5 Methods to Improve Material Handling Processes

Material handling solutions help to ensure that productivity, safety, and efficiency are the top priorities in a production warehouse setting. These solutions are structures and tools that help facilitate organization in a space that can often feel disorganized and hectic. These tools can aid in the movement and organization of materials from place to place in the warehouse and making sure that required materials are visible for employees who will need them.

These solutions do not look like any one type. They can come from a plethora of different designs, or be completely customized based on the needs of the warehouse.

1. Reduce employee exertion

Some material handling solutions work towards decreasing the physical stress on employees. Things like conveyor belts can help create a production line to move materials from one place to another without employees having to run back and forth all the time. Other material handling solutions include wheels, allowing employees to move something that was once static. What’s important to remember is that a material handling solution is only limited to the imagination. These solutions also promote safety, meaning there should be fewer employee injuries.

2. Speed up processes

With things moving more quickly around the warehouse, it is only natural that more work is going to get done. Material handling solutions make work easier and quicker, ultimately increasing the work capacity of the unit. One of the ways material handling solutions speed up processes is through organization. Large boards and shelving units can help keep tools and materials visible and available for employees who need them, which means less time is wasted searching around for lost items.

3. Keep materials safe

A big material handling solution is creating effective storage units. Things may sit in a warehouse or other industrial setting for ages, and it is imperative that these items be ready to use or ready to transport whenever they may be needed, no matter when that may be. Storage units not only means that the materials need to be stored safely, but it also means they need to be easily accessible.

Because these solutions are customizable, that means that very large, very small, or oddly shaped items can all have their very own custom storage location. This ensures that nothing becomes lost, damaged, or squished in the storage and retrieval process.

4. Optimize space

A warehouse is only as good as its size, and wasted space also means wasted money and resources. Having custom material handling solutions will allow for the minimum amount of space to be used up, which leaves room for expansion if the need ever arises. Having space to move around is important, and being able to adjust for changes in the company is a must. Chaos will breed in a warehouse with unoptimized space and messy storage solutions.

5. Keep it simple

Where the saying to live by used to be “bigger is better” it is now “keep it simple”. Keeping material handling equipment light, agile, and small is key to keeping processes running smoothly. But that doesn’t necessarily mean starting from scratch. Although that is an option, it is often not plausible to stop production to tear everything down and start over. Material handling solutions can be adapted to work with the current setup or to work around the current setup. It really is about combining a minimalist-style simplicity with the complex workings of a production line.

Ultimately, material handling equipment is for the company and for the employees. It can increase production and revenue, it can decrease injury and burnout, and it can do it all without delaying or halting processes.