Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

Determine the Root Cause of Warehouse Productivity Challenges

Posted by Neil O'Connell, SVP Technology, Innovation, & Product Development on Sep 17, 2019 4:00:00 AM

The issues that slow down warehouse productivity may seem obvious as you glance around your busy facility, but the root cause of each problem may not be what you think. magnifying-4340698_640

Maybe inventory movement is sluggish, or pallets are misplaced. Perhaps there is excessive idle time and some forklift operators seem complacent. It is easy to jump to conclusions about common issues you see happening, but it’s important to remember that they can stem from challenges that sit just below what’s seen on the surface of your operation.

Customizable KPI facts delivered to one screen can deliver several layers of insight, which is instrumental in identifying the real cause of common challenges and creating solutions.

What’s slowing things down?

On the surface it may seem like operators are not performing as they should. Naturally, you assume this is throwing off all the operational KPIs in your warehouse or distribution facility. But the issue may be more than what you see on the surface. Always look at the big picture and identify the “what, when and why” behind any sluggish behavior.

You can accomplish this quickly with a telematic report card that monitors fleet performance by individual driver. The pull-down menu will identify which truck(s) and operator(s) are slowing down the entire fleet and if there are underlying reasons – like truck downtime.

Is poor maintenance a contributing factor?

Downtime is behind many productivity issues. Your facility’s problem might not be a lack of effort from employees, but rather the lack of proper care for equipment. When fleet activity drops, the cause is often the result of mechanical issues, several forklifts being down for repairs, and even poor battery charges. Telematic data reveals:

  • how many of your fleet vehicles are out of service and why,
  • if proper regular maintenance and safety checklists are being completed,
  • and if batteries are operating with full amperage and are fully charged, cleaned, and have received routine maintenance.

Is complacency a real problem?

On the surface it may seem that some operators lack skill or are becoming complacent about efficiency and safety. They might be. The right telematics system can warn managers and supervisors when speed limits are exceeded, sounding an alarm and emailing the supervisor. It can record idle time and highlight just where and when each driver is under performing or taking risks.

By monitoring and measuring the movement of all assets, including inventory and forklift trucks, you can also see if there are enough trucks on the floor to meet demands or if routing is an issue. Real-time tracking provides facts to determine operator deficiencies and how to optimize routing for fastest product movement.

Telematics tells your story

Many productivity challenges are caused by multiple factors working together, and assumptions are a poor tool for creating solutions.  Today's telematic system will analyze important data and break it down to determine the true cause of each issue in your facility and tell you what to do to solve it.

Topics: driver behavior and productivity, advanced location, fleet monitoring, inventory tracking, customizable dashboard, KPIs, Routing checklists, value driven strategies, root cause

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