The concept of supply chain management is currently in its “third movement” of development due to globalization, international diffusion of supply chains and the accelerated optimization of material handling technologies over the past 30 years. According to an MHI guest comment, “Innovation in the supply chain is progressing at breakneck speed as businesses search for practical differentiators such as fulfillment speed.”
The Need for Speed in 2014
In 2014, speed will be the buzzword compelling businesses to upgrade their handling systems so that competition does not leave them gasping in the dust. For example, obsolescence of components vital to the viability of any material handling system is expedited in today’s high-tech, silicon-based world. Neglecting necessary upgrades will directly increase operational risks, suppress your company’s reliability and efficiency and undermine diagnostics needed to continue improving maintenance.
Keeping Up with Safety Standards
Each year, industry safety standards that reflect continuing integration of postmodern equipment, new software and new ideas supporting supply chain management operations are adjusted and implemented to encompass these changes. Keeping your handling system as safe as possible while conforming to regulatory guidelines is paramount to sustaining any business that relies heavily on material handling operations and associated equipment.
Upgrading Means Reorganizing
2014 will be the year many companies encounter unexpected reorganizations when upgrading their handling system. Growth restrictions arising from bottlenecks, potential pinch points or loss of competitive advantage due to obsolescence may require organizational reviews of current operations and major reorganization projects incorporating upgrading flashpoint areas such as shipping and handling.
Deteriorating performances over time often remain undiagnosed by teams working closely with the system. Tolerances increase errors that negate productivity incrementally, a common problem leading to unreliability and poor productivity. Instead of patching disabled increments, the decision to upgrade increments with state-of-the-art equipment and software remains the optimal choice in addressing a poorly functioning handling system.
Additional Benefits of Upgrading Your Handling System in 2014
- Improved timing of delivery cycles
- Maintain inventory levels necessary for optimal functioning of the business
- Successfully assist in coping with fluctuating consumer/industry trends
- Keeping parallel with globalization and internalization standards responsible for developing more efficient handling systems technologies
- Gaining insights and advantages from moving data to the cloud, where utilization of space, overhead and ubiquitous accessibility is greatly improved
Upgrading your handling systems in 2014 may also embrace green initiatives, as many industry practitioners are moving towards material handling that is sustainable and environmentally responsible. Reducing emission levels, lowering noise decibels and taking a keen interest in the research and development aspects of green technology is quickly becoming the norm when handling systems’ managers engineer plans to upgrade. Publisher of Forbes Magazine Rich Karlgaard adeptly summarized the situation surrounding the way handing systems will be manipulated in 2014: “These days, supply chains are ripe for remaking”.