Companies put a bigger focus on protective packaging

Packaging could get larger in order to protect items.

Packaging could get larger in order to protect items.

Packaging could be getting larger and more awkward to handle without the help of a hand truck as companies are increasingly looking to deliver both on service and quality. Modern Materials Handling reports that more retailers are looking to increase the amount of protective packaging they use in orders in an effort to reduce the margin of error when working with third party shippers.

The news provider reports that the protective packaging market is expected to be worth $42 billion by 2026 as developing countries look to also adopt this method of packaging. Inflatables are growing increasingly popular as businesses look to provide an extra cushion to protect goods as they’re being shipped.

As companies are also trying to reduce their carbon footprint as well, there is a lot of attention being paid to the kind of protecting packaging they’re using and whether or not it’s recyclable. According to Material Handling & Logistics, most options tend to either fall into the plastic or paper category. However, Modern Materials Handling reports that more companies are looking into paper options. Material Handling & Logistics said that crumpled paper is increasingly a popular choice, because it’s environmentally friendly and can be used again. This can provide both a level of protection and meet environmental needs.

 

More companies turning to warehouses for logistical needs

Companies are turning to warehouses for logistical needs.

Companies are turning to warehouses for logistical needs.

People working in warehouses have had to adapt to different trends in an effort to stay in demand. With the rise in supply chain processes, warehouse employees may find their hand trucks filled with different kinds of inventory than they’re used to.

According to DC Velocity, the warehouse market is expected to grow at a 6 percent annual rate as there is a greater demand for logistic providers. The news provider reports that there is an increasing demand in the alliance, technology and service industry, as companies are looking for ways to reduce costs while still being able to keep up with their own business demands.

The news provider reports that because warehouses can frequently make deals with local suppliers, they make a good partner for global companies looking to reach new markets. Additionally, warehouses are increasing their use of technology in an effort to boost overall production.

Bain reports that more companies are outsourcing their logistics to third-party providers in an effort to stay competitive. Rather than taking it in-house, they’re instead going to trusted providers that typically understand the logistical needs of big businesses. This kind of relationship can benefit both the company and the logistic supplier’s bottom line.

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There’s still a demand for bulk packaging in material handling

Bulk packages are still in demand.

Bulk packages are still in demand.

There’s been a bigger push for companies to be efficient with their packaging in an effort to reduce waste, but there is still a need for platform carts to handle big items when loading into the warehouse.

According to Modern Materials Handling, despite the fact that there has been growth in reusable and efficient packaging, there is still a demand for bulk items. The news provider reports that the market will be worth about $7.2 billion by 2002, at an increase of 3.1 percent each year until then. This means that material handling equipment will be needed to take the items in from distributors.

The source reports that because bulk boxes are low cost and still heavily used across industries there will still be a demand even with the increasing trend of efficiency.

MarketWatch reports that as economies in emerging markets such as Mexico look to be bigger players on the global economy, the low cost of bulk packaging can help. Additionally, the source reports that many companies are drawn to bulk packaging because it can reduce the variable costs that can be associated with transportation. Even if you’re making big shipments, reducing the amount of separate boxes can save on cost and space.

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Manufacturing jobs could rise, but training is playing an important role

More raw materials could be coming back to the warehouse.

More raw materials could be coming back to the warehouse.

Raw materials on platform trucks could be making comeback to warehouses, as the manufacturing industry is expected to continue its pickup in the American economy. DC Velocity reports that analysts are expecting factories to make a comeback in the country.

The news provider reports that because there has been a greater investment in automated processes, America is able to stay competitive within the manufacturing world. Other globalization trends such the rise of the middle class in developing countries means that less people are willing to do cheap labor like they may have been once before.

According to the source, the new kind of manufacturing means there could be more jobs in which people come together with automated technology to produce materials both quickly and a lower cost. However, the source notes that this will require different training than what those with manufacturing experience may be used to.

Industry Week reports that while plenty of manufacturers want to create more jobs, they’re struggling trying to find people who have the skills necessary to fill them. This has been a role that schools are looking at, trying to offer more programs that help prepare students for work in the manufacturing field and beyond.

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Consumer demand increases the complexity of the supply chain

The supply chain has changed in recent years.

The supply chain has changed in recent years.

It used to be that warehouses were the center of everything in a business. Hand trucks moved inventory in and out of the warehouse whether for storage or distribution, and everything was checked into the same place.

Now, Modern Materials Handling reports that there is a greater consumer demand that has lent to the growth of the supply chain, and material handlers need to keep up in order to stay competitive against companies that already have their supply chain processes locked down. Now there are separate centers for everything from raw materials to completed inventory to distribution. There needs to be proper logistics in place in order to support the supply chain and make sure that all orders are fulfilled.

The news provider reports visibility is essential for keeping deliveries on target and the customers happy.

It goes beyond having the right material handling equipment to make the supply chain work. According to Industry Week, managers should be focused on bringing in the right talent for both internal and external collaboration. Additionally, the news provider reports that because there can be such complexity within the supply chain, it’s common for a project to go off track. Being able to readjust can work with the change can do wonders.

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Technology plays an increasing role in the supply chain

Technology can help improve overall efficiency.

