You may feel like there is nothing surprising about material handling equipment. After all, the function is right there on the label – it’s equipment that handles material! However, ‘material handling equipment’ is as broad a label as ‘sports’, and of course in the realm of sports, baseball is a very different pastime to ice hockey or lacrosse!
The material handling industry suffered like most businesses after the financial disaster of 2008, but over the past decade or so, a distinct improvement in the industry’s growth has been easy to discern. Material handling has become a thriving industry once again, which is great news if your business needs to purchase material handling equipment in order to thrive.
Here are 5 surprising facts about material handling equipment.
1. When Purchasing Material Handling Equipment Seek Out a Partner
The number one mistake people make when buying material handling equipment is that they seek a vendor instead of a partner. They always go for the cheapest deal they can find, then switch to another vendor who offers the cheapest deal when they need new equipment, and then again, and so on—they’re basically going around in purchasing circles.
It is much better in the long run if you establish a worthwhile and valuable partnership with a single supplier. That way, you will reap all the benefits of a successful, long-term relationship, and you will know there is someone you can turn to whenever the need arises.
2. Always Look for Ways to Optimize the Ways You Use Material Handling Equipment
If you run a business, then you’ll understand the constant battles that you will have between want and can actually afford. Your operations department will say that they need a specific piece of equipment that’s vital to the way they do business, but your accounting department will look at the numbers and sadly shake their heads.
The surprising thing about material handling equipment in this regard is that the majority of it actually pays for itself in the long-term. By purchasing such equipment you will likely streamline your operations and become more efficient. This can in turn generate more revenue than if you were to adhere to your present model of operation.
3. Some Material Handling Equipment Can Be More Expensive Than They Seem
When it comes to lift trucks, it may surprise you to learn that the initial outlay is only around 10% of what the truck will cost you during its lifetime. The other 90% is made up of maintenance, operation, machine parts, repairs and charging.
This doesn’t mean you should always go for the cheapest option when it comes to lift trucks or discard lift trucks altogether (far from it), but it does mean that you need to make sure that you are maximizing what you actually get from your fleet.
Make sure you analyze the performance of your trucks – what they do, where they go, and how often they need charging and maintaining. Make the most common routes around your warehouse the shortest ones, and make maintenance a key part of your routine.
4. Embrace New Technologies Instead of Fearing Them
Like all aspects of the business world, the material handling realm is one that is always looking to adapt to new technologies and to embrace advances in automation and computerization. If you prefer the traditional, ‘low-tech’ way of doing things, then you could very well be missing out and creating problems for yourself.
Alternatives to traditional solutions should always at least be considered, such as new battery-charging options and alternative energy systems. The whole point of technical advances is that they increase efficiency and productivity, and if you simply ignore them, then you’re in danger of becoming something of a dinosaur, and we all know what happened to the dinosaurs!
Make sure you keep abreast of the latest technologies, and remain open rather then close-minded. In doing so, you will more than likely find that your operations have the potential to improve significantly.
5. How Many Lift Trucks You Have Can Massively Affect Your Business
You may hear some warehouse or production managers say ‘you can never have enough lift trucks’, but that may not actually be the case. The key to a successful warehouse facility is to have just the right number of lift trucks. Too few and your warehouse will be under stress and could fail to run efficiently. Meanwhile, you may be wasting money maintaining lift trucks that you’re not getting sufficient value from.
The best person to work with when it comes to the maintenance of your lift truck fleet is most likely to be your material handling equipment vendor. They will work with you in helping to evaluate your fleet of lift-trucks and how you can run at maximum efficiency. You can of course attempt to maximize your fleet yourself. If you do this make sure that you obtain accurate data in real time. When you have the numbers, it will be much easier for you to understand how you can best manage your fleet.
Douglas Equipment, The Experts on all
Purchasing Material Handling Equipment
This one will come as no surprise – Douglas Equipment considers ourselves to be the true masters concerning all aspects of material handling equipment. We are also one of the biggest suppliers of all forms of material handing equipment in Florida, and we stock from all the best names in the business – Morse, Wesco, B & P Manufacturing and Presto Lifts to name just a few.
If you don’t want to be surprised by the poor quality or unsuitability of the material handling equipment items you may purchase from other vendors, then come and talk to us. Just call a member of our expert sales support team and we’ll help get you on your way to a much more efficient facility.
Contacting Douglas Equipment couldn’t be any simpler. All you need to do is pick up the phone and call us at 1-800-451-0030, or use our contact form located on our website.