In previous posts, we’ve defined and brought clarity to the idea of a connected supply chain facility. We’ve discussed a variety of topics, including the business value of a connected facility, the best way to introduce the technology to your facility and how to prepare your workforce.
What you may not realize is that greater connectivity can also enhance your safety program and initiatives. For instance, here are four potential areas where safety benefits can be realized with greater forklift connectivity.
1. Access control
Greater connectivity brings an opportunity for increased rigor and oversight to your compliance processes. You can limit access to operators with the required certification and training and set forklift performance parameters, such as speed limits, based on operator experience, training level or accident history. Electronic inspection checklists can guide operators through the vehicle inspection process, documenting that the process has been completed and the time it took.
Greater connectivity provides visibility that helps create an accurate picture of how, when and where impacts are occurring. Using the gathered data, you can identify areas of the facility where impacts are occurring and the operators who are involved. You can even receive real-time alerts and lock out equipment so the incident can be immediately investigated and addressed.
3. Equipment and maintenance
Expanding connectivity to service and maintenance can reduce downtime and increase visibility into service status, while also enabling you to explore new ideas. Also, given that greater connectivity provides greater understanding of how the trucks are being used, planned maintenance can more accurately be aligned with usage cycles.
4. Operator coaching and training
Dynamic Coaching™ is a term Crown coined to refer to the delivery of real-time feedback to operators that reinforces correct behavior and recognizes incorrect behavior. This can be in the form of context-sensitive visual and audible alerts delivered through the forklift display module to promote safety awareness. For instance, an alert that informs operators to wait until the vehicle comes to a complete stop if they exit too soon.
Greater connectivity is not a replacement for forklift safety; but rather an enabler to new technologies and processes that help you strengthen your safety culture. The responsibility falls to you and your organization to take advantage of the opportunities to realize these benefits.
For more information on the benefits of greater connectivity in the warehouse, download Crown’s e-book Achieving Material Handling Connectivity.