Leading Forklift truck distributor Barloworld Handling well positioned with real time performance data

With the launch of new service and fleet management tools, Barloworld Handling says it is now better positioned than ever to predict the future of materials handling fleets. Real time performance data is helping Barloworld to improve decision making leading to increased availability, lower operating costs and greater flexibility.

The way materials handling fleets are supported is evolving, with more businesses embracing the benefits offered by an intelligent approach to the overall management of a forklift fleet. As an independent service organisation, Barloworld is focussed on raising performance and driving down lifetime fleet costs through intelligent service provision.

Intelligent assessment

Graham Jones, General Manager of UK Sales, explains that Barloworld's approach is different to many other suppliers "When a business first approaches Barloworld to address a materials handling need, usually the first question asked by the experienced sales team is "why do it that way?". We try to get businesses thinking differently about their incumbent fleet with a view that their process could, with a little effort, be improved and cost taken out."

Change is not always appropriate, but many businesses choose to explore the possibilities that Barloworld can identify, for example, a different mix or number of trucks. Such benefits may be identified following a comprehensive site survey, process map or warehouse simulation based on finding a better solution, rather than just looking to replace what has been done before.

Intelligent specification

It is critical that the correct type of equipment is chosen, capable of reliable daily performance in the specific operation, for the duration of a contract. Barloworld is the UK distribution partner for Hyster, renowned for manufacturing some of the most reliable forklift trucks on the market with the lowest total cost of operation.

Barloworld knows from the outset how certain types of equipment will generally perform according to their use, the environment and maintenance. To suit the specific application, the equipment is adapted further with specialist attachments, battery and charger options, tyres, special engineering or other options/devices that enhance onsite performance.

But how will the equipment really be used in operation?

Intelligent Management

Barloworld recently launched a unique fleet management system incorporating a telemetry device fitted to trucks to help companies understand what really happens to their fleet so they can continually improve overall performance. Data is automatically transmitted daily from each truck to Barloworld's secure service management system. The system provides analysis and online reports on truck performance such as daily run time, hourmeter readings, impacts, maintenance completion and cost of ownership information.

This type of intelligence aids decision making and helps operators to significantly reduce cost over time, for example, by reducing damage or reallocating assets and maximising contractual hours. Utilisation can be controlled more effectively, so that truck use is more balanced across the fleet, helping to maximise hours on 'under used' trucks, while curbing 'over use' on others.

Intelligent service

Barloworld's Fleet management system can also enable servicing to be planned around actual run time hours for each truck which potentially helps reliability and reduces breakdowns. When fitted to the latest Hyster forklifts, the system even has the ability to alert Barloworld of faults remotely helping it to respond quickly and effectively with appropriate parts.

Every business is different, but whether it is a small business or multi-site, customers are supported locally by Barloworld's greatest assets, its people. Nationwide, more than 1,000 staff, including 500 fully trained and experienced engineers, are geared towards keeping the equipment moving. Maintenance schedules are planned according to the environment and use and are supported by information from the fleet management system. Furthermore, mobile engineers are equipped with fully stocked service vans and advanced PDA technology to attend breakdowns quickly, keeping downtime to a minimum.

Businesses have the opportunity to improve their forklift fleet, take better control and drive out cost by choosing a supplier that can predict and change the future of forklift trucks.