How Your Indiana Warehouse Is Changing

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One look around your warehouse will tell you that it’s a bit different from five years ago. And the way things are going, your Indiana warehouse is changing again five years from now. Health concerns, automation, increased cleaning, and revised employee work schedules all play a role in the evolution of the warehouse. And those changes will affect the way you manage your forklift fleet.

Changes in Your Physical Warehouse Space

If you’re like most businesses, your Indiana warehouse was changing even before the world-wide pandemic. No matter what industry you served, the market started demanding quicker turnaround and more efficiency. Throw health and safety into the mix, and you have a physical site with a much different look than before. Now you may see:

  • More inventory: Many warehouses have become a vital insurance policy against “just in case” demands. That means you have more stock on hand that your employees can quickly pick, pack, and ship. More inventory usually means shuffling shelving and pallets around, which can strain your smaller trucks, like a narrow aisle forklift.
  • Nimble warehouse arrangements: To accommodate “on-demand” customer needs, many warehouses have turned to variable and short-term warehousing capacity. Co-warehousing, and “virtual warehousing” -- where products are stored at multiple locations -- have also made forklift fleet management a continually changing process.
  • More diverse and customized loads: New products have always been a staple in the warehouse, but now it seems that the development process has been shortened considerably. Many warehouses have seen their racks in a constant state of flux to accommodate a more diverse product line.
  • Smaller, more frequent outgoing loads: Many warehouses have to adapt to e-commerce and customer fulfillment options. This shift in fulfillment means your warehouse operations might have been redesigned for an influx of small, individual goods frequently dropped off by a range of vans and trucks that deliver directly to the consumer.

Changes in Forklift Fleet Management

The efficiency of any well-operated warehouse begins with the forklift fleet. Therefore, it’s no surprise that when you see your Indiana Warehouse change, your forklift fleets will change also. Here is what you may see in the coming years:

  • Accepting short-term forecasting: Volatile markets are forcing warehouses to consider shorter year-by-year contracts, but that trend requires more frequent reviews and forecasting.
  • The pressure of immediate fulfillment: This means your warehouse may have to bulk up on inventory to meet consumer needs, especially in the retail sector. Being nimble – quickly training employees to use off-the-shelf technology, and reconfiguring warehouse space on demand – has become a useful toolset.
  • Greater reliance on forklift rentals: While warehouses will always buy and lease a heavy-use forklift, more companies have started relying on forklift rentals. This shift may be due to a rise in diverse inventory or limited inventory runs. Companies have also embraced a forklift rental as a way to cut overhead costs.

How Your Indiana Warehouse is Changing in The Future

Warehousing and forklifts are constantly evolving -- and now at light speed. You could have seen changes in your workplace already. If you haven’t, be on the lookout on how your Indiana warehouse is changing for the future:

  • The rise of automation: Larger Indiana warehouses have already started to add automation to their forklift fleets. But, driverless pickers, sorters, and loaders are beginning to arrive at smaller workplaces faster than planned. Companies are starting to construct new automation-friendly facilities or are reconfiguring existing buildings to meet automation requirements.
  • Embracing green warehousing: Many company mission statements now include reducing their carbon footprint. Existing buildings will have to follow increasingly conservative energy requirements and good practices like adding LED lighting for workspaces, and “green” roofs to lower heating and cooling expenses. You will also see electric forklifts start to replace those rugged activities that are usually handled by a diesel or propane forklift.
  • The cleaner, socially distanced workplace: It looks like health initiatives in the warehouse are here to stay. Fewer operators will be allowed in the warehouse at one time, but increasing hours of operation could forever alter how your forklift fleet is used. Cleaning wipe downs will stay incorporated in your daily forklift safety checklist.

Tynan Helps Your Indiana Warehouse Keep Up With Changes in Your Forklift Fleet

Tynan Equipment Company has been on the cutting edge of forklifts and material handling equipment since 1960. To see how we can help your ever-changing warehouse, just call one of our product specialists at (317) 597-4003.

Changes to your Indiana warehouse are inevitable and your forklift fleet will need to adjust accordingly.

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