You’re probably already well aware that your company’s material handling system is a critical component in its success. When it’s working efficiently, it can help you to reduce your inventory, shorten delivery times, lower handling costs, and improve your overall customer service, all of which leads to happy customers and a stronger bottom line.

By definition, the term “material handling” includes the movement, storage, protection and control of materials and products during manufacturing, warehousing and distribution. It’s accomplished using a variety of manual, semi-automated and automated equipment.

The material handling industry has gone through significant changes over the last several years, and there will likely be more in the future. Here are some of the trends for you to anticipate:

Retiring baby boomers will create openings for other workers

The material handling industry is facing the same dilemma that is plaguing other industries: an aging workforce. Qualified workers have been hard to find, so the industry will be looking at workers that have not been traditionally seen in this sector—women, veterans, disabled workers, and younger individuals.

More women will enter the material handling industry

Material handling has been a male-dominated industry in the past, but that is changing as women are being hired for all sorts of roles including the executive level, and research and development.

Online shopping will help the material handling industry to grow

As more consumers switch to online shopping, the need for handling and delivering those products will increase. Consumers want their purchases quickly, so an effective material handling process is a must. Businesses will be developing their technologies in every area, including:

    • Conveyor systems
    • Picking and sorting
    • Storage and retrieval systems

Also, the fast rise of e-commerce will mean the need to track these orders from the time they are placed until they are delivered will grow.

Automation, including robots, will help speed up processes

Customers are demanding faster delivery, and once they are implemented, automated systems will accelerate the material handling processes. As the price of automated systems decreases, more businesses will be adding these versatile systems to help them stay competitive.

With consumers now expecting next-day delivery, companies are being forced to develop the fastest material handling processes possible.

Robots will both eliminate and create jobs

While many people fear that robots in the industry will only eliminate jobs, the truth is they will also create support jobs such as robotics engineers, software developers, technicians, sales engineers, and operators.

 

Are you hoping to find a material handling job?

We can help. Contact Pro Resources for your next light industrial or technical/professional position. We’ve been in business for over 30 years, so let us use our experience to help you find your next job.