Given the forklift’s prominent role in your supply chain operation, it’s a smart idea to regularly take a hard look at your forklifts and identify attainable goals that will help ensure your fleet is performing at optimal levels. Below are five steps that could help you enhance the performance and productivity of your forklift fleet.
1. Adopt a strategic approach to connectivity
The forklift provides an ideal starting point for greater connectivity. Prioritize the goals you want to achieve from your connected fleet. Focus on a few key operational objectives, such as compliance management or impact detection and reduction. As you make progress and see real ROI, you can move to larger business objectives that revolve around fleet utilization and operator and truck productivity.
2. Take control of your data
Greater connectivity means greater access to data. Stay focused by identifying and prioritizing the type of data you will gather. Establish a plan and processes to share relevant, timely information with the right departments and individuals at the right time. Make sure the data is presented in a manner that makes it easy to understand and use it to effect real, meaningful operational and behavioral changes.
3. Reduce downtime and Mean Time To Repair (MTTR)
There is a large amount of performance, operational and health-related data that greater connectivity allows you to gather on your forklift. Commit to collecting this actionable information and use it to be more proactive about repairs and recognize symptoms before they become a larger issue. This will help shorten MTTR and reduce downtime.
4. Engage operators in forklift safety
A strong safety culture is vital to creating and maintaining a safe working environment. Introduce technology that creates a more informative and personalized experience for operators. Provide real-time feedback to operators that reinforces correct behavior and recognizes incorrect behavior. Underscore expectations by showcasing the good choices operators make.
5. Take a realistic approach with automation
Any effort to introduce forklift automation into your facility should be guided by a realistic plan with realistic expectations. Identify those tasks and equipment that are ideal for automation. Develop a clear path for tangible ROI and determine a process and mechanism for building upon success and strategically growing and evolving your automation efforts.