Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

5 Ways to Improve Warehouse Productivity

Posted by Brian Quigley, Director of Client Services on Apr 30, 2019 4:00:00 AM

As demands increase, everyone in your facility is probably feeling the pressure to improve warehouse productivity. To reach these goals, both managers and forklift operators must develop ways to fine-tune efficiency and increase overall output, all while diligently enforcing safety protocols. TTX_workflow_1_img

It can be a stressful position to be in, but there are five key things you can focus on that will facilitate results and increase productivity.

1. Focus on KPIs.

If your telematics platform allows for customized reports, use it to highlight the top KPIs that have the greatest impact on productivity. Set KPI goals and track them for analysis.

For example, stay one step ahead of any potential issues monitoring these areas:  

  • Activity – The movement of your fleet is a priority. Are there issues with routing that will slow down movement? Are there enough operators on the floor to move the inventory and meet demands?
  • Lockout – If vehicles are locked out due to maintenance issues or impacts, are they scheduled for repair soon? When will they be operational? Are all the replacement parts ordered?
  • Impacts – What impacts or near-miss incidents have occurred?Which operator was involved? What was the root cause, and what can be done to prevent it from reoccurring?
  • Checklists – Have the safety checklists been completed successfully? Are there forklifts with mechanical issues locked out for safety?How will this impact activity and productivity on the floor?

2. Improve task delegation.

Being a leader who motivates others and knows how to delegate tasks is not easy,  but it’s a crucial part of managing a highly productive team.

  • Create a list of a few people on the team that you feel you can trust to complete tasks safely and successfully. 
  • Choose tasks that fit the employee’s skill set. In other words, have trust, but know that the assignment will not be too much for them to handle.
  • Explain expectations clearly and completely.
  • Offer praise when a job is well done.

3. Optimize your fleet.

Look at the real-time movement of each truck, driver, and load to target a big productivity killer in your facility: the frequency that materials handling vehicles travel without a load (interleaving). Fine-tune routing and maximize forklift assignments and task completion.

4. Leverage data from simplified reports.

Data creates opportunities — but no advanced analytical skills should be required. Use customizable reports to identify operators performing well, show actual time spent moving products, idle time, etc., and determine where, when, and why impacts or routing issues occur.

5. Identify ways time is wasted.

Use fleet monitoring and inventory tracking to help prioritize assignments each day.

  • Prioritize tasks – make them results-driven.
  • Avoid multi-tasking.
  • Minimize unimportant interruptions.
  • Evaluate and adjust assignments as needed.

Advanced telematics software can simplify strategies designed to increase productivity in your facility. It facilitates instant information about all the moving parts of the operation and tells you exactly what should be done to obtain productivity goals.

Topics: logistics, process improvement, warehouse efficiencies, distribution center, warehousing, KPIs, proactive warehouse management, value driven strategies, team incentives