Any business has the potential of running smoothly and efficiently if it can detect and address any inefficiencies. The world has come to be so competitive that business managers can’t afford running losses or cutting back on their full potential due to some inefficiencies. Material handling solutions ranks among some of the most common culprits which cause inefficiencies in warehouse and manufacturing operations. From here, there can be any number of issues from faulty equipment to overly complicate buildings which can all slow down the productivity levels of the business and in turn, even eat into the profits.
The best step you can take is to start by taking a close look at the operations of the business and taking down notes of what is working and what’s not. From there, you can consider the three areas discussed below to try and ensure that the materials handling processes are done more efficiently.
- Take a look at your new layout options
If your business materials handling area has a poor layout then you may end up spending more time walking across the floors. It’s true that restructuring your floors can be time-consuming as well as disruptive, but the potential benefits that it comes with are worth it. You will immediately realize a significant increase in workflow and its efficiency as well. You can improve or enhance your business layout in the following ways:
- Be smart in the way you route your business’s foot and vehicle traffic. In occasions where employees cross each other’s paths more than once, you will realize that the workflow reduces significantly. So, if you can’t reroute some of the workers on separate paths, then you can use labels to direct the traffic flow.
- You can also consider using narrow isles which will reduce the total space in your business’s materials handling area.
- Try and go vertical when you notice that you are running low on ground space in your business. You can use the vertical lift modules and carousels in these situations.
- Have the right technology and equipment
The application of new tech and equipment in the manufacturing industry has seen to it that the industry makes a comeback which is now revolutionizing each sector. Some examples of the material handling technologies which you may want to consider if you plan on being more efficient are:
- Vehicle-mounted technology – simply game changers when it comes to materials handling. They help save a lot of time and energy and you have the potential of being more productive. A good example is a forklift.
- Vertical carousels – they help reduce strain on your workers and keep them more productive at the same time.
- Energy efficiency initiatives – technology is improving by the day and we are now more capable of making dents in the overall fuel costs.
- Document everything
In the current modern world, data is everything. The best step you can take to improve your business efficiency when it comes to materials handling is to log every activity and even watch for current trends in the market as well. You can take the following steps to use numbers to improve your efficiency:
- Watch for the times of the day and seasons
- Record the number of times each item is moved or touched
- Ensure everything is labeled appropriately
- Log all the man-hours and compare them with different workflows.