Is your warehouse design made for productivity?

Are you able to move product effectively?

Are you able to move product effectively?

Are you getting the most productivity out of your equipment like your hand trucks and your stackers? It might not necessarily mean that you need to pick new material handling equipment. Instead, you might need a better design for your warehouse.

According to DC Velocity, the equipment is half the battle when it comes to productivity, warehouse managers need to make sure that the equipment can effectively move inventory throughout the aisles. In addition to this, take a look at any entryways or docking stations, as these can help move the products in and out. If the space is too small, workers may struggle with moving in big orders, thus delaying the overall supply chain.

Additionally, the news provider suggests taking a look at your shelving and seeing if the spacing makes the most sense. Are workers able to stack multiple items on top of each shelf, or are they finding that they have to take up more shelving surface due to height restrictions? This could not only hinder productivity, but also waste valuable storage space.

According to the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, maximizing all available warehouse space is critical to keeping operations as efficient as possible. By taking stock of the layout of your space, you’ll be able to better determine if you’re helping or hindering operations.

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Inventory starts to move for companies in June

Inventory has been on the move.

Inventory has been on the move.

Business managers are always paying attention to inventory levels, making sure they have enough stock to supply items that are really in demand, while holding back on products that do not tend to sell as well. Carrying inventory can be a major cost burden for companies, so managers need to pay attention to what exact products are being loaded onto the hand trucks and out into storerooms for restocking. This can help dictate what to order when it’s time to replenish.

It appears as though companies are getting a better grasp of their inventory overhead costs. According to CNBC, sales increased more than ever in the past 3 ½ years this past June by 1.2 percent, causing inventories to increase only by 0.2 percent. Because many have been concerned over the economy, business managers have been keeping an eye on inventory levels to make sure they have not been taking on too much.

According to Market Watch, businesses have been working to cut down on their inventories over the past year or so, as many managers have noticed the slow pace of inventory moving. While the economy has made improvements over the past few years, with consumer confidence showing promise, many businesses have still seen a slow pace in their overall sales growth.

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Inventory managers turn their attentions to refrigerated storage solutions

Do you use refrigerated warehouse space?

Do you use refrigerated warehouse space?

Using hand trucks to deliver your perishable goods into a cold warehouse? You’re not alone. While general warehouse space continues to be a hot topic, given the rise of online shopping, refrigerated warehouses are also experiencing a surge in demand.

According to the Wall Street Journal, refrigerated warehouse space was up to 600 million meters across the world this year. This indicates that many companies are working with perishable inventories that need to be stored appropriately. The news provider reports that part of the growth is due to emerging markets, which have historically had trouble dealing with spoilage. However, as there’s a greater demand for fresh food trade, it’s imperative that these temperature-controlled warehouses are available to food providers.

The news provider is quick to point out that while growth has occurred in the past couple of years, it’s not increasing as much as it has in years’ past.

While the growth is occurring all of the world, the U.S. has experienced its own surge. According to research from Cornell University, the amount of refrigerated storage space has been on the increase since 2005. As of October 2015, the U.S. housed more than 4 billion cubic feet of refrigerated warehouse space.

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Greater demand leads to logistical challenges in the warehouse

How smart is your warehouse space use strategy?

How smart is your warehouse space use strategy?

Warehouse managers are finding themselves having to keep a large stock of inventory in order to meet consumer demand. However, this can cause some space constraints, leading to many managers getting creative in storage and logistics. While hand carts can move inventory around seamlessly, it’s important to make sure there is enough room to transport the goods down the halls.

Pallet Enterprise reports that companies are choosing to build higher racks in an effort to clear the aisles and still store lots of inventory. Material handling equipment is important in this process, as lift trucks and other machinery can help hoist the inventory where it needs to go without compromising the health and safety for employees.

According to the Small Business Chronicle, there should be a certain level of strategy when it comes to managing inventory. For example, managers will want to consider putting all like items together, so it can be easier to map out the inventory. If there’s a certain system, people will be able to easily find inventory and boost overall efficiency. In order to make sure everything is properly grouped together, the news provider recommends stacking inventory upwards, so there is more space to utilize and room to get by the aisles.

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With the rise of omnichannel, the need for speed is on

Use tools to speed up the pace.

Use tools to speed up the pace.

Warehouse managers need to have a thorough understanding of their channels, regardless of whether they provide goods to online or in-store consumers. The rise of e-commerce has led many businesses to adopt an omnichannel way of distribution, where they can provide the same exceptional level of customer service wherever the order comes from.

WWD reports that demand has led to companies striving to stay on pace now more than ever, particularly as customers are getting more accustomed to on-demand delivery. As a result, managers need to be on top of their inventory, to make sure all orders are being fulfilled in an efficient amount of time. Additionally, with more customers making their orders through their mobile devices, the importance of fast-paced delivery is growing even more important.

Using material handling equipment like hand trucks and pallet jacks to move large quantities of inventory at once can help keep the pace up. According to Multichannel Merchant, smart inventory managers will take a look at how long physical moves take and make adjustments from there. Not only can quick pace save on time, it can also save money in the long-term. Taking a look at what’s involved physically can give managers a good idea of ways to cut down on time.

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E-commerce demand pushes deliveries to the weekend

With all this e-commerce demand, logistical planning is critical.

