Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

Ways to Boost LEAN Thinking in Warehouse Management

Posted by Thelma Marshall on Jul 17, 2018 4:00:00 AM

Successful warehouse management requires a large toolbox of skills. You may find yourself constantly striving toward measurable improvement and increased product flow. But are you working harder than others in your industry to achieve these results? business-plan-2061634_640

Old habits die hard, as the saying goes, so sticking to LEAN initiatives every day, even when faced with a new obstacle, takes commitment. Ask yourself this: “How is LEAN thinking used across my facility to manage or avoid new challenges?”

Does everyone in your operation rely on data and real-time insight to prevent issues from arising or to determine the root cause of unexpected problems? LEAN thinking must be encouraged for this mindset to be fully adopted.

Simple obstacles can throw everyone off track. Things like:

  • Severe weather impacting shipment schedules
  • Fluctuations in customer needs and ability to anticipate and meet demands
  • The control of product flow within your facility — snags in movement and forklift traffic
  • The ease in which information throughout the supply chain can be digested and managed

This where advanced telematics can pull you back into LEAN thinking. With the right platform in your toolbox, you can understand what is happening and why and achieve better control with ease in this data-driven global economy. The easier you make it to understand, the easier it is to stick with it.

The right software platform simplifies and facilitates:

  • Quickly meeting the demand of a growing customer base and custom orders (pick-and-choose orders)
  • Anticipating customer demand to ensure stock was readily available
  • Transparency and the ability to track inventory from the time it arrives at the warehouse to the time it reaches its destination
  • Proper maintenance of forklifts, equipment and the facility to protect assets and goods

Warehouse solutions that support LEAN thinking

Lean thinking is an everyday activity that becomes easy with telematic insight to instantly identify areas of risk or where value is lost. For example:

Operator and truck usage  

It provides insight on operator and vehicle utilization, resulting in right-sizing the fleet and the better scheduling of operators.

Advanced location

Analysis determines better warehouse traffic patterns, reduces pedestrian injuries, and facilitates more productive work schedules. Managers learn real-time vehicle location with proximity to product.

Battery monitoring

It analyzes the health of batteries, the state of charge, opportunity charging, fluid levels, and temperature.

Impact data

It records impact information, and root cause can be determined to avoid future damage and injuries.

Monitoring and checklists

Required safety checklists must be completed before forklifts will operate. Forklift monitoring alerts managers to equipment issues, repairs, or required maintenance before it poses any risk.

Perhaps you have spent the last year or two working toward a LEAN 5S workplace organizational methodology. But, is LEAN thinking how you do business every day?

Ideally, data from advanced telematics should make it second nature to think LEAN and strive for continuous improvement or a leaner manufacturing processes in your facility.


Topics: warehouse systems, customizable dashboard, time management, Lean warehousing, proactive warehouse management, cost reduction, root cause, telematic data

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