Don’t Waste Time! Stay Ahead of Your Competition in the Material Handling Industry

Is your company constantly adapting to the newest industry trends? If revolution has taught us anything, it’s that our world will go through periods of rapid change, and it’s those who adapt their skills and develop the right tools who will survive and thrive. In order to remain competitive, it’s critical to stay informed and understand the future of your industry. To continue ahead of your competition, we have listed 5 trends making strides in today’s material handling industry.

The Changing Workforce

The workforce in material handling is getting older, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find qualified candidates entering the workforce who possess the necessary skills. At IMI, our focus is to close this skills gap by training, managing and empowering people of all skill and experience levels.

While still a male-dominated industry, material handling is experiencing a women’s movement. Companies are hiring more women to fill roles at every level. There’s no question that women will help to close the talent gap as well as bring new perspectives and solutions to the industry.

E-commerce Integration

With global e-commerce sales predicted to reach 4.5 trillion dollars by 2021, the race has officially started to develop the fastest and most efficient warehouses to support this massive trend. With online shopping and two-day shipping rising on the daily, it is necessary to have inventory and same day processing to keep up with increased demands.

How to stay ahead?

  1. Introduce systems that will allow your warehouses and retail centers to communicate. This will ensure accurate inventory and will foster cohesive operations.
  2. Integrate systems that will help prepare your facilities, equipment, and staff to handle seasonality.
Mass Personalization

In today’s world, customers expect custom products at mass-production prices. In addition, customers will increasingly expect those products to reach them when and where they want. In order to stay ahead, businesses need to increase their capabilities to support more diverse orders with shorter turnaround times than in the past.

Robotics and Automation

Robotics and automation systems are supporting businesses by keeping up with the demand in a timely, cost-efficient manner. Robots used in sortation applications are increasingly being used for retail, wholesale and e-commerce fulfillment operations. Over the next decade, the material handling industry should expect to become more immersed in automated processes.

While it’s true that robots are replacing human jobs, there will be opportunities for workers to acquire new skills in order to obtain other well-paying jobs. Robots in the workforce will not merely take jobs away, but also create them. When it comes to competition, adapting employees to these new jobs will help your company thrive.

Environmental Footprint

Businesses are encouraged to leave the world a better place than they found it. As consumers become better understanding of the environmental consequences of the products they purchase transportation and material handling companies should continue working towards reducing their energy use and environmental footprint.


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