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What is material handling?

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Quick Answer

Material handling covers the logistics and support for making supply chains work smoothly, including movement and storage of items through the production, assembly, shipping and distribution phases of business. Material handling refers to the control and dissemination of goods and services through all phases of production and delivery, including manufacturing, allocation, consumption and even removal. Material handling involves many areas of business, including customer service and transportation.

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Full Answer

Material handling uses many mechanisms, including physical labor, semi-automatic machines and advanced electronics. Companies conduct material handling using digital and physical equipment, such as data retrieval systems, casters and wheels, controls, conveyors, robots and lift trucks. Material handling and management covers daily operations and affects long-term management and business plans. Material handling ensures products enter the marketplace on time and in correct quantity, and reach consumers quickly.

Organizations rely on material handling protocols and programs for building solid customer service. Program plans also increase company efficiency by reducing inventory, and by reducing transportation time and costs for manufacturing, transportation and product dissemination.

Material handling serves vital and practical purposes in many industries, including construction, architecture, engineering and aeronautics. It follows several principles, including planning, standardization, work, space utilization, ergonomics, automation and life cycle cost.

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