Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

Labor Costs Versus Warehouse Efficiency & Productivity

Posted by Neil O'Connell, SVP Technology, Innovation, & Product Development on Aug 23, 2018 4:00:00 AM

Inefficient use of your employees’ time may be increasing labor costs. One of the largest expenses in your warehouse is probably labor costs, which account for as much as 50% of a facility’s total operating expenses. The ability to merge labor data with your facility’s warehouse management system can help you identify and reduce labor expenses by up to 30 percent. stopwatch-2061848_640(1)

Here’s why.

Today, telematic platforms make it is easy for Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and labor management data to merge seamlessly together and clearly identify where labor is well-utilized - and where it is not - throughout the facility.

Telematic data combines workers’ schedules and clocked-in time with detailed, accurate, and real-time views of tasks in the warehouse so you can quickly identify anything that may be slowing down productivity in your warehouse efficiency metrics.

For example, a telematic system identifies how much time a driver is active with a load, how long each driver sits idle, and the areas in the warehouse that are more prone to accidents or impacts. Telematics can give your WMS improved “big-picture” visibility, helping you identify what needs to be done to improve performance and reduce inefficiencies.

By merging this data, telematics provides:

  • Analysis of productivity of all operators compared by shift, site, and region.
  • The ability to pinpoint driver inefficiencies and the need for driver training. Forklift drivers account for 70 to 80 percent of the hourly cost of operating a lift truck, so targeting improvements or additional driver training saves time and money.
  • Insight into areas where workflow or personnel changes would improve productivity.
  • Integration with Enterprise and Resource Planning (ERP) systems that sends information to an employee’s personnel file, creating written proof vital to enforcing safety regulations.
  • Improved inventory accuracy. Monitoring and measuring the movement of assets — including inventory — in real time.
  • Insight into traffic movements, which identify the most effective locations for fast-moving pallets.

Telematic system integration (SI) with back-office systems

Today, telematic data easily integrates with back-office or ERP systems to improve workflows and operational analysis in departments including accounting, customer service, operations, and human resources. A telematics platform can facilitate automated records of each driver’s productivity and work patterns and relate this data to your fleet’s overall performance each day.

An optional job-tracking feature allows operators to record the time they started and completed a job to help identify operational efficiency and trends.

In conclusion, your telematics platform should seamlessly merge data from all three elements that make up your warehouse operation — inventory, people, and hard assets. This comprehensive, detailed insight gives you the big picture on what’s happening in your facility and why, which allows you to make your warehouse more efficient.


Topics: ERP, distribution center, warehousing, time management, proactive warehouse solutions, expanding business, connected warehouse solutions, OEM Systems, telematic data

Read More