Some Facts and Tips on Material Handling Equipment
Are you using the right kind of material handling equipments for your tasks? Are you organizing them the right way? These are two questions you need to consider if you deal with material handling equipment on a daily basis as these are crucial for the efficiency and longevity of your equipment.
Often, material handling equipment is bought by companies solely on the basis of what they perceive to be the best and most affordable. However, later they are faced with a lower efficiency. Having good material kept in a disorganized way at a warehouse can also greatly impact efficiency.
Following are some quick tips to help you get the best out of your material handling equipment-
Begin at the Beginning
As your material arrives- from other areas of your organization or external companies, it has to be stocked and inventoried at once. The cost of handling equipment goes up the more it is handled, hence there needs to be a way of looking after the material without handling it too much.
Inventory Under Control
A great way to take control of your inventory without the extra handling is to install computer-based technologies such as barcodes, scanners, or RFID (Radio-frequency identification) technology. Inventory records can be maintained and updated easily without spending much time manually. Throughout the production process, you can easily enter in products by scanning them and adding them on to the stock-control database and track them through this technology. This will also help your workers in locating where exactly the material needs to be handled and placed within the storage facility. However, to avoid any standstill in the production system in case of a system failure, do not completely let go of the good-old labelling and visual identification as they will help continue the stream of work.
Organizing to maximise efficiency
The organization of your production and warehouse facility is probably the biggest contributor to the efficiency of your system. Though the organization of your facility will depend on the nature of work environment, a good way could by arranging the most-used items at an easy point where you can retrieve them without disturbing other material. This will help in an efficient use of your handling material. It is also advisable to take suggestions from the workers who actually use these materials on a daily basis.
Picking, Routing and Shipping
A logistics program or a third-part service provider can be made of use for the picking, routing and shipping of products. Picking them item by item can be too time consuming and can make your production facility crowded and messy.
Maximize Efficiency with the Best Equipment
Bulk or group orders should be made for the materials as these can be transported to your shipping facility and then sorted on an order-by-order basis. To ensure the accuracy of the procedure, there is an ‘end-of-line’ verification process. This will require that you have a sound system of handling mistakes- what if a wrong item(s) is selected. There needs to be a provision in the system to return incorrect items back to storage.
Use the Correct Material-Handling Equipment
The most important part of handling materials is the material handling equipment itself.
The correct kind of hand trucks or fork lifts would be required to move items if you store your items on pallets. Maintenance of equipment is equally crucial for their efficacy. Poorly maintained or handled equipment can lead to accidents that could damage your inventory or injure your employees.
The material handling equipment can be best used by trained personnel who know how to handle equipment properly. It also advisable to organize your warehouse in such a way that navigation and movement around can be carried out easily.
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