Material Handling Done Right

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Material Handling Done Right

Plant Managers, Operations Managers and Shop Foremen know that the task of managing warehouse operations is complex. The tasks may seem simple but they are not. Operations must ensure products flow efficiently, optimize the storage layout, make sure products are stocked at the right level, and orders are fulfilled and most importantly, people are able to do their jobs safely. Add in the momentous task of reducing overhead costs, and its clear warehouse operators have a lot on their plates.

With so many considerations to balance, warehouse managers can use all the help they can get. At Strong Hold, we strive to minimize those worries as much as possible.

To help our warehouse managers out, here are five ways to manage warehouse space and materials easily and efficiently.

1. Use floor space wisely

Inefficiency develops over time. You start with an empty building and slowly fill it as your organization grows. Most of your efforts will be on sales- so naturally the warehouse gets neglected. Before too long, your warehouse is burdened with wasted space and a great deal of non-revenue generating waste. By using space efficiently, your staff can complete more tasks, and you will save money by not expanding before you need to, and you will be able to put off the expense and trouble of relocating into a bigger facility.

2. Optimize bin placement to locate products quickly

Most inventory management software packages make use of item locations for quick and accurate product location in factories and warehouses. Many companies avoid this tool because they believe they must keep vendor lines lumped together. In fact, bin locations allow you to store products based on size and likeness- rather than by category, thus reducing travel time needed to pick key items that show up on most of your orders.

3. Use sound storage practices to minimize the risk of fires

Poor storage methods can create fire hazard conditions. Paper reels stored vertically are an ideal fuel for fires. The maximum suggested height for indoor storage is 12 feet, with an unobstructed clearance of 18” from the top of the storage to the bottom of the sprinkler heads. Color bands painted on walls to indicate the height to which materials can be stacked may be helpful to insure you remain in compliance.

4. Maximize vertical space

Space can be limited on the production floor, so it’s important to take advantage of all the available space from floor to ceiling. Maximizing your vertical space is both a space savings and cost savings and largely the most overlooked area in making the most of any storage area.

5. The right container for the right purpose

Storage cabinets, lockers, shop desks and other warehouse storage equipment available are as varied in their uses so they are valuable in the management of your inventory. For this reason, many modern warehouses and manufacturers employ a Facilities Planner or Facilities Manager whose job it is to assess the need for various shipping, storage, and materials handling items- and to purchase these for the warehouse as needed. These professionals will take into consideration safety, space, location, and many other factors that dictate best materials handling practices for a given operation.

No matter how you choose to run your materials management process, it is critical that the storage equipment you utilize be reliable, durable, cost-effective, and highly functional for their given purpose. If your warehouse or business is in need of heavy-duty, long-lasting, storage solutions, there is really only one place to go, contact Strong Hold for more information.

Brad Barckert, Director of Sales, Strong Hold Products

Author: Brad Barckert

Position: Director of Sales

Company: Strong Hold Products

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