The supply chain is all about using technology to create solutions. You can drastically reduce the struggle for growth and continuous improvement if you can recognize when it’s time for warehouse system upgrades within your operation.
For example, if you lack control of your business’s KPIs and continuous improvement seems unobtainable, it’s probably a good indication that the tools you are using no longer meet demand or the needs of your employees.
Everything has a lifecycle. With the continuous introduction of new products, it is easy become complacent about investing in updates. But, it’s so important to recognize when it's time for change.
Here's 5 signs to look for:
1. Inventory and forklifts are difficult to locate throughout the day.
Today’s indoor locationing capabilities create more “context-aware” systems, which improve locationing down to the foot to assist with optimum forklift routing. If you regularly lose valuable time to finding drivers or misplaced inventory, monitoring-system upgrades are needed.
2. Several forklifts are down for repairs on a regular basis.
Some forklifts can remain functional for 10 years or more, but these trucks are probably not operating economically. The average useful lifespan is about 10,000 to 12,000 hours, or approximately 6 years. If some trucks are sidelined often for repair, it’s important to determine if this is caused by driver error or age of equipment — and if it’s time for replacement vehicles.
3. Accidents are on the rise, and it’s hard to determine why.
Learning operator patterns leads to safer equipment and better understanding of how and why impacts occur. Seven out of 10 forklift accidents are preventable if you have the right insight, so you will need to know the “who, what, where, when and why” of each incident. This is one way a new telematics system delivers value — it creates historical records of everyday mishaps to help identify how to prevent accidents in the future.
4. Product movement in the warehouse cannot keep pace with demand.
Upgrades to your forklift-monitoring software can help optimize your fleet to determine exactly how many trucks your operation requires. Simultaneous utilization delivers a complete picture of forklift utilization in your facility, delivering data that highlights trends and patterns in forklift and operator usage.
Monitoring systems also determine if the current routing is efficient or if some lift-trucks have extended periods of idling.
5. Forklift batteries are failing too quickly.
The cost of new batteries ranges from $3,000 to $7,000, so it is vital to determine why batteries are not living up to expectations. It’s easy to neglect or improperly charge batteries — unless you rely on telematic battery monitoring. Cloud-based software facilitates proactive decisions based on real-time data regarding SOC, amperage, temperature, voltage, and when recharging is taking place.
Upgrades to equipment and software quickly deliver ROI. Today’s telematic systems can marry with current WMSs and provide actionable insight that eliminates inefficiencies that impede growth and success.