Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

How to Set Productivity Goals and Get Warehouse Workers to Support Them

Posted by Brian Quigley, Director of Client Services on Jan 4, 2017 4:00:00 AM

Setting productivity goals is the first step to improving operations. But, everyone in the warehouse environment has to support them — and take the necessary steps to achieve them — in order to be successful. team-1259609_640.jpg

Think of it like any team or your gym membership: If you are not committed to going and doing the work, the desired results won't be obtained.  And much like committing to a new workout, employees may not leap to support new objectives. They need to see where improvements are needed and how to make changes that will drive productivity.

Making productivity easier to achieve

One industry trend helping managers implement organizational change and garner employee support is the use of telematics data. Telematics helps managers leverage fact-based recommendations — derived directly from lift-truck data — to communicate areas for improvement. Thus, managers can empower employees with clearly defined, data-sourced changes to boost productivity.

Communicating clear objectives is half the battle in winning employee buy-in for change. Additionally, choosing goals that directly impact productivity and outlining defined methods for achieving them will help managers successfully implement operational changes.

Here are three examples of productivity-boosting objectives that managers can communicate to employees.

1. Reduce wasted time.

One key condition for driving productivity in your warehouse is understanding what is happening on a granular level. With the right telematics platform, workers learn where time is wasted and exactly how to eliminate those conditions.

  • Vehicle telematics provides precise insight and data — like knowing the exact location of a problem or accident in the warehouse as it is happening.
  • Time is often wasted searching for lost or misplaced pallets. Optical position markers and high-precision vehicle cameras track the fleet and inventory, linking forklift movement with pallet data, so you always know where everything is and how it got there.
  • Slotting optimization uses real-time information to determine the best route for swift product movement and traffic avoidance.

2. Improve operator skill and decrease accidents.

Leverage data that delivers a level of detail about operator behavior that human observation cannot.

  • Telematics helps managers identify driver-specific improvements. For example, an operator may need more training, or perhaps labor can be reallocated to better suit a driver’s skills.

3. Avoid downtime for vehicle repairs.

Vehicle downtime is one of the biggest killers of warehouse productivity. Lags in proper maintenance increase the risk of vehicles being sidelined.

  • Take a proactive approach to fleet maintenance by using telematics to remind everyone of scheduled maintenance and to send notifications before an issue occurs — for example, if a battery is nearing the end of its lifecycle.
  • Customized safety checklists help operators ascertain the condition of a vehicle before it is used.

Break down telematics data, gain productivity

About 52 percent of companies deploy warehouse telematics to boost productivity. By leveraging a system like the TotalTrax SX/VX Advanced Telematics Platform, the entire warehouse operation gains valuable insights, facilitating targeted changes that strategically improve productivity.

Topics: warehouse productivity, telematics, locationing, fleet maintenance, SX/VX, warehouse systems

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