Fleet tracking system informs decisions and planning

Distributor sees increased safety, profits and productivity with detailed view of national fleet.
By Josh Bond, Senior Editor
October 02, 2012 - MMH Editorial

In 2006, Bunzl, a large North American distributor, recognized the importance of monitoring and maintaining lift truck operating statistics to maximize overall productivity.

By installing a fleet optimization system, the company can now determine the true cost of ownership of its lift truck fleets, assess the appropriate time to service each truck, replace or reassign equipment, and evaluate maintenance trends.

“We wanted to get better control and understanding of our equipment,” says Rick Castetter, vice president of distribution and warehousing for Bunzl North America. “If we can better plan for maintenance or even reduce and eliminate avoidable maintenance situations, then we are more cost-efficient and productive.”

With a goal to manage cost and productivity of its lift trucks from a corporate level, the company deployed a fleet management system in October 2006. The system delivers individual lift truck maintenance data to the distribution center, where corporate personnel can access it through the Internet to determine capital expenditure budgets and identify cost trends.

The data also helps determine whether a facility has the right number of trucks and the right mix of equipment. Likewise, the system might reveal that a particular lift truck needs to have its brake pads continually replaced, which may mean an operator is not using the brakes correctly, translating to an avoidable cost and a teaching opportunity for the on-site supervisor.

The system also helps determine replacement component strategies. For example, data might indicate that one of the facility’s lift trucks require wheel and tire replacements more often than at other facilities, prompting a review of key variables such as the age of the facility and the condition of its floors. The system also consolidates maintenance work orders, combining approved orders from 25 facilities into a single invoice.

The Raymond Corp.
607-656-2311
http://www.raymondcorp.com

Read more from the 2013 Casebook.



About the Author

Josh Bond
Senior Editor

Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.


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