4 Tips for Entering the Material Handling Industry for the First Time

Are you new to the material handling or supply chain game? Are you nervous about what to expect? Have no concerns! The material handling industry is one of the most exciting and dynamic fields in the world today. With this being said, many new graduates from technical school may be eager to enter the industry but still feel quite overwhelmed at all that can occur as they get their feet wet. The good news is it has never been easier to step into the field as the industry evolves on a daily basis with the integration of innovative technologies and revolutionary methodologies. Here are a few key tips for anyone entering into the trade:

1) Automation is Bigger than Ever – Overall material handling and supply chain management have become a streamlined concept. In fact, software platforms such as SAP has have helped many warehouses achieve full automation. In doing so, organizations have bolstered both safety and service delivery as opposed to traditional conventions found in yesteryear. Further embellishing the principles of cutting-edge ideologies taking center-stage, both Lean manufacturing and Six Sigma methodologies have also been introduced to further drive continuous improvement. For new grads, artificial intelligence and autonomy make the industry safer now more than ever. First-timers can also feel reassured that they are going into an industry that garners a very progressive approach to routine operations.

2) Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help – Communication is paramount for both efficiency and safety in the workplace. With this being said, a solid line of accountability and communication should be established between management personnel and new hires. In the event a new grad finds themselves troubled by the slightest of concerns. No question is silly or stupid, if you have any issues do not be afraid to ask for help.

3) Inspect Your Forklift Daily – According to Bastian Solutions, inspecting your forklift daily is a great way to assure seamless and safe operations in the workplace. While this tip may seem to be basic and rudimentary, it is nonetheless essential to adhere to. Many seasoned operators are often guilty of overlooking this simple advisory because of the familiarity they possess with driving and maintaining forklifts on a regular basis. However, it is imperative to check all four tires for adequate pressure to ensure safe traction and handling. Additionally, taking a look at the fluid levels for the coolant, oil, and hydraulic fluid are essential for optimal use. Lastly, checking the battery terminals can prevent any sudden electrical malfunctions during operation. Carrying out these exercises on a daily basis can help anyone new to the material handling trade become acquainted with the forklift and further foster a secure work environment where the chance of accident is lowered dramatically.

4) Take Advantage of Learning Tools and Aids – In the material handling industry there has never been a greater amount of resources available to continue learning and reinforce skills retention. In the case of forklift operations, the revolutionary forklift simulator is a wonderful educational tool to prepare anyone for a day behind the wheel. As these tools and aids become more widely used and regularly available, those who enter the industry will be best equipped to tackle tomorrow’s challenges better. Do not be shy to inquire as to how you can acquire and/or use some of these resources.

About Tom Reddon

Tom has been involved in the forklift industry since 1986. He loves doing research, blogging, and speaking about forklifts. You can contact Tom on his Twitter or Google+ profiles.

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