If you manage a warehouse or distribution center (DC), you probably begin the day dealing with unexpected problems and chaos. It’s a bad cycle to be in, and it will eventually impact KPI benchmarks.
You can break the pattern. Start by focusing on the three most important KPIs to your facility, and identify what is holding them back — then immediately take some action to change the results.
Identify the top 3 KPIs to your business
Your most important KPIs may be unique to your business, but in a DC or warehouse operation, there are some common things you can focus on first.
- Dispatch of inventory.
Are teams managing inventory, picking, dispatching, and preventing errors from hurting perfect order performance? If a team is not meeting its benchmark, is it because there's a forklift down for repair or lack of communication with operators?
- Fleet activity.
Is fleet and operator utilization optimized? Are warehouse routing issues causing delays and idle time? Increased fuel-cost efficiencies result from instantly knowing the shortest path or paths of less congestion. And knowledge of operator patterns provides a better understanding of how and why impacts occur.
The best way boost warehouse productivity is to leverage telematic data to identify and prevent small inefficiencies. For example, time is often wasted searching for lost or misplaced pallets. But, lost time can be reduced significantly with optical position markers and high-precision vehicle cameras to track vehicles and pallet locations, linking forklift movement with pallet data.
Address issues holding back KPI benchmarks
Once you are able to quickly identify how and why KPIs are off target, you will have time to make the changes needed to address them.
For example, productivity is off target, and you see there are two forklifts down for repairs. Lags in proper maintenance increases the risk of vehicles being sidelined — and down-time is one of the biggest killers of productivity. Small issues like this can cause a ripple effect and impact other KPIs.
Address this issue with a proactive approach to fleet maintenance by using software 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.
Telematics software should let you focus attention on what matters: KPI results. Ideally you gain everything you need to know instantly on one screen.
- Activity – movement of your fleet
- Impacts – accidents happen, but how many are occurring?
- Checklists – safety checklists completed successfully and completely
- Lockout – lists vehicles that are locked out due to maintenance issues or impact
- No communication – how often does a lift-truck lose contact with wireless communication?
As a facility manager, your day should begin with a report card on your top KPIs. This kind of telematics solution provides optimum direction, insight and focus to what matters most.