Material Handling Business Trends

The following list of trends address the shifting state of the Material Handling industry, as defined by a group of your peers, the MHEDA Executive Committee.

We encourage you to discuss these topics with your own leadership team and look to MHEDA for resources to help your organization manage in the months ahead.

If you have any questions or comments about this process or what is listed below, please contact the MHEDA office.

2023 Material Handling Business Trends

1Record inflation is impacting members in numerous ways including fluctuations in pricing, rising operating expenses, wage pressure and higher interest rates. A potential economic correction is anticipated.

2Members are competing for talent across industries and must be aware of current compensation levels, benefits and flexible working opportunities in order to address recruitment and retention challenges.

3Customer demands for automation continue to increase. Members need to be well prepared to embrace these automation and related service opportunities.

4Members should be steadfast in their commitment to creating and maintaining a healthy workplace culture especially given today’s remote and hybrid work environment.

5E-commerce and online purchasing continue to accelerate. Members should be forward thinking as to how their organization will evolve and provide value-added services to the end user.

6Members should understand and be educated on the depth and breadth of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

7The use and integration of data both internal and external, i.e. business systems, WMS and telematics, is critically important to strengthen the member organization and satisfy customer demands.

8Some employees are experiencing worker fatigue, mental health issues and low morale due to current pressures in and out of the workplace. Leaders must be cognizant of this and provide support when and where needed.

9Supply chain challenges are driving extended lead times and could result in order cancellations. Members may need to creatively diversify their customer offerings.

10There are increasing requirements for permitting, contracts, contractor licensing and safety. Members must have a clear understanding of these requirements and recognize both the risks and opportunities.

11Members must be vigilant in protecting against cyber security attacks, regularly analyze exposure and train employees to be attentive of risks. There can be added exposure exacerbated by a remote work environment.

12Business valuation and succession planning has taken on more importance as owners consider retirement and consolidation continues.


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