The SkidWeigh Plus UT Series
SkidWeigh Plus On-board Vehicle Management and Real Time Utilization Systems
The Importance of Data and its Impact on Business
The two primary costs in any material handling business are labor and equipment. So why do most managers responsible for overseeing those two cost factors find them so difficult to control? In fact most business struggle to accurately predict and deliver on budget let alone optimize and reduce unnecessary costs. The main reason is lack of accurate and reliable data. Managers simply do not have access to detailed data that defines current processes that happen in the minute and on trend that allow for analytical responses for improvement.
While the acquisition of equipment is definitely a cost the way the equipment is being used is far greater, and a primary challenge.
Deciding What to Measure, Key Performance Material Handling Indicators
Getting your performance measurement right involves identifying the areas of your operation that are the most critical to success either byway of productivity, cost reduction or both. This type of measurement unit is referred to as a key performance indicator (KPI). The two key attributes of a KPI are quantifiability, you must be able to reduce it to a number, and it must directly capture a key business driver. As it pertains to your material handling fleet you must seek to understand how your lift trucks impact those KPI’s and seek to define optimization as standard baseline for acceptability.
Knowing how each of your material handling vehicles are utilized is valuable information, but a best in practice measurement system will also let you examine the triggers that result in changes in performance.
Getting the Most out of Your KPI’s
The purpose of KPI’s is to ultimately drive future improvements in performance. There are two main ways you can use KPI’s to achieve this kind of continuous improvement.
* The ability to spot problems or opportunities.
* The ability to set targets for employees in areas of responsibility.
Material Handling Telemetry Systems
Most if not all providers of Fleet or Vehicle Management Systems have not yet developed the ability to offer ‘critical data’ that lends itself to KPI’s and continuous improvement. Most offer event notification that is reactionary and performance ratios that detail productivity as to when the truck is on vs. off. However the problem with these metrics are that they do not allow any such understanding or insight into how the vehicle is being used and the technological ability to measure data in units other than from an hour meter. Businesses measure continuous improvement in seconds not hours.
Maximizing Your R.O.I.
Too often companies make the mistake by implementing a solution without fully understanding the problem. Companies must develop a baseline performance standard that is understood and acknowledged prior to implementation. All subsequent measurements without will be meaningless.
It’s Time to Look Else Where for the Biggest Areas of Improvements
Until now the industry trend on Lift Truck ownership costs was to implement metrics to control costs associated with damage or timing of preventative maintenance. Though important, according to an well researched material consultant firm, 80% of the cost of lift truck ownership over 5 years can be directly linked to its operational usage.
Therefore, in order to make significant improvements in productivity and cost reduction It is time to measure and manage this area of greatest opportunity. True vehicle utilization awareness, should be seen as optimum uptime as compared against non productive usage. The benefits of such are measurable KPI’s and improved individual operator accountability through clearer measurable objectives.
Improving your Current Asset Utilization
As mentioned before Asset Utilization must be measured in ‘Real Time’ in the seconds with which they happen. In addition, both management and vehicle operator must have clear visibility to the metrics as both are key stakeholders in improving operations. The implementation of IVDT’s SkidWeigh Plus UT technology will provide that KPI platform through ‘Real Time’ detailed reports that deliver valuable asset utilization information on the production cycle, accountability, cost reduction, fleet optimization, and efficiency factor.
Key Material Handling Measurement Metrics
With 80% of lift truck operational cost associated to vehicle usage it is imperative for management to not only measure the relation between productive ‘uptime’ usage activities vs. non-productive ‘downtime’ usage.
‘Industry insiders claim that the average forklift idling time is around 45% of total usage with 25% considered as world class.’ ‘One VMS vendor claims that data collected from over 50000 vehicle installations across different industries demonstrate that for every one hour of product moved, 8 hours are paid’
This utilization factor not only becomes the primary driver for productivity improvement and cost control but the SkidWeigh Plus UT vehicle manager also becomes an integral management tool.
Managing Material Handling Expectations
All material handling operations are different, even within the same industry companies utilize different resources, compete for talent, and deploy different logistic strategies. If it has been established that idling time is best at 25% but can exceed the average of 45% in more unproductive operations it should be pointed out that total efficiency does not depend on the forklift operator alone.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to stationary lift trucks. Factors such as scheduling difficulties, break down in material flow, traffic jams, insufficient storage, unexpected delays, lack of alternate paths, and operator accountability.
Unique to the SkidWeigh Plus UT series is the ability to provide detailed data on the various factors that impact your companies utilization factor. Unlike other systems that require complex integration and difficult IT roll outs, the SkidWeigh UT system is simple to install, easy to use and can define your organizations utilization factor accurately in less than one week.
Installation of the SkidWeigh Plus UT system in your facility will automatically record all idling events, including the ability to custom define five justified downtime reasons that may be specific and unique to your business.
Within a week, analysis of your data would show the current state of just how productive your lift tuck fleet is based on data collected only from one vehicle. From this starting point you can begin to identify the root causes for delays and interruptions that were previously unknown and develop improvement strategies.
Skidweigh Plus – Operator and Management Friendly
The vehicle idling mode is automatically activated which means there is no distraction to the operator. In fact the onscreen notifications provide reminders and alerts to the operator that the vehicle is experiencing a recorded downtime. For systems utilizing the 5 customizable downtime justifications the operator can use the SkidWeigh Plus as a tool for continuous improvement. Other than, there are no buttons to distract or take away from other duties. All data is collected for retrieval either through USB extraction or in larger fleets wirelessly to a LAN web page. This provides the operational visibility that has eluded management till now.
As soon as a vehicle equipped with the SkidWeigh UT series is turned on the system immediately goes to work collecting vital operational data to improve efficiency. Immediate USB Data Extraction LAN Web Page visibility and details of vehicle operating hours are provided in real time giving businesses the opportunity to improve lift truck utilization. While most vehicle management systems can only provide a ratio between available hours on and switched off, only the SkidWeigh Plus UT system provides root cause analysis capability.
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