Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

LEAN Warehouse Management Tips That Deliver Results

Posted by Thelma Marshall on Jan 18, 2018 4:00:00 AM

Managing a warehouse or distribution center is stressful and filled with endless demands. It is hard to stay in control, particularly if you start each day knee-deep in reports and juggling problems. juggle-1027144_1920.jpg

Most managers will say they just want to be told what is wrong and how to fix it. That’s why lean warehouse management is crucial.

Here are 3 tips to get started with lean warehouse management.

1.      Stop wasting time on long arduous reports.

Most companies, about 65 %, use big data analytics to monitor their fleet, equipment and assets. But, old software buries you in information. What you really needed is the latest telematics software, which monitors and instantly identifies where, when, why and how to fix KPI issues, all on one dashboard. It eliminates long reports and tells you what you need to know.

2.      Once you identify an issue, make changes.

Change can be hard. Workers often hate doing things differently. But, LEAN management means identifying what is wrong and why, then addressing it. It requires that your organization implements change. This is how many best-in-class organizations avoid common challenges that impact productivity.

3.      Focus on insight that provides solutions.

You don’t just want data; you want a solution. Time really is money. Telematic data identifies issues before they become problems and tells you exactly what to do about it. Instantly, on one screen, you gain fast facts, insight and direction.

Real-time insight can show you:

  • Activity – movement of your fleet and fleet optimization
  • Impacts – where, when, why and who was involved
  • Checklists – safety checklists completed successfully
  • Lockout – lists vehicles that are locked out due to maintenance issues or impacts
  • Certification – if all driver certifications are up to date and meeting OSHA training requirements
  • No Communication – How often lift-trucks loose contact with wireless communication

Daily LEAN management in 3 steps

Once you avoid one set of problems, you will find even more time to focus attention on what matters — other KPI problems, solutions, and planning for continuous improvement. Success builds on success.

Start each day with:

  • Reading a report card on all your KPIs to see if desired results were achieved. Your telematics platform should highlight problem areas and check off successful areas as not needing attention.
  • Taking a deeper look at off-target KPIs and accessing further details on a simple pull-down chart of trends, which indicate where and why a KPI is not where it should be.
  • Making adjustments and changes as needed to target the root cause. So, take action to fix the issues — like operator behavior, lost inventory, or a maintenance issue, for example — that allowed the problem to arise.

Implementing LEAN warehouse management can be simple to do. Identify issues and make adjustments and changes quickly to avoid problems before they occur. Advanced telematics software can help you do this, focusing on what matters — problems, solutions, and planning the next step for continuous improvement.


Topics: warehouse management system, KPIs, Lean warehousing, Lean 5S, value driven strategies, root cause

Read More