafe.
DISCLAIMER: We hope whatever you find on this site is helpful, but be cautioned that it may not apply to your own situation, or be totally current at any given time. Idea Cafe Inc. and all of its current and past experts, sponsors, advertisers, agents, contractors and advisors disclaim all warranties with regard to anything found anywhere on this family of websites, quoted from, or sent from Idea Cafe. and its related sites, publications and companies. We also take no responsibility for comments published by others on these pages.
TRADEMARKS: The following are Registered Trademarks or Servicemarks of DevStart, Inc.: Idea Cafe®, Online Coffee Break®, The Small Business Gathering Place®, Take out Info®, Biz Bar & Grill®, Complaint-O-Meter®, A Fun Approach to Serious Business, CyberSchmooz, and BizCafe.