Proper inventory management helps operations save money

How on top of your inventory management are you?

How on top of your inventory management are you?

How are your inventory levels? If you’re unable to effectively manage your inventory levels, it could mean bad news to your bottom line, because you’re either unable to fulfill sales or you have outdated inventory you won’t be able to sell, resulting in a sunk cost.

Do you have a handle on all the inventory that is coming in on material handling equipment through your warehouse doors? According to Logistics Management, if you have excess inventory, you could be affecting the overall cost to your business in a big way.

However, with the right technology to see the exact levels of your inventory on a daily basis, you can keep your levels in check. The news provider reports that there has been a bigger shift to see real-time data.

According to Shopify, proper inventory management can help you avoid dead stock, as well as see your storage levels. If you’re monitoring sales of products and paying attention to traffic patterns, you’ll be able to smartly manage your orders, by choosing products that are flying off the shelves and withholding products that aren’t moving. The news provider notes that if you’re storing too much inventory, it can increase storage costs, which is why it’s imperative to keep things in check.

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Manufacturing makes energy efficiency priority

How on top of your inventory management are you?

How on top of your inventory management are you?

Efficiency plays a big role in the overall success of a manufacturing operation. It’s critical for managers to figure out how to be efficient in workforce and daily operational costs, as it can save both time and money. Material handling equipment can help you move bulk materials without straining the workforce and help save on time.

In addition to material handling equipment, another way to save money through operations is energy usage. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, the manufacturing industry has been making energy efficiency a priority, because savings for the operation could translate to savings for consumers, earning more loyalty. However, there’s still a long way to go, as the news provider reports the sector consumed a quarter of total end-use energy last year.

While energy efficient practices can be cost-beneficial in the long run, some manufacturing managers may be put off by the initial costs. According to Manufacturing.net, for many managers, the initial investment can feel overwhelming. However, as operations continue you start to see a gradual reduction in overall use overtime, resulting in savings. Making tweaks to the warehouse such as using energy efficient equipment, replacing lights with LED bulbs and making sure all spaces are properly insulated can make significant strides in reducing overall operating costs.

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Get the supply chain ready for the holiday shopping season

How on top of your inventory management are you?

How on top of your inventory management are you?

The holidays are right around the corner, and now is the time for warehouses to start prepping for the major sales and increase in consumer demand. Scanning inventory as it comes in and out of the warehouse on material handling carts, creating sales forecasts based on patterns stores have seen and getting shippers ready for a busy season are all matters of proper planning.

Material Handling and Logistics reports this year is expected to increase holiday season shopping sales by at least 5 percent from 2017, indicating to supply chain managers that there is little room for error when it comes to preparation. One of the major drivers behind the surge is the rise of e-commerce and many companies trying to earn consumer loyalty by offering incentives such as free returns and expedited shipping in order to stay competitive.

One of the major struggles retailers have is meeting their labor needs. According to the Wall Street Journal, in an effort to offset this issue, more supply chain managers are turning to material handling equipment and technology in order to move inventory quickly. Where automation can come into play in the warehouse, it helps reduce the labor strain during busy times.

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When it comes to large inventory orders, prepare in advance

Are you ready for a large inventory delivery?

Are you ready for a large inventory delivery?

When you have an ecommerce operation, it’s critical to keep track of the inventory coming in on your material handling equipment, so you can ensure that you’re best meeting customer demand and are better able to track sale patterns. When ordering for an ecommerce operation, prediction is key, because you don’t want to delay orders nor do you want to be left with excess inventory.

According to Multichannel Merchant, if you’re expecting a big inventory delivery, plan in advance as much as you can. Make sure you have enough material handling equipment to properly receive the shipment and move the items to their designated spots in the warehouse. Map out where products will be, and have enough manpower to scan all inventory to properly track its shelf life. The news provider reports that big inventories can take a couple of days to count, so make sure to plan well in advance when you can have as many people on hand to help.

Smyth Retail reports that an inaccurate inventory count can have lasting effects, so planning in advance and having more people on-hand to help can not only make the process go faster, but it can also help boost accuracy.

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How often do you check on your equipment?

Do you do routine maintenance on your equipment?

Do you do routine maintenance on your equipment?

When you have a major warehouse operation, you need to have the pulse on so many factors. What does your inventory look like? Do you have enough manpower to keep the operation running smoothly? Is all of your material handling equipment in working order? These are all things you should be regularly checking within your operation to ensure you’re not caught off guard and are able to provide the best possible service to your customers and partners.

Modern Materials Handling suggests taking stock of the current state of your material handling equipment. Routine maintenance is critical for extending the shelf life of your equipment, but it can be common for the schedule to slip through the cracks. Instead, the news provider reports that technology is on the way to predict when your equipment needs routine maintenance, so you can be more prepared for any necessary repairs, making sure you still have a manageable fleet to continue operations.

It’s more cost effective to keep with maintenance, according to Manufacturing.net. However, you should be keeping track of how much maintenance costs and how frequently it happens. The news provider reports that once a piece is costing you more in regular maintenance, it’s time to replace it.

