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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With vacancy scarce, warehouse demand grows

How on top of your inventory management are you?

How on top of your inventory management are you?

With the rise of e-commerce, there’s more demand than ever for warehouse space. However, there is still the hurdle of finding enough space for it. Managers have been trying to be increasingly efficient, both in terms of production by incorporating material handling equipment into the mix, and in space, by stacking inventory high and taking advantage of the vertical space in the warehouse.

There’s a growing need for warehouse space but there aren’t as many vacancies. According to the Wall Street Journal, warehouse availability is at its lowest point since the year 2000. The news provider reports in the last quarter of last year, availability in the real estate market dropped by 7 percent. Additionally, if you’re able to find available warehouse space, it could cost you. The news provider reports the demand for this kind of real estate has driven cost up.

As companies are trying to reach consumers faster, popular warehouse areas are seeing more demand than ever. However, there’s hope for the market, as Benzinga reports that construction is happening in the Atlanta, Chicago, mid-Pennsylvania, Dallas/Fort Worth and Inland Empire, California areas to make warehouse space more readily available. In the meantime, continue to use your space as efficiently as possible.

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More brands are looking to international opportunities to be successful

Think about your current supply chain and how you can expand it.

Think about your current supply chain and how you can expand it.

Companies have been trying to increase their reach in the market with e-commerce. With more consumers looking for on-demand service, it’s imperative to have your warehouse in order so you can fulfill orders quickly and provide accurate timetables for delivery. Scanning each item that comes into the warehouse on material handling equipment will help set you up for success, but partnerships are important as well, particularly on a global scale.

Material Handling and Logistics reports that it’s critical for companies to adopt more e-commerce partnerships that can help them on a global scale. The news provider reports one of the most appealing strategies for brands right now is adopting a cross-border mentality that’s typically low cost to entry but has maximum benefit in potential revenue generation.

However, there are some hurdles to get through in order to ensure you’re reaching your global consumers while keeping costs down. According to Inbound Logistics, you need to make sure your operations are flexible and adjust to whatever the preferences are of your distribution partners. This can vary, depending on the location, but it’s important, as the news provider reports that this ensures that inventory can be moved as it’s in transition, and the global supplier isn’t sitting on inventory waiting for it to be purchased.

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As on demand grows, so does the need for inventory management

Improve efficiency to stay competitive.

Improve efficiency to stay competitive.

The business of on-demand consumer fulfillment continues to be a major struggle for warehouse managers. More customers are looking for real-time fulfillment, and with more companies trying to deliver, it’s becoming increasingly mandatory to operate on an on-demand basis.

With that comes proper inventory management. In order to deliver to customers, you need to have a strong grasp on where your inventory is at any given time. Modern Materials Handling reports on demand fulfillment is making it harder to stay on top of inventory management, so you can better predict where the demand might be coming from and then fulfill as necessary. This means not only tracking all the inventory being moved throughout the warehouse on material handling equipment, but looking at past data for any spikes in demand and also honing in on locations.

Facilities Net reports the impetus is on warehouse managers to get a good inventory management system in place, so they can better control costs of their operations. Lost inventory can ultimately lead to lost revenue, so it’s important that managers have an idea of where their goods are at all times. It’s also critical to keep an inventory balance, so you’re not experiencing space issues when trying to bring in new goods.

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In an effort to have more visibility, tracking becomes important

Do you scan in inventory?

Do you scan in inventory?

Do you know where all the inventory on your material handling equipment is at any given time? Having a pulse on overall warehouse operations is critical to success, but some warehouse managers may feel they’re falling behind, which can lead to lost inventory and ultimately hurt the bottom line.

Tracking has improved over the years, and more inventory managers are using the technology available to them to find out where their products are at any given time. According to Modern Materials Handling, more companies are implementing tracking capabilities in order to have a pulse on what’s coming and going from the warehouse racks.

Not only does this help you know where everything is, but the news provider reports it provides greater analysis into how things are performing and where there needs to be changes in efficiency.

Once you’ve hit your production stride, you should persevere to keep going. Multichannel Merchant reports that the most powerful supply chains are ones that look for continuous improvements. The news provider suggests setting goals and making sure everyone on the team is on the same page. By having regular check-ins, you can help ensure everyone stays on task from a supply chain standpoint.

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Technology can set up the warehouse for success

Equipment can help keep things productive.

Equipment can help keep things productive.

For the manufacturing sector, staying productive is key for success in business. It’s critical for warehouse managers to make smart decisions, such as ordering the right amount of material handling equipment and keeping on a full, healthy workforce, to have strong operations. One of the ways warehouse managers are trying to stay up on their productivity levels is through technology.

As the warehouse becomes smarter, technology is playing a crucial role in overseeing where the lapses in productivity lie and how to address them. According to EBN, more warehouses are adopting the practice of every item coming in and out of the warehouse being scanned, as well as through every step of the supply chain. This helps improve tracking, and gives managers better insight into how their operations are running and when it’s time to make a change.

However, if technology is new to your warehouse, it’s important to consult many people through all levels of the organization before making the change, as it’s also important to understand the risks.

Still the investment is there. According to Forbes, manufacturers have been increasing their analytics spend as they look to understand the production flow, while also monitoring product quality with each step.

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Use technology to keep your supply chain running smoothly

Equipment can keep things productive.

Equipment can keep things productive.

The supply chain remains a very vital operation for retailers, manufacturers and services alike. How items move throughout the supply chain can dictate how well business operations are performing and determining where the gaps are. While material handling equipment can help increase efficiency thanks to the ability to carry multiple inventory pieces at a time, but there’s another big investment on the top of everyone’s minds: technology.

Material Handling & Logistics reports that digital technologies will continue to be a major driver in innovation within the supply chain, with many managers using the capabilities to monitor efficiency and also make the lives of workers easier. One of the big ways that technology can help is eliminating repetitive tasks in the warehouse that used to fall on employees.

The Guardian reports that technology is also being used to better predict when spikes in demand will hit, and managers have a better sense of when to fill inventory. By being able to determine what items will be in demand and when. Not only could this help generate revenue, but it will also eliminate the backed up inventory, which typically comes from poor planning when the inventory can’t sell and becomes a sunk cost.

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