There is no definite description of material handling, but is broadly considered as the moving, storing, controlling and packing of raw materials and finished goods.
Material handling is an important function in every warehouse, manufacturing facility and industrial complex. It plays an integral role in streamlining of the supply chain and in preserving the integrity of the goods.
There are three main elements of material handling:
- Picking the goods
- Transporting the goods
- Settling the goods
Objectives of material handling
There is extensive use of machines in any material handling function in order to reduce human effort and speed up the processes. Therefore, the aim of any production manager is to cut costs through the material handling function while improve the production flow and making the entire process as fast as possible.
In modern day supply chain management, companies are looking to reduce the inventory they are holding at one particular time. The idea is to bring in inventory just when it is required for production.
To better understand the material handling, let’s look at its 3 main objectives:
- Reduced Operating Costs
- Increased Capacity
- Better Working Conditions
Reduced Operating Costs
Material handling process is the key to reducing the operating costs of the business. Here are some ways material handling helps in doing so:
- Reduced manual labor costs
- Reduction in damaged inventory
- 100% utilization of space—reduction in holding cost
- Reduction in protective measures
An effective material handling function helps in better utilization of space, whether in a warehouse or any other storage facility. This happens in several ways.
Businesses use lift trucks, conveyors and cranes to rack their inventory, thereby utilization their entire air space. Material handling also allows businesses to evaluate their traffic flow and create effective flow paths. This reduces wastage of space and more space is then utilized for storage.
By using trucks, carts and transport dollies, businesses can also make their loading and unloading of goods faster, which makes it possible for more goods to be handled.
Better Customer Service
Whether a business is in B2B category, or B2C, timely delivery and high-quality of products are two things that matter most.
Since material handling is closely linked to production and distribution, it is essential for high-quality production as well as timely delivery.
Factory Equipment is one of leading suppliers of material handling equipment and provides all kinds of equipment for an effective material handling function, including:
- Hand trucks
- Hydraulic toe jacks
- Transport Dollies
They also provide a number of fixed work platforms and industrial ladders. Visit their website to learn more.