It is dangerously easy to put off upgrading warehouse equipment, since they can get expensive fast. However, you risk bigger costs in the long run by not doing so. In this article, we’ll go over the benefits of upgrading your warehouse equipment, the dangers of not doing so, and common signs that it’s time to upgrade.
Key Benefits of a New Warehouse Equipment
- Leverage tax breaks. Did you know that you can write off many business expenses from your taxes? In fact, some business expenses may be eligible for a super-deduction, which sometimes allows you to deduct over 100% of the expense, essentially serving as a type of subsidy.
- Improve efficiency. Replacing old warehouse equipment with the latest gear can help improve the efficiency of your warehouse. It allows you to streamline operations by speeding up order picking, improving inventory receiving, and offering more storage space.
- Keep up with competitors. If you want to stay competitive, you must stay up to date with the latest technology.
- Increase revenue. Though buying new warehouse equipment may cost a lot upfront, it can pay off in the long run by helping your warehouse generate more revenue.
Dangers of Not Upgrading Your Warehouse Equipment
- Worker safety. Outdated warehouse equipment risks unsafe working conditions that could lead to OSHA fines, legal issues, severe injuries, and even death.
- Damaged stock. Old warehouse equipment could lead to damaged stock. For example, a defective forklift might cause an operator to accidentally drop valuable supplies that get damaged and can’t be used as a result.
- Bad reputation. If your warehouse uses outdated equipment, your company may gain a bad reputation among employees and customers for having unsafe working conditions. This could hurt your PR and cause you to lose business.
- Greater inefficiency. Old warehouse equipment may require costly repairs and downtime. The longer the warehouse is forced to pause operations, the more revenue is lost.
Signs It’s Time for a New Forklift Upgrade
Sometimes it’s easy to tell when to upgrade equipment. For example, an aerial lift or electric tug may stop working altogether and need to be replaced. But other times, it can be harder to tell if an upgrade is necessary. So here are some common telltales that it’s time for an update:
- Mis-picks are on the rise. The mis-pick rate is an important metric in warehouse operations. The higher it is, the higher your operating costs. Why? Because it means you have to pay for extra shipping in returns and replacements (plus any courtesy payments to make up for the order mistake). High mis-pick rates could be caused by suboptimal layouts or outdated technology. Fixing the problem may require increasing space or implementing better SKU scanners.
- You are constantly having to do repairs. If warehouse equipment starts acting up and requires constant repairs, it may be time to replace it. For example, if the shelves on your racking system are falling over or breaking frequently, you need to update them.
- Warehouse health and safety are on the decline. If you notice a rise in warehouse safety and health incidents, it may mean that a warehouse inspection is due. This may reveal insufficiencies and dangers that require upgrading equipment.
A warehouse can be filled with safety hazards which, if left unchecked, can cause serious harm to your employees or visitors.
4. You’re having difficulty tracking stock. This may be a sign that your current inventory tracking system isn’t sufficient. You may need to update your inventory software to help future-proof your business.
5. You’re unable to implement new technology. Working technology is essential to a well-functioning warehouse. At times, you may need to upgrade to faster internet or make electrical upgrades to run the software or tools you need to keep your warehouse operating optimally.
6. There’s not enough space. As your business grows, you may find that there’s no longer enough space in your warehouse to store inventory like returns. This calls for adding more space or upgrading to a modern racking system that is more space efficient.
7. Your dock is getting blocked up. If your loading dock starts having scheduling issues or you notice an increase in worker accidents or delivery slowing down, it may be time to upgrade to new scheduling software.
8. Overall productivity is decreasing. Sometimes overall productivity at your business may start to fall. This could happen for a variety of reasons, but one reason might be your warehouse equipment. For example, you may need to rearrange pathways or get a new tracking system.
Take Your Warehouse to the Next Level With HTX
Here at HTX Material Handling, we help businesses all over Texas optimize their warehouse processes and systems with state-of-the-art equipment. Our solutions include storage, automation, material handling systems, conveyor systems, and loading docks. We also offer equipment, such as lift trucks, electric tugs, aerial lifts, terminal tractors, Mac Rack Rack Repair Solutions, and used equipment.
Feel free to contact us today to learn more about what we have to offer. We look forward to learning about your warehouse needs and offering solutions to help.