Make workplace safety a priority in the warehouse

Safely transport inventory in the warehouse.

Safely transport inventory in the warehouse.

When working in the warehouse, having equipment such as pallet jacks can help reduce the amount of workplace injuries, because it takes the strain off from moving lots of inventory at once. However, it’s important that everyone who uses material handling equipment is well-versed on the proper use.

TG Daily reports there are ways to help reduce the amount of injuries that take place in the warehouse. While it’s important to be efficient, you want to make sure you’re not sacrificing safety for the sake of getting a job done quickly. The news provider reports that taking shortcuts could put worker safety in jeopardy. The news provider also reports that without the right machinery, even highly-skilled workers may find themselves in jeopardy if they’re unsafely trying to move something without the right equipment.

Safety & Health Magazine reports that particularly when dealing with pallets, workers should be diligent about inspecting each pallet to ensure that they are distributing weight correctly so there are no accidents while they’re being transported on the pallet jack. The source also suggests if you need to lift the pallet onto the jack, be sure to have someone assist as not to cause strain from an extra heavy load.

Connect with on Google+.

People continue to interested in warehousing jobs

People are still needed for warehouse jobs.

People are still needed for warehouse jobs.

Material handling equipment such as pallet jacks can help keep the supply chain efficient, as they allow bulk movement of goods. However, the human component to monitor these pieces of equipment is just as critical overall supply chain success.

There’s a growing amount of people who want to fill those roles as well. According to Material Handling and Logistics, warehouse employment has increased 90 percent since the year 2000. Even though analysts have been concerned that people aren’t interested in the sector anymore, it continues to garner interest.

However, the news provider notes that millennials do not remain as interested in the sector as their Generation X and baby boomer counterparts. This is something hiring managers may want to keep in mind when looking to attract talent.

As companies look to bring on new workers to fulfill their warehouse needs, they’re finding they have to compete with mega businesses such as Amazon. According to the Brookings Institute, as Amazon tries to ramp up its hiring, a light is being shone on overall warehouse needs and highlighting how the jobs remain relevant today, even with talk of using machines and automation to help streamline the process. Even with the increase in technology, human workers still have a place in the warehouse.

Connect with on Google+.

Work to keep produce fresh and customers happy

Stay efficient and keep food fresh.

Stay efficient and keep food fresh.

Working in the fresh food industry requires a significant grasp on quality control. Keeping food fresh results in happy and healthy customers, and one mistake can threaten brand loyalty completely. Suppliers need to keep this in mind when transporting the inventory to the store, and use materials that will keep the food in optimal condition.

Modern Materials Handling reports that totes can be useful when transfering fresh food, because they help prevent bruising and also protect the produce from being affected by the environment. Additionally, totes make the produce easier to transport, allowing suppliers to load them onto pallet jacks and transfer them seamlessly from the truck to the storefront.

The Logistics Bureau reports that suppliers of fresh produce have an increasingly difficult time delivering a fresh product as the market demand increases. Because stores are trying to increase their presence, this could mean that travel time from warehouse to store could be longer, and the struggle to keep produce fresh increases. Keeping the produce in sealed containers can help preserve them even as trucks heat or cool due to the outside climate. The news provider reports that fresh food spends half of its shelf life in transit, so it’s important to keep operations running as efficiently as possible.

Connect with on Google+.

Stores continue to see bright spots both in terms of real estate and sales

Are you keeping up with retail demand?

Are you keeping up with retail demand?

The retail industry has been closely watched by analysts over the past few years, as people are looking for signs that the economy is on the upswing. With consumer confidence comes a jump in retail sales. While the economy improves, it seems consumers are feeling more comfortable spending, driving retail sales.

Retail managers may have seen an influx in inventory coming in on pallet jacks in an effort to meet consumer demand, not just online but also in the store. CNBC reports that retail centers with an outdoors concept continue to be a bright spot for the retail real estate market, as big box stores continue to see success. The news provider reports there has been too much gloom and doom about the retail sector, particularly brick and mortar establishments.

The Los Angeles Times reports retail sales grew by 4.2 percent in 2017, which is the biggest surge the sector has seen since 2014. As retailers try to meet consumer demands, many are having to closely monitor inventory in order to get a better sense of ordering needs. This way, they’re able to see what continues to have demand and order accordingly versus products that aren’t moving as quickly.

Connect with on Google+.

When mapping out your warehouse, consider labels for inventory management

Label as soon as you bring inventory in.

Label as soon as you bring inventory in.

When you’re bringing inventory into the warehouse on a pallet jack, do you know the proper place to put everything? Pallet racks can become cluttered and hard to navigate if you don’t have a management system in place, so it’s important to be descriptive in your warehouse layout.

Using a label system can help you stay on top of inventory organization and provide overall visibility of what you have to offer. According to Lean Supply Solutions, labeling the racks of your warehouse can boost overall efficiency of the supply chain, because employees won’t be caught up in trying to find materials or inventory to fulfill an order.

Modern Materials Handling reports that barcoded labels can be a great addition, because you can scan then as you import and export the materials, allowing you to have better tracking information and eliminate the chance of error. The news provider reports this improves overall accuracy when you’re trying to determine your inventory levels. It’s also beneficial if you have a multichannel operation where you’re bringing inventory both directly to the customers and to the storefront. If you’re keeping track of where inventory is going, you have less of a chance of losing it and taking a hit financially.

