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Material Handling Systems Age Out

In the electronics supply chain, the business pace is faster than ever before.  Customers are asking more of manufacturers, and the demand for quick and easy information flow and materials movement is always rising. The equipment in the average manufacturing facility may not be up to the task.

At many manufacturing plants, the material handling systems are ancient by technology standards, a new survey by Tompkins Supply Chain Consortium found. The survey, which polled retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers, and third-party logistics firms,  reported that the average age of a material handling system is 15.3 years old. 

The problem is ubiquitous. More than one third (35%) report that at least one of the organization's material handling systems is more than two decades old. As an average, companies have 2.7 distribution centers with a materials handling system that is 15 years old.  “These statistics indicate that many of today's material handling systems have considerable age to them and they may be a source of operational concern going forward,” the report said.

Older systems are more likely to break down, causing organizations to lose productivity and incur costs.  “It's scary the number of times I have visited distribution centers and have found maintenance managers piecing together equipment to keep it working,” said Dale Pickett, director of supply chain services, Tompkins International in a written statement.

The infographic below highlights some of the findings of the study. Take a look and let us know how the materials handling systems you use are holding up. How do you assess when the equipment needs to be replaced or upgraded? Let us know in the comments section below.

— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN Circle me on Google+ Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn page Friend me on Facebook

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