There's no getting around the fact that material handling and distribution center warehouse equipment is expensive. When an owner invests money into material handling equipment, they expect to see a good return on investment (ROI) in the form of increased productivity and efficiency that boosts the bottom line and helps pay for that equipment. With a wide variety of material handling and DC warehouse equipment available, there seems to be something for every application. Of course, the more bells and whistles, the more money! So, how do you decide if buying, renting or leasing material handling equipment - such as a forklift - is right for you? Let's break down some of the important factors to take into consideration beforehand.
If your business model is – or becomes – based on loading and unloading trailers, but you don't have traditional loading docks at your material handling, distribution center warehouse or manufacturing facility, a yard ramp might be the answer. Yard ramps are employed to take the place of normal warehouse docks or to act as a permanent or movable egress into and out of a warehouse dock.
In today's fast-paced, e-commerce driven material handling and distribution center world, finding the most productive and efficient way to conduct business while maximizing your ROI is paramount. Using today's technology to organize and operate your warehouse with conveyor and storage solutions is a must.
Owners and managers don't have the luxury of seeing plenty of skilled workers lining up for jobs. Nobody has time to watch employees hunt through shelving and cubbyholes to fill orders. Available real estate for expanding operations is either not available or out of reach. The face of the material handling and DC warehouse world has undergone a major change - and it behooves smart decision makers to boost their game to keep up with these changes.
Whether you believe there is a climate change crisis or not, material handling and distribution center warehouse managers and decision makers are moving toward electrically-powered equipment for some very good reasons that include environmental concerns, but also consist of maintenance costs and fossil fuel price fluctuations, as well as fuel stability. With a tremendous rise in e-commerce as the world adjusts to new normals, moving toward electric just makes sense.
When it's time to buy an expensive piece of material handling equipment, most decision makers are going to weigh the pros and cons of purchasing new vs used. In fact, when you plan your annual budget, you've probably included a line item for additional needed forklifts and other material handling equipment like stackers, order pickers, reach trucks, utility carts, aerial lifts, yard ramps, jacks and more. Perhaps you had the discussion about the advantages of buying new vs the advantages of buying used at that time. It's just good business sense to plan ahead and buy the big items on a planned schedule when you can take advantage of sales and tax breaks. One thing is for sure, though. You don't want to get caught with serious downtime while you debate the pros and cons of new vs used.
Obviously, a used forklift is going to be less of a hit to the bottom line - at least at first. Therein lies the caveat. The advantages of buying new material handling and distribution center warehouse equipment boil down to cost and features. Let's take a closer look at how these items can affect your purchase decision.
Structuring your unique material handling or distribution center warehouse to perform at optimum efficiency and productivity isn't rocket science. There are formulas, however, that will help you take advantage of best practices and perfect warehouse design to boost your bottom line. One area that makes a huge difference in how efficiently a warehouse works is pallet racking. Do you understand all the variations of pallet racking out there? There's a pallet racking configuration on the market today that will help you address your specific application challenges. At Southwest Materials Handling, our experienced team can help you sort through all the options to find your best fit.
Most up-to-date businesses that use forklifts and other equipment are managed by people who are aware of how important safety is to owners and employees alike. And yet, forklift fatalities and accidents not only continue to happen, but have seen an increase over the last 10 years. In 2019, OSHA reported 79 deaths and more than 8,000 injuries due to forklifts. Granted, there are more forklifts and more people operating them, but with workplace safety being spotlighted all day every day, what can possibly be at the root of these numbers?
Ahhh summertime! After a winter like the one just past, a warm and balmy summer is starting to sound pretty good. But as most of us know, the mild climates of spring will soon give way to the scorching heat we know in Texas. That summer heat can wreak havoc on your material handling operations if you don't take the proper steps to contain and manage the high temperatures. Taking steps now to manage the upcoming summer heat can save you money and time.
Luckily, there are numerous ways you can help protect your valuable assets - employees, equipment, product and infrastructure - through the brutal summer. At Southwest Materials Handling Company, let our professionals help you implement new and proven technologies designed to save you money - and sweat - through our long summer months.
Capital investments - the purchase of items that boost productivity and cost more than $5,000 - are part of every company's solid financial budget. Capital investments, such as material handling equipment like forklifts, are expected to show a positive ROI, or return on investment, almost immediately - or at least by the following year.
Companies that are planning on growing - or are already showing positive growth - need to be able to make decisions about capital investments and how the ROI is going to affect the bottom line. Do you anticipate your company growing faster with the addition of a forklift? Adding capital investments in the form of equipment such as a forklift can not only boost your productivity, it can help you increase your workforce and expand your business into new markets.
Let's take a look at some of the signs that buying a forklift would be the right choice for your company.
As the old saying goes: Nothing ever stays the same. In the material handling industry, implementing new technology and ideas is critical for companies that want to stay competitive. In warehousing, that's especially true as the material handling industry has seen massive overhauls to old ways of doing things in favor of new ideas that promote efficiency and productivity by integrating systems into a well-oiled, smooth-running operation.