Struggling with warehouse space? Look at the racks

How on top of your inventory management are you?

How on top of your inventory management are you?

Warehouse space is costly and scarce, which causes warehouse managers to get creative when trying to expand their fleet. However, you may be able to do more with the space you have, bettering your facility capabilities. When you’re bringing in inventory on material handling carts and stacking it as is, you’re not giving much thought to the capabilities of your current storage.

DC Velocity reports that with a little adjustment, you can increase the available space in your warehouse by up to 40 percent. The news provider reports it starts with looking at the slot heights of your pallet racks. In most cases, warehouses use the same height across the board, causing wasted space of the gaps in between. By measuring out what specific slot height you need for each of your pallet racks, you can adjust them and create more space for stacking, ultimately allowing you to keep more inventory on hand without the need for buying more space.

Shelving is critical in saving space. According to Supply Chain Beyond, if a warehouse is full, that typically means it’s disorganized. Using shelving, you can stack more inventory horizontally, clearing up your floor. Measure each container of inventory and stack from largest to smallest, so pickers don’t have a heavy lift when they’re retrieving from the top.

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Worried about theft? Focus on proper inventory management

Improve efficiency to stay competitive.

Improve efficiency to stay competitive.

Store theft is a real issue that affects the bottom line of businesses across the country. But it may not be the number one reason your costs are down. In fact, it could have to do with your leniency in checking the inventory on your material handling equipment as you move about the warehouse.

According to DC Velocity, poor inventory management contributes to a larger loss of revenue than theft, and it’s an issue that runs rampant, as 99 percent of survey respondents reported some kind of continuous inventory problem. Moreover, 87 percent said that this was the number one cause of lost revenue, according to the news provider. As a result of poor inventory management, retailers suddenly find themselves with either too much or too little inventory, that ultimately affects their bottom line.

Getting a grip on inventory management should be a top priority for retailers, particularly those who are trying to keep costs down. According to Inflow Inventory, it’s a smart idea to calculate your minimal inventory stock level. This should be the smallest amount you want to keep on hand before re-ordering, and the equation can be adjusted when you start noticing peaks in season or growing consumer demand.

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The manufacturing industry struggles with its reputation

How on top of your inventory management are you?

How on top of your inventory management are you?

The manufacturing sector has been trying to appeal to younger workers to help bridge the talent gap. With more people retiring and not enough people going into the industry, there remains a lot of barriers to getting people to join the sector. While material handling equipment can help, because it increases productivity and allows workers to reduce the number of trips they have to do, there’s still a need to attract skilled talent.

Industry Week reports one of the major drawbacks in the manufacturing sector has a bad reputation for not being “cool” enough when it comes to drawing in younger audiences. This reputation is in part built by older workers not understanding the younger generations and what their needs are, alienating them from potentially joining the ranks.

In addition to trying to appeal to younger workers, manufacturing managers can look at their processes and see what needs to change in order to have a more productive environment. The Small Business Chronicle reports that by assessing the lay of the land and monitoring all the equipment in the warehouse, you can see what’s actually bringing your productivity levels down. This can help you fix the problem before it becomes too cumbersome and drive up your efficiency.

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Retail sales expected to grow through the year

How on top of your inventory management are you?

How on top of your inventory management are you?

When operations are bustling, warehouses feel the importance for having a competent team and enough material handling equipment to move all products efficiently. Being able to serve customers on an on-demand basis becomes increasingly critical as businesses try to fight for consumer loyalty and market share; and it seems like things will not be slowing down anytime soon.

According to Material Handling and Logistics, analysts are targeting retail sales to grow this year between 3.8 percent and 4.4 percent, indicating that the economy will remain strong in the face of growing uncertainty with the stock market. Because the job market has been doing well in spite of market volatility, people are more comfortable with spending as salaries continue to rise.

In an effort to keep up with demand, warehouse managers need to ensure their operations are streamlined and efficient. By assessing any lags within the warehouse, you can address them and improve overall production. According to Multichannel Merchant, observing all of your warehouse processes and strategizing ways to simplify them can go a long way. Not only does this keep your operation efficient, but it also helps reduce costs. Not only will this help your bottom line, but the efficiency could help you increase sales.

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Know your warehouse inside and out for best management practices

Improve efficiency to stay competitive.

Do you have a pulse on warehouse operations?

Maintaining an extensive material handling fleet can feel burdensome. It’s critical for warehouse managers to expect all costs and to be able to predict any trends possible for optimal warehouse layout. If you’re able to keep a clean warehouse layout, maintaining efficient production can come much easier.

According to Business Matters Magazine, you should know the ins and outs of your warehouse operation, so when you suddenly find yourself having to address an issue, you’re able to look at the big picture and come up with a solution. The news provider reports that being well-versed in the business operations can mean being able to see the underlying cracks in the business that are causing the big issues.

The news provider also suggests using material handling equipment to move inventory around, particularly if you’re starting to notice purchase trends that require the inventory to be front and center for easy fulfillment.

Multichannel Merchant reports it’s critical for warehouse managers to assess the building and sure the space is being used in the most efficient manner. Look at whether you can stack inventory vertically while also making sure material handling equipment can seamlessly turn corners and move down the aisles.

