Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

What's Feeding Your Warehouse or Distribution Center Waste Stream?

Posted by Neil O'Connell, SVP Technology, Innovation, & Product Development on Apr 16, 2019 4:00:00 AM

Do you really know everything that is feeding your warehouse or distribution center waste stream? Probably not. Some areas of waste in a facility are far less obvious than others.  water-219733_640

Identifying the root cause of losses can be challenging since most warehouse management systems (WMS) aren’t effective in quickly identifying where and why money is lost.  This makes proactive management almost impossible. Managers are left reacting to issues rather than acting to avoid them.

The missing component is simple — real-time, actionable insight that can integrate with a WMS to identify at a glance which KPIs are off target. Most important, it should identify what is feeding this waste stream, why, and what to do about it.

Identify wasteful practices and behavior

There are a few KPIs that commonly get off track, but you may be too busy putting out everyday fires to notice. This is why a telematics system can provide ROI. It quickly evaluates KPIs and pinpoints where time or money is being lost.

For example, one-screen access can show a manager that fleet activity or utilization has dropped. Why is this happening and what can be done to fix it? Maybe several lift-trucks are down for repairs at once, or some operators are not using their time efficiently. Identifying why lets a manger move directly into action. The data facilitates proactive fleet maintenance and identifies poor operator behavior so it can be addressed. 

Here are other areas to consider:

  1. Impacts increase – Accidents happen, but are they occurring more often? Impacts can cost an enterprise an average of about $38,000 per incident and $150,000 in damages to equipment, property, inventory, and downtime for repairs. Operator report cards can identify poor behavior, speeding and signs of complacency.
  2. Checklists aren’t always completedSafety checklists protect operators, vehicles, and inventory from breakdowns, impacts, and injuries, all of which result in profit loss.
  3. Trucks are on lockout – Vehicles locked out due to maintenance issues or an impact are costing your enterprise money in repairs and lost productivity.
  4. Operator’s lack certification and training – OSHA fines can impact profits if driver certification is not up to date or training doesn’t meet OSHA’s requirements.

Curb waste, boost operational efficiency

About 70% of warehouses have room for improvement when it comes to operational efficiency. But many enterprises still lack the insight needed to identify the steps to reduce their waste stream.

By integrating a telematics system with your WMS, you can gain a holistic picture of the entire operation on one screen. This allows managers to quickly identify what is feeding the business’s waste stream and how to proactively avoid potential losses.

Topics: operating expenses, warehouse efficiencies, inventory tracking, loss avoidance, warehouse management, connected warehouse solutions, waste stream reduction