Executive Briefings

How Data Collection and Reporting Can Improve Material Handling

Today's lift trucks yield a treasure trove of information about equipment status and productivity. Lynda Stephens, senior application engineer with EnerSys, discusses how to get the most from it.

How Data Collection and Reporting Can Improve Material Handling

New techniques in data collection can help to reduce costs in liquid-propane lift truck operations and other aspects of material handling, Stephens says. Technology can analyze, for example, whether liquid propane or electric power is the most economical option for a particular environment.

First, though, companies must be able to receive adequate data in a consistent manner. "You should not just depend on management staff to look at Web-hosted information," Stephens says. The key, she adds, "is to get the data pushed to you, and make sure it's intelligence, and not [mere] data." Only then can managers acquire useful information that can be turned into reports for corrective action.

Data can be drawn from multiple sources, depending on what a company needs to know. Currently, those sources are far from integrated. In some cases, for example, battery information might not be tied into the fast-charging system. Equipment providers are generally the best place to go for help in promoting safety and the efficient operation of equipment.

There's more information available to material-handling operations than ever before, says Stephens. The benefits of exploiting it properly include higher productivity and lower cost. "There used to be a lot of guesswork in the operation," she says. "It was thought of as a necessary evil." Today, companies have a much better idea of how to realize efficiencies in areas such as battery maintenance.

To view the video in its entirety, click here


Keywords: supply chain, supply chain management, inventory management, inventory control, warehouse management, WMS, logistics management, supply chain planning, supply chain systems

New techniques in data collection can help to reduce costs in liquid-propane lift truck operations and other aspects of material handling, Stephens says. Technology can analyze, for example, whether liquid propane or electric power is the most economical option for a particular environment.

First, though, companies must be able to receive adequate data in a consistent manner. "You should not just depend on management staff to look at Web-hosted information," Stephens says. The key, she adds, "is to get the data pushed to you, and make sure it's intelligence, and not [mere] data." Only then can managers acquire useful information that can be turned into reports for corrective action.

Data can be drawn from multiple sources, depending on what a company needs to know. Currently, those sources are far from integrated. In some cases, for example, battery information might not be tied into the fast-charging system. Equipment providers are generally the best place to go for help in promoting safety and the efficient operation of equipment.

There's more information available to material-handling operations than ever before, says Stephens. The benefits of exploiting it properly include higher productivity and lower cost. "There used to be a lot of guesswork in the operation," she says. "It was thought of as a necessary evil." Today, companies have a much better idea of how to realize efficiencies in areas such as battery maintenance.

To view the video in its entirety, click here


Keywords: supply chain, supply chain management, inventory management, inventory control, warehouse management, WMS, logistics management, supply chain planning, supply chain systems

How Data Collection and Reporting Can Improve Material Handling