How Proper Material Handling Can Increase Production Capacity
Logistics are at the heart of business. In 2017, an estimated $1.5 trillion was spent on transportation and warehousing in the U.S., with a forecasted growth of $3.3 billion by 2020 in Nevada alone. That’s good news for Nevada. But what about your business—in particular, your production? Even more specifically, how your material is being handled?
Production is frequently thought of only in terms of supply and demand. Rarely does cargo handling factor into any question of growth. But almost 6,500 hours are lost by the average American business as a result of improper material handling each year, equalling close to $200,000 in revenue. A loss which could be entirely avoidable if proper protocol was implemented.
In any warehouse operation, increasing productivity and efficiency aren’t just processes you need to consider when charting your yearly strategy. They should be part of any thorough operations analysis. And they need to be evaluated at all levels. From procurement to shipping—and especially to material handling. Production affects all aspects of your business; and similarly, all aspects of your business affect production. If you still think material handling won’t impact your production capacity, think again. Here’s what you need to know.
Processes and Audits
There’s no question that every business needs a process implemented to measure both production output, costs and returns. And there’s a strong chance you already have one in place. It may even be an effective one. But is your process as effective as it should be? What systems have your competitors implemented allowing them to increase productivity as well as visibility?
Periodically auditing any process (not just production) may seem like one more headache in your already stressful day. But it’s a necessary one. Whether you’re monitoring man hours, storage or tracking orders, don’t merely be content with your current system. Find ways in which you can maximize efficiency without cutting corners. For some of you that may mean implementing an automated process. For others, it could mean evaluating new vendor offerings. It could even mean outsourcing storage to a third party facility. But periodically reviewing your production and material handling processes will ultimately streamline your operational costs, allowing your business to grow stronger, leaner and more effective as a result.
Material Handling and Transparency
One of the biggest dilemmas facing productivity is both the lack of transparency and subsequent connectivity from an operational standpoint. Not only has this hampered accurate process checking protocol, but it can be detrimental to order fulfilment.
With the rise of IoT (Internet of Things) as a dominant force in operations, your business can’t afford to be without connectivity. Real time monitoring of all business aspects, from production to financial operations, not only ensures an optimal work flow but allows you functional security. Production bottlenecks have historically been one of the biggest problems facing the industrial segment. Without an adequate monitoring system, identifying production lags is merely second guessing both the symptom and the cause.
Optimizing the Flow Of Material Handling
The quickest way from point A to point B is a straight line. And this also holds true for production. The process of going from material handling to production needs to be as seamless and quick as possible. More time entered manually means less time in production.
Automatization is rapidly becoming the standard in material handling for the industrial sector, and it’s one process you need to consider implementing if you haven’t done so yet. And while implementation of automated processes may seem expensive at first, it’s a much more cost-effective and labor-friendly method than relying on manual fulfillment. There’s no need to backtrack your steps through automatization. Not only is manpower reduced, but both strategic planning as well as your earnings will increase as a result of the time saved.
Storage, Equipment And Your Investment
You may very well find yourself with intervals on productivity which don’t always justify the return on investment of storage space and equipment. Allocating storage to a third party warehouse facility can drastically reduce wasteful spending as well as labor costs—particularly if you find your production output is subject to seasonal ebb and flow.
Consider the absolute bare bones structure of your production line. How much equipment is necessary year round? Can you reduce material handling costs by outsourcing to a third party vendor? What is positively integral to your day to day operations; and what can be rented according to demand?
It may be that you have to reduce labor. And that’s something no one likes to consider. Or it may simply be a question of reducing processes to a more efficient work flow. Working “smarter not harder” may seem like an empty buzz phrase. But when it comes to productivity, it can be the difference between surpassing your competitors and lagging behind.
And no one wants to lag behind.
For nearly fifty years, Reno Forklift has been the name to turn to when it comes to material handling solutions for Nevada and California. Find out what we can do for you. Visit us today at www.renoforklift.com or call (775) 329-1384