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What is material handling?

What is material handling?

materials handling, noun: the loading, unloading, and movement of goods, as within a factory or warehouse, especially by the aid of mechanical devices.(1)


Material handling is much more than the handling of inventory – it’s the movement, protection, storage and control of materials and products throughout their lifespan of manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, consumption, and disposal. Material handling encompasses a range of components to keep the supply chain running, including a variety of equipment types (manual, semi-automated, and automated) and systems (single level storage, multi-level storage, conveyors, etc.).

Efficiency is the name of the game when structuring your material handling system. Efficient logistics are a necessity when reacting to and planning for customer and warehouse requirements – inbound inventory’s material handling processes are just important as outbound’s processes.

General material handling inventory flow

Material handling process has four dimensions that impact efficient product flow through your warehouse: Movement, Time, Quantity, Space

    • Movement: moving product from Receiving to Outgoing
      >>Small scale example: using a fork truck to move inventory from storage onto a truck for shipment <<

Small scale inventory movement example

      >>Large scale example: using a conveyor system to move inventory around a 100,000 sq ft distribution center <<

Large scale inventory movement example

  • Time: how long products live in storage, receipt of inventory-to-shipment time frame
  • Quantity: how much product can be storage in the allotted space
  • Space: how much space is allotted or available

 

Material handling improves efficiency by making the logistics system respond quickly and effectively to plant and customer requirements. For efficient movement of goods into the warehouse, locating stock, accurately filling orders, and rapidly preparing orders for shipment to customers, materials handling is very important to outbound logistics. In inbound logistics terms, materials handling serves company plants in the same way. Firms need to integrate materials handling requirements not only for the company's departmental needs, but also for meeting their customers' needs.

At REB Storage Systems International, we pride ourselves on matching the right product to the customer’s needs. The efficiency of your racking is of the highest importance when considering your material handling needs. We have a team of engineering experts in material handling available to answer any questions you may have about your warehouse or distribution center material handling processes. We are here to advise and aid you in regards to what materials you will require to make your work day easier, and with the assistance or our Experienced Sales team, we are ready to provide you with friendly, personalized support.

Contact one of our experts at 773-252-0400 or info@rebstorage.com to find out what material handling equipment you should use for your operation.

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Brian Dubin

All Products Automotive, Inc.

“We have been a customer for over 15 years. REB offers a good selection of products at great prices. They are an excellent source of materials along with suggestions and information on a variety of storage issues."

Bruce Moulton

Harrington Industrial Plastics

“REB is by far my favorite vendor, the customer service and dedication to making sure every order is complete and on time. Fantastic communication, and an absolute pleasure to work with.”

Gary Rothschild

Epko Industries

“First time customer and REB provided excellent service and competitive pricing. Would use them again.”