Five Things You Can Do to Lower Your Materials Handling Costs
Reducing your costs means increasing your profits—and increasing your profits has never been more challenging than in recent years. Our experience with hundreds of various types of operations, utilizing hundreds of pieces of equipment in more than a thousand ways, has exposed us to thousands of variations in facilities, equipment, and applications. In working with these diverse clients, we have recognized commonalities that, when implemented, resulted in lower total operating costs for materials handling most of the time. Following are five that we highly recommend:
Choose Application-Specific Equipment – In other words, “buy the right equipment for the job at hand.” We often see equipment being used in applications for which they were not designed. That results in accelerated wear, increased damage and ultimately, increased costs. Working with professionals who can survey your applications and recommend the right equipment for each job is one of the most important things you can do to decrease overall costs. Using the proper equipment with the right specifications means efficient, productive results.
Planned Maintenance – Your fleet equipment works hard. And hard-working equipment needs proper maintenance. Working with a professional and reputable fleet service provider that serves you at appropriate intervals is the key to catching small maintenance issues, before they become larger and much more expensive. In addition, well-maintained equipment operates more efficiently, experiences more up-time and results in improved operator morale.
Invest in a Robust Training Program – Operator safety training is required by OSHA, and a daily inspection of equipment is one of OSHA’s requirements. Most companies train their operators regarding safe operation—but more often than not, the training stops there. Clients that invest in training employees to perform daily inspections, and to know what to look for, see results. If you install a process for equipment that will eventually need repair, you can ensure that unsafe equipment stays off the operating floor, and small repairs can be handled before they blossom into colossal nightmares.
Work With Single-Source Dealerships When Possible – The more work you can assign to a qualified and reliable supplier, the fewer calls you have to make. In turn, the supplier becomes more familiar with your equipment, facility and applications. Using one company that can provide a turnkey operation, from engineering to installation and maintenance, allows you to make just one call when it is needed. This leads to greater efficiencies for you. It also allows your supplier to better understand your operation and thus make logical suggestions that can reduce your costs, increase your efficiency and productivity, and ultimately improve your bottom line.
Fleet Management – Whether you do it yourself or assign responsibility to your materials handling partner, fleet management is a key part of knowing the useful economic lifespan of your equipment. And economic lifespan may vary by application within your operation. If you keep a finger on the pulse of your maintenance expenses and know when it’s time to trade in or re-lease, that process will more than pay for itself in the long run.
There are hundreds of other things you can do to minimize the total operating costs of your facility. We have addressed some of them in previous feature articles. We hope that you have found these Top Five useful. If we can assist you further, or provide you with more information, please contact us at 410-344-1801.