Kate Pointeau discusses materials handling solutions that can handle the most demanding conditions of industries like automotive
The ability to handle materials efficiently and effectively is critical in today’s fast-moving and unpredictable business conditions. The way in which they are able to move, store, control and protect all of the materials in use throughout the business is an intrinsic factor in the delivery of the products and services to the end customer. For this reason, businesses need to be able to execute materials handling well in even the toughest of operating environments.
Tough Operations Come in Many Guises
Those environments may be tough for a variety of different reasons. It’s certainly the case for some businesses that the physical operating environment is particularly difficult – because it’s hot, cold, dusty or dirty, for example. But other constraints and pressures may make for tough operations too. It may be the case, for example, that materials handling has to be executed within very demanding schedules and deadlines.
In an increasing number of production environments, space is a particular challenge, with materials handlers having little room to do their jobs. It could also be that congestion is an issue, with large teams of handlers working in close proximity to meet the demands of the business.
In fact, even the most pristine operating environment may make for tough operations. Where the business is striving to meet competing deadlines under the pressure of demanding time and space constraints, the pressure on operators may be intense. The fact that they are operating in a spotless warehouse, say, or on a highly-controlled manufacturing floor, will not lighten the load.
Another consideration is unpredictability. While some organisations have a clear view of what they need to do and when, materials handling demands for others can be unpredictable. As customer demand ebbs and flows, market conditions change, and uncertainties such as Brexit, variability may, in itself, make for tough operations. It will often be difficult on a day-to-day basis to anticipate what is expected of the business and its materialshandling capabilities.
Standing Up to the Challenges of Materials Handling
However, modern businesses have no choice but to face down these challenges, employing the latest technologies, implementing best practice operating techniques and collaborating with experienced and expert materials handling specialists. In an age where the demands made on manufacturers are ever greater, as customers seek greater speed, agility and visibility, a business’s ability to cope in tough materials handling conditions can be a key differentiator in the constant battle to stay ahead of the market.
The good news is that help is available. With the right support and advice, businesses that choose the materials handling solutions that are most appropriate to their circumstances will be able to overcome even the toughest operating conditions.
State-of-the-art industrial equipment will help businesses to handle materials more effectively and efficiently, whether in the warehouse, on the manufacturing floor or in the field. The most innovative suppliers and dealers will help businesses to understand their processes and operations, identifying pressure points and providing solutions to ease each difficulty. Applied in this way, materials handling solutions can make all the difference to a business as it seeks to deliver the best possible products and services to its own customers.