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Going green can matter to your company’s bottom line

How on top of your inventory management are you?

Use material handling equipment that does not burn fuel.

Companies are increasingly feeling the pressure to be more sustainable in their operations. Going green can seem overwhelming, but making the change is setting companies that do it ahead of the competition.

According to Material Handling & Logistics, suppliers that have cut their overall emissions saw cost savings of nearly $20 billion. Not only is taking the sustainable measure a smart business practice, but it could end up saving your business money. Not only could it help your business, it could also keep you in the good graces of your purchasers.

The news provider goes on to report that nearly 75% of purchasers interviewed said they would consider terminating a business relationship with an existing supplier if they were not making adjustments to their environmental impact.

However, there are steps you can do in your practice that can help reduce emissions that you may not even realize, and it starts with material handling equipment. According to Manufacturing.net, it’s important to reduce the use of fuel in your operations from equipment such as forklifts. Using material handling equipment that doesn’t burn emission can help, such as pallet jacks, dollies and other means of moving bulk items without a motor. This can help keep operations moving efficiently without affecting the carbon footprint.

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Warehouse management tries to fight the talent gap

Material handling equipment can move things along.

Material handling equipment can move things along.

Talent in the warehouse has never been harder to come by. Managers are finding there is a fight for top talent to use material handling equipment to load and offset inventory, and assist with logistics strategy.

Modern Materials Handling reports that management in the warehouse is trying to navigate the talent shortage while still being productive. In fact, the news provider reports that the labor shortage won’t change until 2030, all while the push to be more efficient continues. According to the source, offsetting the labor shortage starts with training, and making workers feel confident in the work they are doing.

There are other ways to work around the labor shortage. Material handling equipment can help, as it allows workers to move multiple items at a time without worry of strain, and equipment keeps things moving efficiently. Manufacturing.net reports that the kind of equipment used can also be helpful in reducing repetitive motions and making things more productive. Additionally, purchasing smartly can keep costs down, as the news provider reports that having equipment that can move around in multiple parts of the warehouse and do a variety of things keeps operations running smoothly while reducing the need for buying more equipment.

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E-commerce signals a rise in warehouse demand

Improve efficiency to stay competitive.

Improve efficiency to stay competitive.

Due to the rise of e-commerce, warehouse managers have found themselves scrambling for talent, material handling equipment, and software to keep operations efficient and addressing an increasingly on-demand consumer market. Space issues are also a concern for many, with warehouse shelves being stacked to the brim but still needing to reach customers quick.

Material Handling and Logistics reports that e-commerce is responsible for demand in the warehouse real estate market. Because there has been such a push to occupy more warehouse space, real estate dealers in the warehouse sector have been able to test how much tenants are willing to pay and trying to understand their capacity needs.

One of the biggest real estate wars is over location, as companies are trying to be on the outskirts of dense markets in order to offer reliable and fast delivery service. This is causing prices to go up while the amount of available land is closing in.

Logistics Management reports when managers are eyeing new warehouses for their business, they’re aiming to be as flexible as possible. In order to fulfill customers’ needs on an on-demand basis, flexibility is key to staying competitive in the market and keeping consumers happy and loyal.

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Use material handling equipment to prevent injuries on the job

Material handling equipment can help keep employees free of injury.

Material handling equipment can help keep employees free of injury.

Material handling equipment can help offset the physical stress placed on employees in the manufacturing and retail sectors. Working in a warehouse frequently means sorting, placing and retrieving inventory, which can be a burdensome task depending on how heavy it is. While warehouse managers should be training employees on how to handle inventory properly, but equipment can not only make things more efficient, but also keep workers safe.

According to Reliable Plant, lifting heavy inventory and then straining oneself is one of the most common forms of injury in the warehouse. The news provider estimates that between 40 and 50 percent of all injury claims are for lower back injuries while on the job. You should be trying to reduce the amount of repetitive work for your employees to keep them safe from injuries, which is where material handling equipment can come in, as these tools allow users to move large loads without as much manual effort.

Safety Culture reports managers should assess how much physical labor is being done in the warehouse and determine what can be simplified. For example, if you’re noticing employees are doing a number of trips back and forth, try increasing the use of equipment to reduce the instances.

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Small businesses struggle to hire talent against large competitors

Improve efficiency to stay competitive.

Improve efficiency to stay competitive.

The manufacturing industry continues to face competition in attracting top talent. It’s critical to have a workforce that’s able to not only handle material handling equipment and be available for shift work, but there’s an increasing importance placed on strategic and efficiency planning.

However, in addition to facing competition with other industry, it may also depend on the kind of organizations attracting top talent. According to Manufacturing.net, small businesses are struggling to keep up with large, established brands, in a trend that has no sign of changing anytime soon. The news provider reports that during the month of January, businesses with 49 workers or less were responsible for 63,000 new jobs, which is down from the 107,000 created in December. While it might not be in the budget as much as it is for larger organizations, it’s still important for small businesses to stay competitive when it comes to hiring.

This is not a new issue, according to Small Biz Trends, 24 percent of small businesses responded that they found it difficult to recruit top talent than they did five years ago. However, 35 percent said it’s remained just as difficult. In order to bring in the best, you need to offer incentives and show the benefits of working at your small organization.

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