Efficient warehouse operations are key to remaining relevant in today's competitive environment. As more customers raise the bar on expedited delivery, most warehouse, distribution centers, and manufacturing facilities must seek new ways to cut costs and streamline operations. But optimizing efficiency can be simpler than it seems.
Striving for optimum efficiency
There are several challenges that are probably impeding optimum efficiency in your facility. From poorly planned storage space and layout to idle time and increased labor costs, managers struggle to realize efficiency goals. Ultimately the best thing you can do for your enterprise is to cultivate a plan that minimize costs by maximizing efficiency.
How do you begin to optimize daily business functions? Begin by evaluating the success and challenges of the past year. Identifying strengths and weakness lets you create a leaner initiative plan for the coming year to better address the specific areas of your business that need improvement.
For example, look at:
1. Product movement
It is essential to continuously evaluate your warehouse layout and material flow. The smooth movement of your fleet is a priority. Were there issues with routing that slowed down productivity? Were there enough operators on the floor to move the inventory and meet demand? Did operators sit idle when they should have been working? A telematic system with operator report cards and documented vehicle monitoring identifies where movement slowed and why.
Telematic insight facilitates a more complete picture of forklift utilization in your facility, including trends and patterns in forklift and operator usage. More specifically, it provides:
- Improved accountability with less unproductive time
- Increased drive time and pallet moves per hour
- Decreased drive distance and drive times with optimized routing
- Reduced variability between drivers and increased average shift performance
- Centralized traffic control for mixed fleets
2. Unexpected down-time & maintenance costs
Vehicle down time is the enemy of productivity and profits. Telematic software can monitor if preventive maintenance is regularly completed, and quickly respond to sudden repair and maintenance needs.
Rising maintenance costs may be caused by poor operator behavior. A recent case study revealed that up to 75% of forklift maintenance expenses can be caused by operator error, so track operator performance and productivity using your telematic reports and address any driver complacency issues, safety infractions or training needs.
3. Impacts, injuries and damaged product
Learn from history or be doomed to repeat it. There are patterns to be found in the near-misses and accidents in your facility. Your telematic software should provide historical insight about driver behavior. You can’t work to prevent a problem unless you identify the underlying reason it happened.
Recent technological advances in telematics and warehouse management systems ensure that all equipment and employees working within your warehouse are monitored and well-managed, which is vital to optimizing efficiency throughout the entire operation.