Consider the following questions:
- Do you know if your forklifts are operating at capacity?
- Do you know their exact position at all times?
- Do you base decisions on your best guess rather than actual information?
If you are not in full control of your operation, it means you’re not using telematics. Telematics gives you the ability to collect data for analysis from every aspect of your operation, turning your forklifts into a hub of communication. A fleet of forklifts equipped with a telematics solution (think fleet management software) no longer plays a merely supportive role, but serves to drive productivity improvements throughout your operation.
The application of telematics in your warehouse or distribution center will significantly impact your bottom line and safety record. Here is how:
1. Promoting fact-based decisions
Telematics takes the guesswork out of your operation, providing immediate feedback on anything from the location and time of an impact to the exact location of pallets and forklifts (depending on which solution you’re using). The undisputable proof that telematics solutions provide help you get to the root cause of issues whether it means assigning accountability where it belongs or rerouting your warehouse to eliminate accident-prone spots.
2. Facilitating corrective action
Real-time monitoring and control is the answer to the dire accident statistics and astronomical costs of forklift impacts. By giving managers real-time access to the exact movements of each vehicle, you give them the opportunity to take timely corrective action as soon as an impact has occurred. The ROI benefits of improved safety can be counted in reduced lost work time, reduced maintenance costs, and increased OSHA compliance, which in turn leads lower administrative costs and potentially reduced insurance rates.
3. Eliminating visibility gaps
Statistics show vehicles spend a surprising amount of time idle. It’s not uncommon to see lift trucks being active with load as little as 10 to 20 percent per shift. A telematics solution, such as an equipment monitoring device, gives you direct insight into the activity of each lift truck, eliminating visibility gaps. You can use your newfound knowledge to right size your fleet. Considering a lift truck is associated with 40 separate costs, the savings quickly add up.
4. Increasing inventory accuracy
Tracking the movement of each pallet by the second to the inch provides a path to 100 percent inventory accuracy. The seamless communication between the vehicle-mounted terminals and the graphic user interface gives the drivers access to a range of data that can be used to rezone or reslot the warehouse and reduce shipment errors, obsolete inventory, buffer stock, and outbound quality assurance inspections.
5. Improving labor management
The cost of labor accounts for as much as 75 percent of forklift truck ownership. As a result, even small productivity gains in labor beat large improvements in other cost areas. Again, the key is operational insight into the performance of individual drivers. Notable ROI benefits include improved accountability, elimination of manual data collection, and increased average shift performance.
If you are looking for a problem solver in your warehouse, let telematics do the work for you.