The function of moving objects from one location to another.
Comments: In a Lean environment Materials Handling becomes a bit of a science rather than an aside to manufacturing. Lean systems require fairly exacting quantities of correct materials to feed processes very quickly and then require changeing again to different materials and quantities usually on-the-fly.
When done well efficient material handling supplies work areas just before they need the new supplies to continue to operate or changeover to new products.
Of course Materials Handling also must deal with more routine palletizing and storing finished goods for shipping as well as loading trucks, operating cranes, forklifts, etc. A great crew can significantly reduce losses due to damage caused by moving items around. We have tapped into the skills of Materials Handling personnel many times to streamline warehouses and put raw materials at “Point of Use” locations for easy access.