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The 5 Reasons You Need a Vehicle Management System For Your Industrial Trucks

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Uncover new ways to improve productivity, safety and cost controls in your material handling operations.

A Supply Chain Industry Review by I.D. Systems, Inc.

Introduction to Vehicle Management Systems
Powered industrial trucks are the workhorses of material handling operations and managing them effectively has its challenges. Lift truck accidents are the second leading cause of fatalities in the private sector (highway vehicles being the first), according to OSHA. Also, operator labor represents the largest single cost component of material handling operations and a fleet of industrial vehicles is very expensive to acquire and maintain. Vehicle management can help control these and other safety, productivity and damage issues that are so common in fleets. The fundamental starting place is vehicle access control, or restricting who can operate your trucks. Since it’s impossible for your industrial vehicle operators to keep dozens of keys in their pockets, inevitably keys are always left in trucks’ ignitions. That means anyone can operate the trucks at any time with little, if any, accountability. Lack of accountability translates to:

  • Anonymous damage to vehicles, products and your facility
  • Lack of compliance or increasingly cumbersome processes to meet OSHA safety standards to ensure only trained operators use vehicles in safe operating condition
  • A large disparity in the amount operators are paid compared to the time they actually spend operating a vehicle. Operators are paid for an 8 hour shift, but actual drive times are often less than 50% of time on the clock.

† Source: “Andel on Lift Trucks: The Price of Ignorance is Death”, Material Handling Management, July 2006

Because of these significant issues, many of the most successful companies in the world have adopted a Vehicle Management System (VMS) enterprise-wide. Vehicle management systems are enabling businesses to better use labor resources and provide a safer work environment, which directly leads to maximizing profits and material velocity. However, there are still many companies today that have:

  • No true visibility of the material handling movements made by industrial truck operators
  • Limited tools and data to measure the complete productivity of their operators
  • No efficient way to ensure vehicles are safe to operate
  • Limited or manual systems, if any, to determine where vehicle operators are assigned and to temporarily reassign them based on peak needs

What are Vehicle Management Systems?
A vehicle management system (VMS) begins with access control to your vehicles. In order to start any vehicle in your facility, the operator needs to present their badge ID to a card reader installed on the truck. The system is linked to the vehicle’s ignition and the vehicle will only start if the operator is authorized. Once started, the system monitors and tracks exactly how that vehicle is used (or not). Data is collected automatically and in real time to provide the visibility you need to manage your business efficiently.

VMS helps you answer questions, such as:

  1. Are my operators driving safely?
  2. Why does it take some employees much longer than others to do specific tasks?
  3. How long should it take to do a specific task? How can I measure what the true engineering standard should be?
  4. Do I have the right amount of vehicles in my fleet?
  5. Why are some operators paid overtime while others are not working their full shifts?
  6. Where do we need to focus our labor resources today?
  7. How do we forecast vehicles and operators needed for future workflow?
  8. Am I maintaining my vehicles efficiently? Can I increase vehicle “uptime”?

This report provides unique insight into how these questions are answered by VMS. You will learn the most important reasons why you need to consider installing a vehicle management system now and factors to evaluate when considering VMS vendors

The FIVE Key Reasons to Immediately Consider Vehicle Management

  1. Operators are paid for three to four TIMES more hours than actual material movement time.
  2. Your Supervisors and Managers are doing the best they can with what they have.
  3. Every day you are asked to do more with less.
  4. You want to keep your employees as SAFE as possible.
  5. VMS is becoming the workplace standard.

For the complete White Page on The 5 Reasons You Need a Vehicle Management System For Your Industrial Trucks please download the PDF at the top of the article.

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