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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Manufacturers continue to lead with optimism for the future

You want to hire top talent in your manufacturing operation.

You want to hire top talent in your manufacturing operation.

Manufacturers are still hoping to lure in new talent to use material handling equipment around the warehouse and set strategies for maximum efficiency, and with good reason. Manufacturing optimism continues to trend, with managers predicting strong performance ahead within the sector.

According to Material Handling and Logistics, 2018 proved to be a strong year for optimism in the manufacturing industry, despite some analysts beginning to worry about the economy. In fact, the news provider reports that more than 92 percent of manufacturing managers had a positive outlook for their companies.

However, trying to find skilled talent remains one of the biggest burdens in the sector, as managers have a difficult time trying to entice people into the industry. The news provider reports that this can affect business potential.

Still, the sector isn’t alone. Industry Week reports that there are currently more job openings than there are people looking for work, which makes candidates more selective. In order to stay competitive and keep their workforces as strong as possible, the news provider reports that managers are offering incentives for retirement-age employees to stay on longer, while also giving competitive salaries and other incentives while trying to attract new talent.

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Use the new year as an excuse to get your inventory in order

Roll out the new inventory and take stock of the last year.

Roll out the new inventory and take stock of the last year.

A new year means a new outlook on inventory. Warehouse managers try to clear their pallet racks of as much stock as possible to make way for new, exciting products that consumers will hopefully be in the market for. Material handling equipment is filled with inventory that’s being lashed in order to clear the path for the year’s new wares.

Small Biz Daily reports the new year is a great opportunity to look at the previous year’s inventory trends and look at what worked well and what didn’t. By looking at previous sales, you can get a better idea as to what to expect in the coming year and also plan your orders accordingly. This can also help paint a picture for when things might be in demand during certain points of the year, so you can make sure to better time your orders to meet consumer demand.

Reliable Plant the new year is a common time for managers to take stock of what worked and what didn’t the previous year, do a full count of inventory and make sure the books balance in order to start the new year right. January is all about new beginnings, so making sure you’re running your business for success in the new year is a great practice.

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Warehousing becomes more complicated with the rise of e-commerce

How on top of your inventory management are you?

How on top of your inventory management are you?

If you have any online component within your business model, chances are you’ve had to buy more material handling equipment over the years to stay efficient with the surplus in orders. With more people using online means to complete their shopping, companies are finding that their warehouse operations are struggling to keep up with the demand.

However, Material Handling and Logistics reports that e-commerce may make it difficult for warehousing tactics to be successful as consumer’s habits continue to evolve. As a result demand for warehouse space has skyrocketed, with companies hoping to provide quick deliveries thanks to smart warehouse strategies.

Additionally, buying a warehouse in a desirable area may mean paying a lot for the property, so the news provider reports that many operations are taking their inventory to the skies, as they look for tall spaces that don’t take up as much room length-wise, helping keep property costs down.

Not only are companies looking for permanent warehouse space, according to Business Report, there’s been a growing trend of “on demand warehouses” that serve as pop-up locations. This strategy helps companies that see ebbs and flows in sales throughout the years and do not want to commit to a full-time investment in certain areas.

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