Posted by Thelma Marshall, Product Director, February 25, 2020

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In today’s warehouse, vehicle telematics data provides real-time insight into the actions, behaviors, and location of all fleet operators and inventory. Unfortunately, if you lack this information, Lean warehousing is very hard to achieve.

It takes more than just drafting a plan for your Lean warehousing strategy to work. Like anything that creates value in your warehouse, there will be obstacles. Insight and proactive management address those obstacles.

Some manager may contend that they have a watchful eye and don’t need the help of telematic monitoring.  But this data, gathered about everything from your forklifts to the performance of your employees delivers a level of detail that human observation cannot.

Using facts to guide Leaner warehousing practices.

Telematics is about making informed decisions, not about “Big Brother” watching employees’ every move. Deploying a telematics platform means working smarter, not harder, to achieve objectives. It provides everyone — even drivers — these key advantages: 

  • A granular look at the health of each forklift 
  • Insights to eliminate safety risks, avoid injuries
  • Information regarding challenges in the warehouse that need improvement
  • Traffic avoidance — identifies the safest, swiftest route

Lean & efficient can also improved safety

Armed with telematics data and analysis, a manager can proactively avoid or contain each challenge, rather than waiting for a situation to occur and then reacting under pressure to solve it.  

Telematics is a safety and efficiency tool that: 
  1. Eliminates congestion and optimizes 

Examine traffic patterns to determine the best route for product movement and to adjust job assignment patterns for better fleet utilization and driver productivity. 

  1. Prioritizes truck maintenance and battery-charging protocols.

Real-time monitoring integrated with a maintenance management system provides a holistic view of any forklift. 

  1. Prevents OSHA citations and injuries.

Telematics ensures safety checklists are completed, disabled equipment is locked, and driver behavior is monitored with documentation. Drivers can see where they must adjust.

  1. Locates inventory instantly.

Track the physical processes of product flow and order fulfillment to reduce steps and lower costs. Pallets are no longer misplaced. Indoor locationing capabilities provide location detail down to the square-foot and identify optimum forklift routing.

  1. Looks at productivity at a granular level. 

See actual time spent moving products, idle time, etc. Identify operator-specific needs, like more driver training. Onboard sensors frequently scan barcodes, record mileage, and log

Calculate the cost of labor per customer order through job-tracking data — linking vehicle and activity data to operations within the business.

Leaner practices will reduce costs & promote safety

There are more than 40 separate costs associated with a single lift truck, and most are left in the hands of operators. From avoiding accidents to right-sizing your fleet, telematics software delivers the information to support Lean warehousing practices, and safer and more effective decisions. 

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