The Benefits of Buying Used Warehouse Equipment

Distribution centre
If your company has a warehouse, you know that things get expensive. Buying new equipment can put a significant dent in the company’s budget. But what about buying used? It often has a bad connotation in other industries – how are you really going to know what you’re getting? Will the equipment be safe? Those are reasonable questions, but luckily, buying used warehouse equipment is a safe option. And lets be real, as soon as new equipment goes in a warehouse, it’s used. Just like how you drive a new car off the lot and the value drops instantly. So, here are some benefits and tips of buying used warehouse equipment!

Equipment Lasts Forever

Well, not really forever. But most warehouse equipment will last a very long time. I’m mostly talking about storage equipment (ex: pallet racks), because they’re designed to be incredibly durable. When you get into machinery (ex: forklifts), it’s a different story, but not necessarily bad. Storage equipment can get passed on for a very long time – sometimes, even longer than the span of a couple businesses’ lives.

Rare Equipment

Warehouse equipment is similar to a lot of things in life – just because it’s newer, doesn’t mean it’s better. Designs change on certain equipment, and you might like a specific forklift design that’s 10 years old. Or perhaps you noticed a certain conveyor in another warehouse, and the owner assured you it’s a quality purchase. Whatever you’re buying, just make sure you inspect it properly, which we’ll discuss in a bit.

Save That Money!

It’s pretty obvious that when you buy used equipment, you’re going to save money. But it also means you can buy more of it. More storage space and more moving equipment leads to business expansion. And if you don’t have the means to do that right now, you can put the saved money back into other parts of your business. Or use it for the holidays!

Buying Tips

Just because buying used warehouse equipment can be safe and affordable, doesn’t mean it always is. It’s the same as anything else; you want to do your research. First, make sure that the equipment you’re buying will be useful for your business. Consider equipment that could possibly be used two ways. Then, make sure you see the equipment in person. You can often buy used equipment over the phone or online, but you can never be sure it’s exactly what you’re expecting. Also in person, you can have it professionally inspected. And when you think you’re about to make a good purchase, check a few more things. Is the seller reputable? Will my employees and I know how to use this equipment? And is it smart to buy a lot of equipment at once, or should I wait? Once you have all of these questions answered properly, you’re well on your way to a good looking, profitable warehouse.

Eric is the owner of J&L Moving Supplies. You can find him on , Facebook or Twitter, so be sure to connect with him!

Material Handling: The Basics & Advantages

Sealey Power Products Warehouse
Have you ever ordered a product and paid for shipping and handling? You might understand the shipping aspect, but what exactly is handling? The more professional term is “material handling” and it goes hand in hand with logistics. Logistics is the process of coordinating supplies, warehouses, and people to make something happen. You’re working to get products from their point of origin to the place they need to be. Well, material handling is the similar in a lot of ways; you’re working with materials from their early warehouse stages all the way through distribution and disposal. The material handling process could include cleaning, packaging, storing, etc. The logistics come after all of that. So, it’s very important for your company to have a quality material handling process.

Types of Operations

Material handling can be as simple as moving things on and off some shelves, or as complex as automated guided vehicles and production lines with robots. If you’ve ever worked in the stocking department of a grocery store, you worked in one of the most simple material handling jobs. You were bringing products from their storage stages and preparing them to look good for the customers. A more complex operation could be a brewery, where the beer is bottled, packaged, stored, and shipped with the help of machines. Of course, it’s always important to have people overlooking the process, but they’re doing less physical labor. We’ll get into more about that next.

Automated or Manual?

Businesses have to decide whether they want their material handling process to be automated or manual. Smaller businesses might be able to get away with a manual system, whereas large companies should be doing it automated. Workers in a manual system would be moving materials by hand and doing the physical labor. Some businesses that aren’t fully manual but not quite automatic will use things such as jib cranes to assist in the process. An automated system is the way any company would want to go, it’s just a matter of having enough money. It’s a very expensive process of having products go from their development centers all the way to the shipping truck without having any physical human handling. It’s also much safer, more efficient, and there’s a good chance the quality of product will be improved.

Why Is It So Important?

You might be thinking that the material handling aspect of your company can be put on the back burner. But this department isn’t something you want to cut costs on. Lets think about why it’s important. First off, you’re maximizing your storage space over time. By having a team of people that’s devoted to this, you don’t need to worry about losing valuable warehouse space. And then of course, there’s the movement of materials. Your team will have a good grip on getting things out the door on time. All of this will help with having good customer service. And finally, there’s much less of a chance that the goods will get damaged.

There is a lot to know about material handling, so it’s important to decide what is best for your company in order to ensure a quality product delivered on time.

Eric is the owner of J&L Moving Supplies. You can find him on , Facebook or Twitter, so be sure to connect with him!

Forklift Operation & Certification: The Quick Guide

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Operating a forklift might seem like fun and games. You get to roll around all day pushing buttons, sitting higher than everyone else in the warehouse, right?  Not exactly – but it can still be rewarding, and it’s definitely a job worth going after. Just know that a forklift operating job is work – hence why you’re getting paid for it! Follow this guide on how to get certified, as well as safety tips and career options.

About The Job

Here’s the deal. As I’ve already stated, driving a forklift can be great job. Even a lot of the time. Just be aware that sometimes you will have to step off it and do some physical labor. Not everything in the warehouse is forklift-necessary, so be prepared to do some good lifting, walking around to take inventory, etc. Also be aware of the working conditions. You’ll probably be expected to work odd hours and nights. If you’re working at a department store, be aware that most forklift work is done when customers aren’t around. And in any environment, be prepared for very cold or very warm temperatures. As long as you can handle these things, keep on reading.

