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In the supply chain, labor and materials — or, more specifically, the proper storage and handling of materials — play a crucial role in bringing about overall financial stability. For example, when raw materials are frequently moved from one location to another, even if they’re just being transported a short distance within a storage facility, the likelihood of degradation and damage increases significantly. Not only does this result in extra expenditures, it also drags out project timelines. However, there are several options available for reducing material handling costs in the supply chain. Optimization Through New Technology Innovations in machine learning, AI, GPS technology, and sensors have created an environment in which all aspects of material storage, transport, and production can be continuously monitored in real time. Plus, automatic temperature and moisture controls, along with predictive algorithms for accurate decomposition rates, can significantly reduce the need for regular human intervention in the supply chain. For example, if something out of the ordinary occurs, an internal alert system can send out messages to warehouse staff and other employees. These notifications can even include recommendations regarding the optimal hierarchy of steps and the likelihood of material loss at each decision point. Alternatively, a “smart warehouse” system may simply be used to adjust the storage temperature or moisture, and then await further action from a designated employee. Storage Space Planning A nearly empty warehouse, or one that has reached maximum capacity, may not only affect the integrity of raw materials but also overall production efficiency. Wasted space translates to extra overhead, which doesn’t generate a return on investment. Lack of space may also result in more employee touch points, as workers attempt to ensure that all materials are adequately stored and accounted for. Furthermore, an overcrowded warehouse can put employees at risk of […]
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