What Is Material Handling and Why Is It So Important?

Warehouse Worker Using Material Handling Equipment

Whether you’re a retail establishment, a manufacturing facility, or a storage warehouse, material handling is likely crucial to your business. While many may think that this pertains solely to the storage and processing of inventory, it turns out to be a lot more than that. The actual scope of material handling includes the packaging and protection of goods and their movement and storage, along with warehouse requirements, distribution, consumption, and eventual disposal. In other words, material handling must be in place for the entire life cycle of the product.

How you handle the materials you sell is more important than many industries previously realized. For example, maximizing storage capacity and unit loads while minimizing handling costs and loading times are some of the biggest keys to a more productive workflow. In general, better material handling allows your team to assess and locate stock more accurately and respond better to product demand, allowing them to get shipments out in a more organized and timely fashion. This level of attention to detail in your material handling processes increases both customer satisfaction and product flow.

Determining Your Material Handling Needs

If you’re looking to increase your output and improve your business’s productivity, keep the following factors in mind:

1. Movement

Consider how your product moves from either production or receiving to outgoing shipments. How is it packaged? Which piece of material moving equipment should you use? Does it require a specific kind of material transportation company? The answers to these questions will guide the flow of product throughout your facility.

2. Time

Determining the timeframe involved in your material handling processes is also critical. How long are your products typically stored? Do they have a shelf-life? What does your turnaround from storage to shipment usually look like? Ultimately, the most efficient storage solution depends on how long you can and need to store each item.

3. Quantity

The amount of goods you must store and handle has a significant impact on the material handling processes and equipment you choose. Depending on how much product you manage at once, your storage options and warehouse procedures will vary. For example, if you handle thousands of small items, you will likely need extensive racking and storage bins. Meanwhile, managing a few larger products would require more open storage solutions and larger machines to pick and move the heavy objects.

4. Space

Your warehouse’s available space will also be a major determining factor in how you manage your material handling processes. If products can be stored vertically, for example, you may require specialized racking solutions or elevated mezzanine areas.

5. Safety

Safety is another major consideration for today’s warehousing operations. Increased streamlining and efficiency typically entail better safety measures across the board. Helping to prevent accidents is key to any successful material handling system. Streamlining your processes and keeping both workers and products safe are top priorities for warehouse managers.

Enhance Your Material Handling with Help from A-Lined Handling Systems

Whatever your material handling equipment needs may be, A-Lined Handling Systems is here to help. We specialize in providing high-quality equipment and turn-key solutions that are customized to fit your specifications.

For more information about our material handling solutions, contact us today!