Getting Certified

If you’re at a job that wants you driving a forklift around without certification, you might want to find a new job. You’ll need to find an Occupational Safety and Health Administration course that will certify you. And your job will most likely need you to be over 18 years old. The course will go over how to handle boxes and other similar topics of the sort. Your job will train you on the actual forklift operation, but they will be working together with the OSHA to make sure everything is A-OK.

You’ll also learn a variety of safety tips. Be ready for lessons on how to start the machine, what the proper clothing is to wear, the dangers of driving a forklift, and how to park. You’ll also learn about the size of the loads you can carry, driving on ramps, and more. You can begin to see why the job isn’t as easy as it seems at first. It requires focus!

Career Options

If you’re looking at forklift job as a chance to get higher up in a company, you might want to go after something else. But driving a forklift certainly has its advantages payment wise. You might be able to start off at $15 (or a little lower), and get as high as $20, or slightly higher. A lot of it can depend on the shift you work, if you’re expected to do other jobs, etc. Forklift operation is a desirable career path – go after it!

Eric is the owner of J&L Moving Supplies. You can find him on , Facebook or Twitter, so be sure to connect with him!

How to Organize Your Warehouse Inventory

warehouse worker On The Job - warehouse staffing - warehouse worker - warehouse employee - forklift operatorFor many businesses, the warehouse is the primary place for inventory. Many items come and go from the warehouse to the showroom floor or are distributed to customers.

However, when was the last time you seriously organized your warehouse inventory? These six organizational tactics can help increase productivity and keep your products organized.

Implement a labeling system

When sorting through your inventory, it’s critical to label everything. This will ensure that you can easily track and store all of your products. Label your inventory with a SKU (stock-keeping unit) number, along with the type of product and a short description. This way, when you’re searching for a certain product, you can look according to labels instead of just guessing.

Install shelving units

You can create aisles throughout the warehouse by implementing standing shelves. Also, take advantage of the vertical space within your warehouse by installing shelving units on the walls. For easier access, label each level of your shelving unit. This will allow you to organize products within the same category by shelf.

Stack items vertically

When possible, stack boxes and products neatly on top of one another. Stacking items vertically will save space in the warehouse and it look much neater too. Keeping like products together and organized will make for an orderly warehouse to boot.

Keep aisles clear

Not only is it important for warehouse safety, but keeping aisles clear will help you find what you need easier. Better yet, assign someone to keep aisles clear. At any time of day, your employees should be able to walk through the warehouse without running into obstacles along the way.

Throw away trash

One way to keep aisles clear is by eliminating trash. Start by purging all of the trash that sits in your warehouse. This includes empty boxes, packing tape and any leftover cardboard. Be realistic and throw away any items that no longer serve a purpose in your warehouse.

Hang signs in aisles

Managing a warehouse can seem overwhelming at times. Hanging signs at the ends of the aisles can be very helpful. In fact, it’s a great organizational tactic and can keep your warehouse neat and orderly. For example, storing products relating to a specific category in a predetermined aisle will make it easier for employees in your warehouse to remember where items are located.

Eric is the owner of J&L Moving Supplies. You can find him on , Facebook or Twitter, so be sure to connect with him!

Best Practices For Warehouse Safety

Sealey WarehouseWe understand that the warehouse can present a variety of potential hazards. Due to the activities workers preform and the type of equipment they use, warehouse employees are simply prone to accidents and injuries. For the employer, accidents in the workplace can get costly and threaten a business. Therefore, it’s important to enforce certain safety equipment and standards. This will ensure that all parties involved are protected and safe.

Housekeeping

Many accidents occur in the warehouse due to the lack of basic housekeeping. For example, garbage or debris in work areas can become a potential hazard. Adhering to recommended housekeeping practices such as cleaning up spills immediately and removing items that can cause tripping can prevent slip and trip related accidents. It’s also a simple way to keep a clean and tidy work environment.

Spills and Falls

Exposure to spilled material can cause hazards such as spills and falls in the workplace. In addition to maintaining a clean work environment, you can protect employees by using slip resistant materials like entryway mats and caution signs in order to avoid falls due to slippery conditions. Warehouses should also use good storage techniques by securely sealing materials before storing items.

Heavy Lifting

Thousands of work related injuries occur each year due to poor lifting techniques. For that reason, it’s important to teach employees proper lifting techniques. This will allow workers to protect themselves while on the job. Proper lifting technique is easy to learn and can become habit in the workplace. You can remind employees of lifting safety by hanging posters around the warehouse.

Ergonomics

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), ergonomic injuries are the most common hazards for workers. In warehouses especially, this is primarily due to the high volume of manual labor performed on a daily basis. Workers should be aware of the amount of stress they are placing on their bodies while performing certain tasks, such as lifting and stacking shelves. Also, you should consider purchasing anti fatigue mats for workers who stand long hours on their feet.

EmergenciesCaution Tape

Whether it’s a warehouse fire or toxic chemicals, all employees should know what to do in case of an emergency. This includes having quick access to exits, telephones and knowing where to find emergency equipment, like fire extinguishers. Monthly drills should also take place so that all employees understand the protocol for responding to emergency situations.

Regular Inspections

In addition to monthly emergency drills, you should plan to conduct regular warehouse inspections. By holding regular inspections, warehouse managers can prevent accidents, improve productivity and save money. Whether you decide on monthly or weekly inspections, establish a routine in order to set a standard for the importance of safety.

Eric is the owner of J&L Moving Supplies. You can find him on , Facebook or Twitter, so be sure to connect with him!