2022 Material Handling Business Trends

Extended lead times have created challenges in compensation practices and cash flow. Members should closely track this impact and develop policies to address potential complications.


Companies should be steadfast in their commitment to creating and maintaining a healthy workplace culture and need to dedicate resources to sustain an exceptional employee experience. Culture is more important today than ever.


Lessons have been learned from establishing a remote and hybrid workforce. Companies need to understand the impact and be prepared for future evolution.


Addressing the shortage of skilled labor requires creative recruitment and retention strategies including monetary incentives for referrals, signing bonuses and highly competitive wages.


Members should be educated on the depth and breadth of diversity initiatives and how it can help promote career path awareness with a focus on equal opportunities.


Increased government intervention is causing disruption related to the competitiveness of the marketplace. Members should be aware of all types of legislation that affects them on a local and federal level.


Safety protocols are of paramount importance and employees need to be regularly trained on implementing and following safety measures.


Members 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. It’s critically important to have digital expertise in the company.


Business interruption and disaster scenario planning should be included and documented within a company’s strategic planning process.


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


Inflation rates and prices are increasing, partially based on supply and demand. Members should monitor the economic environment and be prepared to protect against unforeseen increasing costs.


Labor shortages, e-commerce, warehouse efficiencies and other trends are creating heightened customer demands for automation and this will only continue to increase. Members need to be well prepared to embrace these automation opportunities.


Companies need to monitor the effects of Covid including customer requirements, workforce policies and possible resurgence of variants.


E-commerce and online purchasing have accelerated and can result in new, competitive forces. Members should be forward thinking as to how their organization will evolve and provide service/value to the end user.


The 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.