Investing in new equipment for your distribution center is exciting—and with the new developments in anything from forklifts to robotic cranes and picking devices, investments of this kind can increase production and get your distribution center operating at maximum efficiency. But how do you know when new equipment is a best for your hub? Here’s a guide to weigh the pros and cons.
Getting Too Caught Up In “Gadgets”
By no means do we want to discourage investing in equipment for your warehouse, but we want to make sure that our (and your) investments are based on utility and not “gadgetry.” Don’t spend the money just because something is new and interesting—but find out what your need is and how well the equipment will serve that need. Invest smart.
When Employees Feel Unvalued
Your employees will want to utilize the best equipment they can, but you need to make sure that your employees are always the focus: how can this equipment best serve them? When employees begin to believe you care more about the machine than you do about their ability to do meaningful work, you hurt morale. Make sure that you only invest in equipment that will better help your employees complete their tasks.
The Training Curve
Also with employees, keep in mind the training curve—the amount of time it will take to train current employees and the amount of time future employees will need to become trained on a certain piece of equipment. You’ll want to cross-train employees to run all equipment on the premises to make sure they can cover during peak season or during vacations or missed work.
One of the key unmentioned facts about new equipment for the warehouse is the amount of upkeep and maintenance the machine will require. This means hiring trained staff to keep the machines running long after you’ve purchased them, and both the employees and repairs will require further investment. Make sure you keep in mind how much the equipment will cost after you buy it.
When you invest in that kind of maintenance, your equipment will run longer and will, eventually, save you money.
When The Equipment Works
The investment in new equipment pays off when you equip your employees with the tools they need to better complete the job. New equipment is great—and your employees will enjoy products that make their jobs easier and more efficient—and there’s marketing value in the ability to claim your business as a leader in new technology. Just make sure that you take into account what all goes into investing in that equipment.