Executive Briefings

What Are the Biggest Trends in Material Handling?

Steve Rogers, vice president of sales with Hannibal Industries, lays out the major issues facing the material-handling industry today.

In Rogers's view, the biggest trend in material handling this year is the desire by companies to limit the number of vendors with which they do business. In addition, prompted by the capabilities of they internet, they want more options in their process of selection.

The trend can be seen in nearly every industry that Hannibal serves, Rogers says, but is especially strong in the food and beverage sector.

Among the pain points felt by companies today is the need for faster access to information. Consumers are used to being able to track their packages with carriers such as UPS. "Our industry has been a bit slow in driving that," Rogers says.

Product and worker safety is yet another major concern. In the face of increased seismic activity around the world, the storage industry needs to comply with stricter building codes.

Progress toward that goal can be hard to achieve. Companies "are trying to create solutions around it, but it's such a fluid situation," says Rogers. "Things are changing so fast. It's difficult for large manufacturers to adjust to changes in codes."

Increasing freight costs, spurred by higher fuel prices and regulation, are a constant challenge to manufacturers. "You have to look at things much more minutely," says Rogers. "The difference between 32,000 and 34,000 pounds on a pallet can cost the customer a significant percentage [of profit]."

To view video in its entirety, click here


Keywords: supply chain, supply chain management, inventory management, inventory control, global logistics, warehouse management, WMS, supply chain planning, sourcing solutions

In Rogers's view, the biggest trend in material handling this year is the desire by companies to limit the number of vendors with which they do business. In addition, prompted by the capabilities of they internet, they want more options in their process of selection.

The trend can be seen in nearly every industry that Hannibal serves, Rogers says, but is especially strong in the food and beverage sector.

Among the pain points felt by companies today is the need for faster access to information. Consumers are used to being able to track their packages with carriers such as UPS. "Our industry has been a bit slow in driving that," Rogers says.

Product and worker safety is yet another major concern. In the face of increased seismic activity around the world, the storage industry needs to comply with stricter building codes.

Progress toward that goal can be hard to achieve. Companies "are trying to create solutions around it, but it's such a fluid situation," says Rogers. "Things are changing so fast. It's difficult for large manufacturers to adjust to changes in codes."

Increasing freight costs, spurred by higher fuel prices and regulation, are a constant challenge to manufacturers. "You have to look at things much more minutely," says Rogers. "The difference between 32,000 and 34,000 pounds on a pallet can cost the customer a significant percentage [of profit]."

To view video in its entirety, click here


Keywords: supply chain, supply chain management, inventory management, inventory control, global logistics, warehouse management, WMS, supply chain planning, sourcing solutions