According to the U.S. Department of Commerce and Bureau of Labor Statistics, material handling and logistics is one of America’s largest and fastest growing industries. The consumptions of material handling equipment and systems in America has grown to over $156 billion per year and employs in excess of 700,000 workers. This consumption takes place in virtually all process and service industry sectors with the vast majority being found throughout construction, manufacturing and distribution.
Material handling systems help companies cope with buying cultures that are in a continuous state of fluctuation. Whatever the process may be, material handling plays a crucial role in its overall success. Internationalization and globalization are propelling competitiveness and driving the development of newer and more efficient material handling technologies in the market.
Today the material handling and logistics industry has assumed a very strategic role as companies are driving up demand for solutions that will enable them to improve order to delivery cycles, reduce inventory and satisfy changing consumer buying behaviors.
Many forces will be at work to keep material handling and logistics at the forefront of a healthy economic path including:
- Continued shift toward applying technology versus new plant capital spending
- Consumer demand for variety, availability, convenience, quality and affordability
- Material handling and logistics being seen as a strategic versus tactical activity
- Globalization and consolidation of American companies
- Concurrence in which goods and information are moved along supply channels
- Continued emphasis on Supply Chain efficiency, optimization and flexibility
- Mass customization and electronic commerce
- Shifts to outsourcing
- Continued pressure to reduce inventory levels
Today’s economy requires that every investment a company makes yields a quicker ROI than ever before. As manufacturing and distribution companies replace and upgrade material handling equipment, they are looking for solutions that can meet this requirement. The material handling industry is responding with new equipment, technology and systems that affect the efficiency of the entire supply chain. Ultimately, this shift will provide you with the technology and expertise you need to better predict, respond and adapt to your changing business environments.