Having a mixed fleet of forklifts is common in most warehouse operations today. But, struggling to interpret insight from a variety of information systems doesn’t have to be challenging.
Like most businesses, your enterprise probably acquired trucks for different purposes and at different points in time. In the past, system communication was one of the biggest challenges that came from this type of vehicle diversity. Lift-trucks using their Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) specific system were usually limited by the confines of their system requirements and could not be managed by outside software.
Essentially, forklifts were speaking in different languages, and it made it very challenging for managers to understand communications and act upon warnings. This is because an OEM solution can only provide fault code data for its specific trucks — NOT for those made by another manufacturer.
So, fleet managers had to sort through several different data sources from different forklifts, making the information they had harder to interpret and therefore harder to act upon quickly.
Those challenges can be a thing of the past, however, and you can be saving time, money, and frustration when the entire fleet is connected through an advanced telematics solution.
How to get simplified solutions for a mixed fleet
By leveraging a telematics solution from a third party, your business can choose monitoring software that is non-specific to each OEM and works on all of your lift-trucks.
Begin with these 3 steps:
- Find your communication solution.
Not all providers are alike. Seek a third-party provider that can deliver a system that is not OEM-specific, one that encompasses all vehicles in your fleet, including those with their own embedded systems.
- Look for the method with easy access to information.
With the right advanced telematics platform, data is available on a single viewing portal. Only one API is required to push data into your business system, which increases efficiency.
Your third-party telematics provider should also be able to obtain a lot of the fault code data without access to the CAN bus. This lowers the cost of ownership of a mixed fleet, delivering an average of 50 to 90 percent reduction in damage costs and increases in productivity.
- Commit to a new platform.
Most people avoid change, even if it means solving their biggest challenges. Often it is based on worry that a new system won’t provide what’s needed or that it’s too complicated to deploy. But consider this: software has evolved. Telematics platforms no longer spout out piles of unformatted data.
The key is finding software that customizes data to your needs today and will grow with your business tomorrow. Look for a system that “talks” to other smart systems — because combined information supports improved timing and routing, product location, and traffic patterns.
Managers today gain valuable insights they can understand instantly from all fleet vehicles, and this supports proactive — rather than reactive — decision-making and problem solving. Making the move to advanced software can extend the life and efficiency of your most expensive assets — your mixed fleet.