Connect with on Google+.

Stay on top of quality control even at the beginning stages

Check materials as they come in the warehouse.

Check materials as they come in the warehouse.

When you’re bringing in materials into your warehouse on pallet racks, are you making sure that they’re in the best possible condition? It’s a critical step that will make or break overall supply chain success, because if the materials aren’t up for building a quality product, you’ll be left with unhappy customers and potential loss of sales.

The Small Business Chronicle reports that quality control starts with the materials you receive, and it’s a critical aspect for proper supply chain management. The news provider says that the entire supply chain can become ineffective and could increase the overall number of defects in a batch, ultimately leading to loss of sale. Taking the time to inspect materials as they enter the warehouse is an important part of overall quality control.

Sustainable Business Forum reports you need to maintain strong relationships with suppliers so you can problem-solve together should any issues arise. If you have direct contacts, you’ll be able to reach out and receive a quicker response than if you have just a general contact. If you’re able to establish a good relationship, this will also be helpful when having difficult conversations when materials aren’t up to the quality you’re used to.

Connect with on Google+.

Implementing tech to drive productivity? Don’t forget the learning curve

Material handling equipment can help drive productivity.

Material handling equipment can help drive productivity.

The material handling sector has been trying to improve production in an effort to address growing demand. With a strong economic outlook, there has been more operation in recent months than there has been in years, and warehouse managers are trying to be as efficient as possible.

Material handling equipment such as pallet jacks can help, as they allow workers to handle in bulk, rather than needing to make multiple trips. However, managers are also looking into other means of ramping up productivity. Material Handling and Logistics reports that technology is playing an increasing role in the warehouse, but it’s important not to forget the human components that help drive overall productivity. As the news provider points out, there is always a learning curve with new technology, so it’s important for managers to be as communicative as possible and set aside time for the team to learn the new operations. Otherwise, you run the risk of slowing down productivity because no one knows the best path forward.

Digitalist Magazine reports that the need for training will always arise, so it’s good to schedule a few sessions throughout the year, as well as pop-up training when there is a sudden shift in processes, such as moving to new technology. This way, everyone in the warehouse remains on the same page.

Connect with on Google+.

Imports increase as retail continues to see positive trends

Imports are on their way up as the economy strengthens,

Imports are on their way up as the economy strengthens,

Material handling has seen growth recently as the manufacturing and retail sectors experience a jolt in popularity. It seems as though more warehouses will be bringing in pallet jacks filled with materials as retail continues to see a rebound due to a hopeful economy.

According to Material Handling & Logistics, retail imports were up 7 percent in 2017. The news provider credits the jump in retail to better wages and a strengthening economy, which helps boost consumer confidence and purchases. This has also shown the economy expand on a more global level, not just within the U.S. However, it seems this positive trend is only beginning, as analysts predict that imports will continue to flood pallet racks of the warehouse.

JOC.com reports analysts are predicting a major jump in imports in February because of the shutdown of factories in Asia to celebrate the Lunar New Year. This causes a rush of imports before a lull in March and April while the factories get back into production. Ports have been seeing a rush of traffic due to the imports, and it won’t seem to slow down soon. Warehouse managers need to be on top of the rush so they can keep track of both domestic and international inventory.

Connect with on Google+.

Warehouse demand causes the price of land to skyrocket

E-commerce has kept warehouses in demand.

E-commerce has kept warehouses in demand.

E-commerce has experienced a surge over the past few years as more retailers move their operations online and customers shun the stores in favor of shopping from the comforts of their own homes. Pallet racks have been filled with bulk orders as companies try to be as efficient as possible in order fulfillment.

In an effort to accommodate the demand, more businesses are buying up warehouse space to house most of the inventory for both store and online orders. CNBC reports that the demand for warehouse space has increased significantly, causing prices of land to go up for businesses that may be interested in purchasing. The news provider reports that industrial size land parcels used to be going for about $50,000 per square acre, but that figure has since doubled to $100,000 in a year’s time.

A popular trend in the warehouse industry is having multiple tenants, according to Material Handling & Logistics. This can be an answer for businesses that aren’t as large as Amazon or other large retailers that don’t require as much space for their operations. The news provider reports that multitenant distribution has been the biggest performer in the commercial real estate market.

Connect with on Google+.

A strong economy means a high demand to try and keep up with in the supply chain

Keep up with supply chain demand.

Keep up with supply chain demand.

With economic growth comes strain on supply, as providers struggle to keep up with the demand of customers. Warehouses may see more materials being moved in and out on pallet jacks as they try to keep up with the pace of a growing economy.

According to Material Handling and Logistics News, supply chain constraints are expected to increase significantly as economic growth causes demand to spike to levels not seen in years. However, the news provider also reports that due to this demand, it’s giving suppliers more leverage for pricing, whereas previously it was in the hands of the consumers.

It’s important to make sure that everyone is on the same page regarding the supply chain, since the demand means operations need to be as efficient as possible.

Inbound Logistics reports that route mapping throughout the supply chain can help improve overall efficiency. In addition to everything your own operations are doing, make sure your partners are doing the same. If you hire quality suppliers, you’re able to just make sure that deliveries are being done on time, you’re receiving the right materials and ensuring that packaging is being done at an optimal level.

Connect with on Google+.