How to choose a material handling equipment supplier

Mar 24, 2023

Choosing the best Material Handling Equipment Supplier is critical to productivity and cost-effectiveness across all logistics and manufacturing industries. Whether you are looking for e-commerce fulfilment, sortation, transportation, storage or assembly line production, the quality of your processes depends greatly on the capabilities of your MHE. This article outlines the key issues to consider before partnering with your new supplier.


Credentials and value

As with all partners, it’s essential that you thoroughly check the credentials of the new company you will be working with. Firstly, research the type of systems or machinery you need and match this with suppliers who specialise or have knowledge and experience with this equipment.

Sometimes, you may need to determine if a supplier is authorised to sell specific machinery and equipment. For example, if you need them to handle potentially harmful substances, check if they have experience working with hazardous materials (HAZMAT).

Determine how knowledgeable a supplier is in selling and servicing the specific equipment you need to protect your products. You may need them to handle pharmaceutical products. Again, verify what experience they have with companies like your own. Some of your goods or materials may be sensitive to environmental factors, such as light or temperature, or flammable.

With any material handling business, you should always be looking for the value it adds and the products and solutions it sells. Establish whether the company you are considering offers systems installation, design, project management and servicing contracts.

Scalability and flexibility

Secondly, consider your expansion and growth ambitions to help you identify the best material-handling supplier to partner with. You will need to work with a company that offers tailored solutions which are flexible, scalable and aligned with your timeframes.

Forming a long-term partnership with a supplier is often the best path to take. This is especially important if you have bold growth plans. It allows an MHE supplier time to fully understand your business and sector, so choose wisely from the start.

Change is inevitable whether or not you have ambitious growth plans. Are you prone to rapid changes in the market, or perhaps there can be frequent feature changes to a particular product? For example, is your sector seasonal and/or highly regulatory?

And what about health and safety – do you need to upgrade or extend your machinery to make it safer? Consider how changeable your needs may be over time, and opt for a supplier who provides scope for variations.

Support and service

Investigate the level of support and service an MHE supplier offers. If machinery breaks down and is out of action, this will affect productivity levels.

Servicing regularly can significantly reduce the chances of machinery failures and extend the equipment’s life. Check whether the company you are considering has an out-of-hours contact service or a support facility. Look at the level of cover it offers if and when a problem arises. Furthermore, see if they provide regular service support on their supply equipment.

MHE suppliers typically offer service contracts; some are delivered ad hoc, while others are carried out annually—research which would be best for you and ask the companies you are considering to advise on this. Similarly, learn more about the health checks provided for the systems you are looking at.

Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to keeping machinery and equipment in safe working order. Ask suppliers what the associated maintenance costs are on the machinery you have in mind. Find out how easy it is to source spare parts to help you keep track of indirect costs associated with your equipment.

Finally, your supplier should provide equipment that reduces downtime and disruption while increasing environmental efficiency. Look out for these elements too.

Safety ratings

In a highly demanding environment, added pressures are put on machinery regarding weight, capacity, and speed. With so much heavy use being placed on equipment, the safety of the operators is paramount for preventing serious and fatal injuries.

Material handling equipment suppliers are only too aware of this, with most providing safety features on their machinery. Discover what custom safety features are included and how they keep machinery and operators safe.

Also, see if any ergonomic features help reduce long-term stresses and strains of machine operatives. Some equipment can also integrate intelligent assistant systems designed to reduce human errors that lead to severe injuries. For example, systems that adjust power output according to the environment.

Lastly, make sure that the supplier you are considering has an established track record in health and safety. A quick way of finding this out is to look for reputable safety accreditations on their website.


Benefits of working with material handling equipment supplier Conveyor Systems Ltd

CSL’s clients benefit from our 25 years of experience in the materials handling and automation industry. Over the years, we have established an enviable track record of working with leading distributors, manufacturers, and suppliers of varying sizes.

Because we operate across multiple sectors, from food, drink and pharmaceutical to warehouse, distribution and chilled/cold store environments, we bring exceptional all-around knowledge and experience to each and every project.

You will also gain from our diverse portfolio of high-quality automated machinery and conveyor systems that can be integrated with your existing Warehouse Management System.

We apply our engineering skills and knowledge to every project we undertake, from large-scale eCommerce fulfilment, automation, and production projects to simple storage solutions.

Working with us, you can expect the same high level of support, no matter the size of your project. As market demands increase, we are committed to providing the most up-to-date, effective and efficient solutions for all your material handling equipment requirements.

Get in touch with CSL

If you are looking for e-commerce fulfilment, service and maintenance, warehouse automation solutions, or assembly line processes, contact our team today, we’d love to hear from you.

Creating relationships that last

We are proud to have completed installations over more than 25 years for many major organisations. We have forged strong relationships and continue to provide automation solutions through ongoing maintenance or follow-on projects. Constantly working with our customers to meet and exceed their needs.

"I have found working with CSL the ideal partnership, they understood the brief and worked closely with CEF to ensure the design met all of the criteria. The support from start to finish was excellent. The project ran smoothly from start to finish. The system has made our new warehouse very efficient and allowed us to increase the throughput"  

Craig Marks

Divisional Manager, CEF Online

“As this was a new facility it was difficult to visualise the conveyor system prior to the mezzanine floor installation, but CSL provided a detailed 3D drawing which included both the mezzanine and the conveyors which brought clarity to this. The install process was smooth and the end results have allowed us to increase control, flexibility & volumes”

Dan Corrigan

Head of Logistics & Operations Dev, Wiggle

“We have worked with CSL previously and after many years of reliable operation we decided to use CSL again to design, supply and carry out the installation. As with the last system the benefits became almost immediately evident” 



Logistics, NHS

We Design, Install and Maintain Conveyor Systems

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