By Keith Trumbull
It is important to develop a material handling strategy that works for your organization. Executing a strategy that can be implemented company-wide will help to make the best decisions for your material handling equipment management.
An effective global strategy is dependent on many variables, so we recommend first developing a country-level strategy. It can be challenging to apply one standardized policy to each of the markets in which a company operates due to differences in local markets. These variations include OEM options, equipment availability, leasing structures, and workplace regulations.
With these challenges in mind, we suggest the following best practices to implement a global strategy:
1. Develop an understanding of material handling equipment at the country level. It’s important to not only speak with stakeholders at the country level but to also collect any relevant data. Having an understanding of not only what is currently done but also why it is done will inform your strategic initiatives moving forward.
2. Identify corporate objectives. By identifying overall corporate objectives, it may become apparent that there are specific objectives that can be harmonized internationally.
3. Develop a global team. This global team should include stakeholders from regional markets to focus on localized material handling equipment management. These stakeholders will provide crucial insight.
4. Deploy standards. By developing and deploying an umbrella set of standards, your organization will be able to turn to these standards as guidelines for each country.
With these guiding principles in place, your organization will achieve consistency in policy but allow for enough flexibility for local markets to operate in a manner consistent with their environment and market needs.