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Choosing your Material Handling System: A Quest for the Right Solution

Benton Graff | 14 May 2019

Growing your Business

Congrats! Your business is starting to take off. Orders are coming in faster than you can keep up. It’s starting to look like time for an upgrade to your warehouse system, because you don’t want to keep customers waiting. Maybe your company is already large but continues to expand, working on e-commerce as well. Or maybe you are just looking to increase efficiency for a better bottom line.

Where do you begin your search for the right warehouse system? Research, assistance, and visualization are the steps you need to take.

Research is Key

Regardless of the reason, a new material handling system looks like the next step for your business. You’ve begun your search with all-knowing Google and found a couple of good options. Racking and pallet jacks look simple enough. Next come conveyor systems, with so many options! Live rollers, belts, inclines, and there are even some that are made of plastic! What about spiral conveyors and vertical lifts? Not to mention all the warehouse picking options: pick to light, voice picking, and even some augmented reality! Now you come across much larger goods to person automated systems like AutoStore and Perfect Pick. There are so many solutions and options available, you might be asking yourself “how can I figure out what’s best for my business?”

Finding Help!

Never fear, there are plenty of ways to determine which options your company really needs. Just like if you are struggling with your taxes or are looking for a new house, there are consultants, experts in the field, who can help you find the best options. Material handling consultants know the industry and have probably seen situations like your own before. Based on information you provide, they can help you determine if you need a simple solution or if it’s best to combine multiple technologies into one free-flowing operation. Just because it looks sophisticated, doesn’t always mean it’s right for you.  Their job is to make sure you get the most efficient system that delivers the best ROI for your business.

Seeing is Believing

Now that you have a clearer idea of where your design is headed, it still may be difficult to visualize how it all ties together inside your facility. This may even be the first time you’ve heard of some of these material handling technologies. We understand that images are usually easier to understand than just words, which is why our engineers use 3-D software to model the system and can even simulate the process you want to use! Not only that, but with modern technology, it’s possible to take a virtual tour of your new facility, before materials are even ordered!

Congrats, Quest Complete!

Hopefully by now you are feeling more confident in the future material handling and order fulfillment operations of your business. You started off alone, searching through the sea of research and are now leaving with enhanced understanding of available options and a new design specifically created for your business - which you even got to see laid out in 3-D. By combining your own ideas and some expert guidance from Bastian Solutions consulting engineers, you are well on your way to the next steps towards improving the material handling operations of your business.

Author: Benton Graff

Benton is a Bastian Solutions Project Engineer based in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. He works with vendors, designs systems, and supervises the installation of our material handling systems.


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