What is Material Handling? A Material Handling Systems Guide

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. This includes 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. Because 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. Firstly, 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. So 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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