Material Handling Industry Trends

Although there are many challenges associated with material handling, forklift industry trends are on the rise. Learn about key innovations and take proactive measures to stay ahead.

Changes With Material Handling Equipment and Logistics

The global health crisis has had a significant impact on consumer spending habits, which has increased supply chain demands. While many people are still gaining their footing after the initial blow of COVID-19, the material handling industry experienced numerous highs and lows, much like other industries around the world.

However, notable changes include reduced labor capacity (smaller staff), increased shift times, and infrequencies in availability. Because of the CDC’s instruction to social distance, warehouses had to change how they typically operate. These changes had a direct impact on productivity, sales, and profits. Thanks to the shifts in the material handling industry, be on the lookout for the following trends in 2021:

Increased Automation

With fewer workers on site, managers and key decision makers (KDMs) have been working to increase warehouse efficiency. Countless companies and factory environments are in the process of restructuring business operations. But unfortunately, readjustment often leads to downtime. Subsequently, these reduced labor forces resulted in massive revenue losses.

For these reasons, new automation technologies are needed now more than ever. Warehouse automation scalability and versatility is necessary to perform physical movements or new configurations of workflow—this is how packages move through the warehousing process in a seamless and error-free manner.

Improved Lean Management Strategies

Lean management is inspired by Toyota Industries Corporation. It’s a process of managing and organizing work to mobilize more efficient best practices. Lean management ultimately eliminates non-value-added activities and other forms of waste of time, production, and resources. As the KDM, warehouse manager, or construction site manager, it’s imperative that you introduce this form of leadership to your team. Your progress will become more noticeable as you perfect your processes.

By implementing this updated approach to facilitating workloads and responsibilities, you can enhance your company’s quality and profitability. In 2021, ensure your team members are aware and onboard with this business process moving forward.

Enhanced Worker Safety

As the manager or KDM, you’re obligated to prioritize worker safety. Safe equipment goes hand-in-hand with following the rules and regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Abiding by industry guidelines and keeping your workers safe should be of the utmost importance to you. Their well-being is dependent upon material handling equipment and its level of functionality and capabilities. Avoid working with faulty forklifts and utilizing old or weak pedestrian-operated mechanisms. This is dangerous and could lead to serious injuries that your company may be held responsible for.

Incorporating lift truck solutions is essential to smoother operations. Be sure your workers have access to updated, technologically advanced forklifts and other modern material handling equipment. This is especially necessary and trending in 2021, since everyone is picking up the pace from the year before and accelerating productivity.

Also, be sure to implement ongoing maintenance. It’ll help you spot red flags and potential problems before they get out of hand. Taking this proactive measure contributes to high-functioning equipment, which leads to fewer operational errors. Since it provides precision, workers feel safer during tasks and operate with greater peace of mind.

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Ensure Your Operation Is Prepared for Progress

For the months that lie ahead in the remainder of 2021, it’s important to prepare your company for greatness. The right tools and equipment, inventive business practices, and the right attitude can put you back, if not farther ahead than, where you were before the global crisis started. High-performing material handling equipment, a world-class automation system, dedicated and skillful workers, and diligent leadership sets you up for success in 2021and the years to come.

Choose Equipment That Elevates Your Work Environment

At HTX Material Handling, we provide our customers with a first-class experience. Whether you’re buying, renting, or need maintenance on your equipment, our team is well-versed and ready to help. Material handling is strenuous and tedious labor. Help your team work smarter, not harder, as we begin our journey into better days.

The team at HTX is made up of workers who specialize in forklift operations and repair. They’re trained on how to diagnose and fix any issues your forklift may be having. Plus, to prevent major malfunctions that could lead to downtime, we offer our Total Maintenance and Repair (TM&R) program for your convenience. We send our forklift technicians out to your location to perform oil changes, tire changes, and routine inspections to make sure your property is functioning correctly. We take pride in our top-of-the-line equipment and superior customer service. Our goal is to earn an everlasting partnership with you in the material handling business.

Though we’ve experienced some tough times over the past year, we’re proud to say we’re making a triumphant comeback as a nation. The crew at HTX is confident in its equipment and capabilities. We’re backed by The KION Group, which is rooted in decades of innovation and integrity. Although lift truck industry trends are always changing, one thing is constant: HTX’s growing expertise and superior customer service for the Houston, Texas region.