Technology can help improve overall efficiency.

With consumers demanding faster delivery than ever, smart warehouse management goes beyond ordering extra material handling equipment such as hand trucks and pallet jacks. While these are important in increasing efficiently as they allow workers to move big bulks of inventory at once, there needs to be greater visibility into the supply chain to ensure fast order fulfillment.

Technology has played an increasingly large role in warehouse management and boosting overall efficiency. According to Supply Chain Digital, the rise of omnichannel businesses has meant that technology is necessary for seeing inventory through every step of the process. Because there can be a lot of touch points within the supply chain, it can be easy to lose track of inventory. However, automation can provide a bit of a buffer.

The news provider also reports that robots in the warehouse can help with the picking and sorting inventory, increasing efficiency while leaving overall strategy, oversight and management to human workers.

Innovation is necessary, according to Food Manufacture, as not having technology could drive a company behind organizations that have invested in the technology to boost their supply chain. Now, technology goes hand in hand with equipment in making sure orders are being fulfilled in as a productive manner as possible.

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Stay on top of labeling to keep supply chain running smoothly even as business grows

Are you labeling all inventory?

Are you labeling all inventory?

Moving inventory around on hand trucks can get challenging when you’re dealing with a large supply chain. Depending on where the inventory is, there needs to be a tracking system in place to see it through every aspect of the supply chain and ensure that everything is stocked where it should be.

One way to help keep tabs on everything is to make sure all inventory is properly labeled. According to Modern Materials Handling, labeling is a major focus for a lot of companies on a global level, as many are looking to improve their international supply chain and make sure they are able to properly fulfill any orders.

The news provider reports there’s a greater need for proper labeling than ever, as it can help companies stay organized even as their supply chains become more complex. As there is a greater push for globalization, keeping everything scannable and easily trackable is becoming an increasing priority.

The Small Business Chronicle also suggests having a floor plan and mapping out inventory by section. This way, as inventory is scanned in, deliveries can be made to the proper location and suppliers know exactly where to go to fill an order.

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Think about foodservice trends that drive demand

The food you serve could be dependent on trends.

The food you serve could be dependent on trends.

The foodservice industry is frequently vulnerable to any major diet trends or agricultural issues. Whatever the masses choose to do with their diets could eventually affect the kind of food that’s served from food service carts. As a result, those who work in the industry closely monitor major trends to see if they should be making any adjustments to their menus.

According to Foodservice Equipment and Supplies, those in the community are beginning to look to the future of foodservice and what it could mean for orders. For example, the news provider points out that there has been a growing demand for plant-based meat substitutes. There is also a bigger push for local growing, think greenhouses, that not only can be more cost efficient and less wasteful in the long-run, but also help keep foodservice providers in control of the kind of food they’re serving. However, this can require them to make more meal adjustments due to seasonality.

You’ll also want to think about packaging. According to Convenience Store Decisions, one of the rising trends thanks to millennial consumers is that of convenient packaging that increases efficiency. A lot of people are choosing to eat on the go, and having things readily available to serve that they can take with them can go a long way.

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Survey looks into the supply chain of hospital inventory

Are you on top of your supply chain?

Are you on top of your supply chain?

The inventory that’s wheeled on the wire shelf trucks of a hospital can sometimes be lifesaving for patients. It’s critical that medical providers are completely stocked with everything they may need to treat those in their care. However, a recent survey shows there needs to be more checks and balances in quality assurance to keep care optimal.

According to Becker Hospital Review, a recent survey from Cardinal Health on the need for supply chain improvements found that 18 percent of respondents said patient safety was at risk due to not having the necessary supplies for treatment. Additionally, 57 percent said they overheard a physician say that they did not have a necessary supply to do a procedure. It’s important to put people in place who can be on the lookout for drops in inventory supply to make sure that orders are being made well in advance, so there’s never a gap of having a necessary supply.

Supply Chain Dive reports that costs prevent most treatment centers for getting the supply chain that they need. However, if they are able to make the case to adopt technologies in order to improve inventory tracking, they may be able to make the necessary improvements.

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Be ready for anything when fulfilling customer orders

Do you have an omnichannel strategy?

Do you have an omnichannel strategy?

When you’re loading up hand trucks with inventory to send out for distribution, are you being strategic in what inventory makes the most sense for first in, first out? Demand is a major component to one’s strategy, because companies need to make sure they have the inventory in stock and it’s accessible to warehouse managers looking to fulfill orders.

According to Multichannel Merchant, you need to have a flawless omnichannel system that allows customers to buy from wherever and not have it affect order fulfillment. This is what customers have come to expect, and as the market becomes more saturated, it’s important that you’re consistently delivering excellent customer service. The news provider suggests that warehouse managers should be constantly looking at data to make sure that they’re able to predict customer demand and keep the right inventory in stock that’s readily available.

Supply Chain 24/7 reports that while there needs to be a sound strategy in place, it’s important to make sure that there is some flexibility in order fulfillment. An unforeseen economic downturn, for example, can suddenly leave a company with too much inventory they aren’t able to sell, so coming up with contingency plans for different scenarios can be helpful in providing extra flexibility.

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