Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

How Many Red Flag Warnings Do You Miss in Your Warehouse or Distribution Center?

Posted by Dick Sorenson on Aug 22, 2017 3:00:00 AM

Proactive management requires knowing what may happen before it occurs — and you don't need a crystal ball to accomplish this. flag-809732_640.jpg

You simply must leverage a system that monitors what is on target and what is not throughout your facility. You also must focus on the small things that will impact business in a big way. These are your red flags — the question is, are you seeing them?

Here are a couple tips:

  • Performance measurement is key when managing a warehouse. Key performance indicators can explain a lot about the state of your facility and can help identify red flags where you need to remove problems before they arise.
  • Selecting the KPIs should be done with a “less is more” attitude. Measurements should align with those areas you can’t afford to have break down.

Other areas to consider:


Unsafe environments can be costly to an organization. Forklifts are 6th on OSHA’s most cited violations for 2016. Top violations include:

  • Safe operation in the vehicle
  • Operator certification
  • Truck repair and maintenance

Order fill and errors

There are many things that can contribute to order errors. They range from unavailable products to damage caused by product movement. Do you know how many orders your warehouse successfully delivers without incident?

Red flags in this area can be improved by following warehouse and distribution center best practices and by identifying potential problems before they happen. Areas where red flags may appear include:

  • Customer complaints of damaged product
  • Missed shipping deadlines

The proactive solution

The use of a telematics system allows you to be more proactive and less reactive. The data provides the basis for predictive analytics, which allow you to detect those red flags in a timelier manner.  Products such as CommandPulseDX provide the ability to set KPI targets and send alerts for target warnings and target surpassed.

For example, Safety Report Cards will allow managers to set KPIs for the following at either a site level or at an operator level:

  • Severe impacts
  • Safety checklist
  • Excessive speed
  • Slow/stop zone violations

Order fill and errors can be reduced when you understand what is going on in your facility and can predict and resolve red flags that impact product and customer satisfaction. 

KPIs set in the following activities can help keep orders on track and assist in reducing errors.

  • Operator and forklift activity – Knowing peak times of utilization can assist in order scheduling and understanding work capacity.
  • Lockout – This helps you in understanding when a forklift is locked out and for what reason,

The latest telematics monitoring systems show you any major red flags at a glance, and then they tell you how to fix them. Armed with the right tools, managers can see problems before they occur and take cost-saving, preventive action.

Topics: predictive analytics, warehousing industry incidents & violations, connected warehouse solutions, root cause

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