28 Feb 2019
Materials handling providers are crucial for success. Choosing the right one that fits your business should be a rigorous – but not daunting – process. A good material handling provider will be a key business partner, helping you achieve your business goals in the short- to long-term. Here are a few points to consider when selecting a material handling provider if you’re feeling like you don’t know where to start.
1. Preliminary questions and research
The key questions to consider when finding materials handling providers is – who will I be working with, and what motivates them? Some simple website searches will yield many results; but having a set criterion for what you need in a materials handling provider is important. Case studies (which every provider should have on their site) is a good indicator – if you think their approach to materials handling is right, you should put them on a shortlist.
Once you have a healthy shortlist, arrange some tours and meetings with your potential materials handling companies. You’ll be able to view their processes, infrastructure, resources, and temperament when it comes to their people and interactions. If you are stretched for time, you may just want to do a drive-by of their facilities to ensure they at least look like they have the capacity to serve your business.
2. Put your boots on the ground – a tour and meet & greet
3. Gathering references
Once you have met the team and have an overview of their capabilities, ask for references. This is just like hiring an employee – except you’re getting the benefit of an entire team to help! Their references should be of high praise, and detail the pros and cons of each team. Some might be hands off, which you prefer; others may only drop in when there’s problems. This gives you a better feel for how they’ll treat you once the honeymoon period is over.
When you’re satisfied that your prospective materials handling provider has ticked most of the boxes, it’s time for a demonstration – putting their money where their mouth is, so to speak. Usually, the better materials handling providers will give you a demo of their equipment for a few days, to see if it’s a good fit (for them as much as you.) It’s even better if they send out technicians to help smooth any rough edges or answer questions that inevitably come up.
4. See them in action
5. The value proposition
Now you’re keen on the company since they did a great job, it’s time to talk dollars. How much value are you getting for what they’re asking? If they simply install your racking and conveying, supply forklifts, and make necessary modifications at the bare bones for a higher price, then there’s a good chance another provider will give you more value with on-site support. Sometimes the cheapest price you find is also the “nastiest.”
Choosing the right materials handling provider can prove difficult – but as an added value provider of materials handling products, you can trust Backsafe Australia with your materials handling needs. We can come to you and provide expert advice. Contact the team at Backsafe Australia today. You can contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can give us a call on 1300 305 314.
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