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E-commerce causes worker shortage to surge

It’s important to make sure your material handling equipment fleet is continuously maintained, as it can help keep your equipment in top condition and give it a longer shelf life. Having good equipment is critical for keeping operations running smoothly even with a drop in labor.

Improve efficiency to stay competitive.

Improve efficiency to stay competitive.

According to Material Handling and Logistics, many logistics companies are struggling with the labor shortage at a time when e-commerce is causing operations to be busier than ever. The news provider reports that if trends continue, the forecast for warehouse labor is adding an additional 452,000 workers over the next year or so. However, the industry is already having a difficult time attracting skilled workers to the roles.

The news provider reports that in order to offset the major gap in demand and available skilled workers, companies are looking at equipment and other technologies to keep things running efficiently.

According to CheqRoom, it’s important to keep running details about your equipment and how it’s faring. The news provider reports that for every piece of equipment you have on your fleet, you should keep records of who uses it, how often it’s used and when and where it’s most utilized. This can help you determine when it might need work and help you forecast your next material handling equipment purchase.

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The world of pallets is changing with an evolving warehouse

How on top of your inventory management are you?

How on top of your inventory management are you?

Moving pallets makes it easier to transport bulk inventory, which is especially important in an effective material handling strategy. While this has been a practice that has lasted for ages, with companies investing in material handling equipment such as pallet jacks and dollies in order to move the pallets around.

However, trends indicate that pallets are changing as warehouse needs evolve with a changing economy. According to Modern Materials Handling, more companies are looking for pallets that are strong, durable and sustainable for their operations. The news provider reports that they’re being designed different in an effort to address the automation use in the warehouse, and more suppliers have been looking into different materials to address the sustainability concern.

According to Bizfluent, there are a lot of reasons warehouse managers turn to pallets for their material handling needs. The news provider reports that not only can you move bulk items seamlessly, but the design of pallets helps protect any of your inventory from getting damaged during the transportation process.

Additionally, because you’re able to store multiple small items at a time, you can increase your overall efficiency and have less items to keep track of in the inventory process.

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How advanced would you call your warehouse?

How on top of your inventory management are you?

How on top of your inventory management are you?

Would you say your material handling practices are outdated? Do you look at the amount of inventory you could be using material handling equipment to move, but instead are relying on a full workforce? Or do you have an archaic inventory management system in place?

You’re not alone. In fact, Manufacturing.net reports that a large percentage of companies are still operating at a very manual level, when there are so many technologies and features now that can help make the supply chain move a lot more efficiently.

The news provider reports that a typical warehouse operation can be anywhere from hours to days behind where it should be, indicating that the majority aren’t adopting automation practices that can help move operations along.

There are a lot of ways to help bring your warehouse operation into the future. Automation Magazine reports that you need to look for inefficiencies within the warehouse to see if any changes can be made. The news provider suggests using robots to help pick the items and bring them to a worker directly to inspect and then ship out for fulfillment. This can not only spur efficiency, but it’ll ensure quality control with your employees solely devoted to inspecting and shipping.

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Warehouses are getting smarter in order to stay efficient and competitive

Smart warehouses help stay ahead of the competition.

Smart warehouses help stay ahead of the competition.

The material handling industry has seen some changes with the drop in talent as more skilled workers head to retirement while new talent tends to go to other industries. Material handling equipment can help offset the burden of a dwindling workforce, as it allows things to keep moving efficiently without stress to the workforce.

In addition to having equipment on hand to help move bulk materials, warehouse managers across the country are adopting smart technology in an effort to keep operations running. Material Handling and Logistics reports that in an effort to keep facilities operating efficiently, smart technology such as smart thermostats and voice-activated speakers have been popping up in warehouses. Additionally, more managers are relying on artificial intelligence in an effort to better predict sales demand so they can make smarter purchase orders.

The Internet of Business reports because more people are looking for technologies that allow them to order on demand, warehouses have had to use technologies to help fulfill demand. Some major operations have moved to as much as 70 percent of all workloads being carried out by smart technologies and robots, with smaller companies trying to scale in order to stay competitive.

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Manufacturing employment remains a sticking point, but there are ways around it

Use equipment to stay efficient.

Use equipment to stay efficient.

Analysts are constantly looking at the manufacturing industry to see signs of growth or slow down, as it’s frequently an economic indicator. Following the pullback nearly a decade ago, the sector has been slowly recovering. However, the smallest dip in numbers can lead reports to suggest the sector may be on a downward spiral. This, however, is not the case.

Forbes reports that it’s common for analysts to suggest that manufacturing is on its last leg, but this is mostly due to the fact that employment continues to drop. However, with the increase in material handling equipment, smart technology and strategy-focused workers, there hasn’t been as much of a need for employment growth.

Additionally, those who are looking for skilled workers are having a hard time, as other industries have come into play to take some of the workforce that would normally go to manufacturing.

AZ Central reports keeping material handling equipment in working order and frequently checking to make sure it’s working at a full capacity can help with overall productivity. When you have a full fleet of machinery and equipment in working order, you’re able to move goods at a faster pace without injury.

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