Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

How to Develop & Commit to a Continuous Improvement Plan for Problem KPIs

Posted by Dick Sorenson on Mar 20, 2018 4:00:00 AM

Dealing with your facility’s problem KPIs should rise to the top of your to-dobest_practices-2.jpg list. But often, daily demands prevent even the most diligent managers from developing a viable plan.

It can be simpler than you think if you approach it in these 3 steps.

3 steps to measurable improvement

1. Clearly identify the challenges.

Your plan begins by identifying what KPIs are always challenging or falling below expectations. Sometimes, the reasons may be obvious, but most of the time it requires looking at all the small contributing factors — basically, anything that may be supporting or causing these poor results.

For example, say productivity is off target, and you see there are two forklifts down for repairs. Is this just inopportune timing that wasn’t preventable? OR were there lags in proper maintenance for these vehicles?

Lags increase the risk of vehicles being sidelined — and downtime is one of the biggest killers of productivity. Small issues like this can cause a ripple effect and impact other KPIs.

2. Implement a system to monitor and address issues as they happen.

Hindsight is 20/20, but you really need to be proactive in your approach with KPIs. This means knowing exactly what is happening in real time across your warehouse and how each small issue can snowball to have a negative impact on important KPIs. Monitoring is key, and addressing each small challenge immediately prevents large, costly issues from developing.

For example, perhaps movement of your fleet and inventory is suddenly slower than expected. What is really the root cause? Maybe a recent change in forklift routing is causing delays and idle time. Increased fuel-cost efficiencies result from instantly knowing the shortest path or paths of less congestion. And knowledge of operator patterns provides a better understanding of how and why impacts occur.

3. Review your results regularly, and adjust your plan as needed.

Solutions to your biggest KPI challenges and continuous improvement is not as simple as, “find one problem, fix it and you're done.” Your plan should be fluid, always under revision as you shift your actions to address developing situations across your facility.

Some telematics software puts actionable information for each of your KPIs at your fingertips. It identifies what is going wrong on one dashboard, delivering instant insight.

For example, perhaps fleet vehicle idle time has increased, though customer demands remain at the same level. It may be that all available vehicles are not being put to good use. Continuously optimizing your vehicle pool, forklift operator assignments, and routing delivers considerable cost benefits. Telematics provides the insights to easily make these ongoing adjustments.

Your operation is always in motion, so staying one step ahead of issues requires careful planning and telematic tools that deliver real-time, actionable information. Using telematics software facilitates KPI transparency, identifying what is going well, what is not, and why — throughout the facility, in real time — so each challenge can be quickly addressed.

Topics: KPIs, proactive warehouse management, value driven strategies, safety versus productivity, cost reduction, telematic data

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