Strong economic growth coupled with an extremely tight labor market have created a perfect storm for the material handling industry. Demand for your products is up, but your ability to deliver those products is strained because you simply don’t have the personnel to meet every order.

Among logistics and warehouse professionals, 55 percent name labor scarcity as their top concern, according to the 2018 Warehouse/Distribution Survey conducted by Peerless Research Group.1 The days of quickly hiring more staff to meet peak demands are behind us. As human capital becomes harder to come by, many companies must innovate to maintain productivity and profitability.

What does material handling innovation look like in a tight labor market?

For many companies, innovation will come in the form of increased automation and increased usage of picking carts to solve material handling challenges. Automated conveyor, sortation, storage, and packaging innovations are just a few of the new systems being implemented by respondents to the 2018 Usage and Implementation of Warehouse and DC Automation Solutions survey.2

According to the survey, companies would spend more on materials handling equipment in 2018 than they had the previous year – a trend that's expected to continue through 2019. The survey also found that purchase price was not a key factor when making a buying decision. Instead, 90 percent of respondents said durability, reliability, and uptime were their top criteria when evaluating material handling carts and automated solutions.

How can automation cut costs?

Likely, respondents’ lack of emphasis on price comes as a response to the high cost of attracting and retaining labor in today’s low unemployment market. As companies evaluate the high cost of paying employees more per hour, many see automation as a smart solution for solving human capital challenges, increasing efficiencies and improving productivity.

Forward-thinking companies realize the labor crunch will not be getting better in the short term and know they need to innovate and automate. At Cannon Equipment, we're seeing many companies realize they need to implement new automation systems or upgrade their current systems not only to keep up with current order volumes, but to position themselves for future growth. To implement this, companies need a vendor who isn't in it to simply “innovate” or offer a commodity.

How can Cannon Equipment help you solve labor shortages?

Implementing or upgrading your material handling system with automated conveyance and carts can go a long way in reducing your need for additional labor. At Cannon Equipment, we are committed to finding solutions that empower your business to reach its full potential. Whether you need process automation, conveyors, automated sortation systems, material handling carts, palletizers, case packers, stackers, cart loaders, washers, system controls, parts, or something else, Cannon Equipment has a solution to fit seamlessly into your operations.

1 Warehouse/Distribution Survey, 2018; Peerless Research Group
2 Usage and Implementation of Warehouse and DC Automation Solutions, 2018; Peerless Research Group