With all this e-commerce demand, logistical planning is critical.

High e-commerce demand has led to a lot of coordination between the hand carts in the warehouse. Because people are ordering from all over the world, managers need to stay on top of order fulfillment and make sure the right products are going directly to customers. However, it’s also imperative that consumers receive their goods in a timely fashion, which is putting increasing pressure on delivery services.

According to the Consumerist, UPS has begun testing Saturday deliveries, which they normally reserve for the holiday rush. Atlanta, Philadelphia and Los Angeles will be the hubs for the experiment, which will continue for the rest of the summer.

The news provider reports that FedEx is already pushing weekend deliveries, and the postal service is even completing some Sunday deliveries for Amazon customers. This has led UPS to make the move in order to stay competitive in the space.

The move of e-commerce has played a major role in delivery focus. According to the Register Guard, UPS’s packages to residences is expected to increase to 51 percent in comparison to business deliveries by 2019. The current figure rests at 46 percent. As more people are looking for convenience online, it could push the supply chain in a number of new directions.

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Inventory levels continue to climb

Work to lower inventory levels in order to keep costs down.

Work to lower inventory levels in order to keep costs down.

Companies find they need to get creative when handling their inventory, as many managers need to work to keep costs under control. This can mean wheeling out hand trucks filled with last season’s merchandise onto the floor and marketing it at a deep discount in order to not take a total loss.

The inventory shift is nothing new, particularly as some businesses are feeling the brunt of consumer caution. According to CNBC, wholesale inventories increased by 0.1 percent. Additionally, the source notes that previous figures were revised to show a 0.7 increase in April, which was higher than the previously recorded 0.6 percent.

It’s been slow progress for a while, and Nasdaq reports that retailers were a big contribution to the slowdown, increasing by 0.5 percent in May. However, the source notes that business sales increased by 0.2 percent in May.

Companies will need to get creative in offsetting their inventories to make sure they aren’t losing too much business in unsold goods. Business managers will want to consider highlighting some of the inventory that is slow moving to see if they can attract any customer attention. If that doesn’t work, offering discounts can still ensure taking home some profit, even if it’s not the original asking price.

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Material handlers making investments as forecast looks bright

Are you able to stay productive as demand increases?

Are you able to stay productive as demand increases?

Thinking about adding extra hand trucks to your fleet? You aren’t alone. In fact, many material handlers could be looking to increase the amount of equipment they have on hand in the near future.

According to DC Velocity, the material handling sector is expected to hit $148 billion over the next five years, which is causing many in the sector to re-think their investments and make sure they are able to keep up with consumer demand. As people continue to make purchases, more equipment will come in handy to help keep production flowing without adding danger to worker safety.

The news provider reports that additional investments will be made within the sector to improve worker safety. Additionally, managers are looking at how they can keep costs down while boosting their overall efficiency.

It’s critical that managers try and assess their needs early. According to Research and Markets, the Asia Pacific region will see the most growth in the sector, but other parts of the world are closely behind. In order to get the best resources quickly, managers should start looking at what they need to stay productive and competitive within the space. This can help keep customers happy, even when demand is up.

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Warehouses struggle with finding space

How often do you move inventory around due to limited space?

How often do you move inventory around due to limited space?

The warehouse can be particularly challenging for e-commerce operations, as they work to make sure they’re able to fulfill orders in a timely fashion. This means lots of hand trucks back and forth filled with like products as orders come in and need to go to delivery. However, companies that have both online operations as well as brick-and-mortar locations are feeling pulled in different directions.

Not only is it a logistical challenge, but finding space has also proven to be a hurdle. According to PYMNTS, available warehouse space for retailers was down to below 9 percent. This means that companies are having to get creative in how they store all of their inventory. While using hand trucks to take goods around and reshift priorities with the changing seasons can help, managers will also want to consider looking up.

When floor space gets tight in warehouses, many managers tend to look to the ceiling to see how high they can go. According to the Wall Street Journal, warehouses with high ceilings are becoming more attractive to major retailers who are looking to keep all of their inventory easily sorted and well-organized. This can mean building extra shelves and prioritizing the lower levels based on the current hot items.

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Fight the heat in the warehouse this summer

Hand trucks can reduce exertion.

Hand trucks can reduce exertion.

Warehouses aren’t known for having frills, but it can be particularly painful in the summer months, when outside temperatures can have an effect on workers. Managers will want to make sure temperatures are regulated to keep workers safe and healthy while on the job.

According to Reliable Plant, workers are frequently at risk for maladies such as heat exhaustion and rhabdomyolysis when they have to work in hot environments. Managers should be doing what they can to keep temperatures down and also educate their employees on how to recognize the symptoms of these conditions so they do not overexert themselves.

The news provider suggests installing ceiling fans into the warehouse, since they can help circulate the air. Air conditioners are not able to function alone in such a large, open area. Being strategic about cooling systems can help reduce the stress of heat.

Physical labor can also overheat a person, but luckily there are hand carts and other equipment available to help reduce the amount of exertion one does during their shift. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, managers should train their employees how to properly lift goods onto hand trucks in order to reduce their risk of injury. By loading up the trucks with goods, it can decrease the amount of labor necessary.

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