Connectivity Unleashes the Power of People
Creating a connected warehouse, where equipment, technology, and people symbiotically work together in defined roles and actions that are taken based on real-time and historical data, empowers your supply chain to move products faster, easier, and at lower costs to keep pace with changing customer demands and expectations. (To see how greater connectivity can deliver tangible benefits, read Crown's e-book, "Achieving Material Handling Connectivity.")
Equally important, greater connectivity can also reinforce your safety culture and help change the mindsets and behavior of your forklift operators. This is something Northgate Markets understands very well. The company recently achieved its lowest injury rate in the past 11 years. Keith McCarron, director of distribution for Northgate Markets, attributes much of that success to Crown Equipment's InfoLink® fleet and operator management system.
Located in Anaheim, Calif., Northgate Markets is a family-owned and -operated business that distributes fresh produce, meats, and grocery items to 47 stores in the San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange County markets. Their 385,000-square-foot distribution center includes more than 100 pieces of material handling equipment, including reach trucks and pallet trucks for specific tasks. This equipment runs almost continuously throughout 16-hour days.
Although the company had processes in place for gathering pre-shift safety-inspection data, it struggled to get its operators to document inspections and avoid impacts on a consistent basis. The company selected Crown's InfoLink to help make sure its operators were properly completing and documenting pre-shift inspections, and to monitor lift truck impacts to help modify operator behavior.
With pre-shift inspections now electronically captured, operator compliance has risen from approximately 40 percent to virtually 100 percent. This helps ensure that every lift truck is operated only when it is safe to do so.
"I get a pre-trip on every piece of equipment that every individual gets on every day, period. No matter what, I know that piece of equipment is being operated safely. It's one less thing I have to worry about," said McCarron.
McCarron and his managers also used InfoLink to establish individual impact thresholds for each truck and application, and used the impact notifications to help modify operator behavior.
"The ability to set each individual piece of equipment at a different threshold is key. If I have a guy loading, I can set him at a different threshold. If I have a guy outside doing pallets, I can set it at a different threshold. If I have a guy inside on a reach truck, it's the lowest threshold because our floors are smooth," said McCarron. "Now they are more aware of hitting the rack or bumping the pallet."
As an added bonus, fleet-utilization data has helped the company optimize the number of different trucks in its fleet based on application and workload and has also ensured that planned maintenance is performed as often as needed.
Read this Customer Result to learn more about the benefits Northgate Market achieved with Crown Equipment.
Contributed by Crown Equipment Corporation