Posted by Thelma Marshall, VP of Solutions, November 17, 2020.

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Vehicle downtime and poor planning is the enemy of productivity.  Across the facility everyone must be onboard with productivity goals — and take the necessary steps to achieve them.

It’s like joining a gym: If you are not committed to going and doing the work, you will not obtain results. Just like the commitment to exercise, your team might not be eager to commit to changes in how they do things.

So, the approach cannot be vague. The entire goal and action plan must be mapped out ahead of time. Don’t just ask them to produce more. Show the team how they can make it happen. When workers see where improvements are needed and how to make changes, goals are much easier to commit to.

Communicate a plan

Most managers implement organizational change and cultivate employee support by sharing fact-based recommendations — derived directly from lift-truck data — to communicate areas for improvement.   

Here’s where to begin:

1. Reduce wasted time.

One key condition for driving productivity in your warehouse is understanding what is happening on a granular level. With the right telematics platform, workers learn where time is wasted and exactly how to eliminate those conditions.  

  • Vehicle telematics provides precise insight and data like knowing the exact location of a problem or accident in the warehouse as it is happening.  
  • Time is often wasted searching for lost or misplaced pallets. Optical position markers and high-precision vehicle cameras track the fleet and inventory, linking forklift movement with pallet data, so you always know where everything is and how it got there.
  • Slotting optimization uses real-time information to determine the best route for swift product movement and traffic avoidance.
  • Streamline routing, traffic patterns and aisle congestion.  
  • Routing a vehicle through a congested area in the warehouse or too close to pedestrians increases the risk of accidents — as well as lost time and productivity.
  • Route truck on the path of least resistance and shortest distance your fleet can travel to get the job done? Telematics’ advanced locationing technology determines where, when, and why events are happening so traffic can be routed effectively. 
2. Improve operator skill and decrease accidents.
  • Identify driver-specific improvements. For example, an operator may need more training, or perhaps labor can be reallocated to better suit a driver’s skills.
3. Avoid downtime for vehicle repairs.
  • Be proactive with fleet maintenance by using telematics to remind everyone of scheduled maintenance and to send notifications before an issue occurs for example, if a battery is nearing the end of its lifecycle.
  • Customized safety checklists help operators ascertain the condition of a vehicle before it is used.

By leveraging a system like the TotalTrax SX/VX Advanced Telematics Platform, the entire warehouse operation gains valuable insights, facilitating targeted changes that strategically improve productivity. 

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