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What Is Material Handling and Why Is It Crucial

  • liftool_admin
  • 12 Apr 2024

Why Is Material Handling Crucial?

It has been estimated that the average cost of material handling in manufacturing accounts for approximately 30 to 60% of the overall production cost in a manufacturing unit. This is primarily due to the significant amount of time spent handling materials before, during, and after the manufacturing process.

Beyond manufacturing, material handling also plays a pivotal role in logistics. Virtually every physical commodity undergoes handling via conveyors, lift trucks, or other types of equipment in manufacturing plants, warehouses, and retail stores. Its importance is evident in several ways:

  • Ensuring the right quantity of materials to enhance production system efficiency
  • Minimizing indirect labor costs
  • Reducing material damage during storage and transportation
  • Maximizing space utilization through proper storage, thus minimizing storage and handling costs
  • Mitigating accidents during material handling
  • Improving overall cost efficiency through optimized material handling
  • Enhancing customer service by facilitating convenient material handling
  • Boosting plant and equipment efficiency and scalability through integrated material handling features

In summary, material handling encompasses the entire lifecycle of raw materials to the final product exiting the factory. By carefully selecting, operating, maintaining, and arranging material handling systems and equipment, companies and factories can significantly benefit from improved customer service, reduced inventory, shortened delivery times, and lowered overall handling costs in manufacturing, distribution, and transportation.